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By now, you should all know that you need to destroy your computer hard drives once you are finished with the machine, or the hard drive. If you didn’t know that, go back and read this blog for reasons why you should do this. But apparently people have been taking this advice a bit too seriously, and doing some rather scary things in order to destroy their hard drives. So today, we wanted to look at a few of these… unconventional methods for hard drive destruction, and why they aren’t the best idea.


To be clear – DON’T do this at home!


Hit It With A Hammer: Hitting your hard drive with a hammer will just result in tiny pieces of metal and glass flying around everywhere – not great for your eyes, skin or the hard drive! And the worst part is, it probably won’t destroy the data on it either.


Blow Torch It: Some people have even taken to blowtorching their hard drives in an attempt to melt the data out of them. But if you wanted to do this safely, it would require protective gear, holding platters, heat resistant tools and a pretty decent blow torch too!


Put It In An Acid Bath: Dunking a hard drive into a container of strong acid is not safe or easy, and you’re much more likely to injure yourself in the process. Leave the acid to the scientists!


Burn In A Fireplace: If you want to melt a hard drive with heat, you’re going to need extreme heat – much more than can be given off by your fireplace. Throwing a hard drive into the fire will just result in some pretty toxic and dangerous fumes filling up the room. Overall, a bad idea.


Throw It In A Lake: While you might think this makes sense, since water shorts out electronics, throwing your hard drive into a lake, or any form of water, won’t destroy the data on it, and it will still be accessible afterwards


Shoot It: it might seem like fun to use an old hard drive as target practice, but again you’ll end up with sharp pieces of shrapnel flying everywhere. Unless you’ve always wanted that war re-enactment feeling of shrapnel lodged in your body, we’d steer clear of this one.


Put It In The Recycling Bin: a hard drive can be easily picked out of your recycling bin by anyone passing (completely legally). Then it’s just a case of popping it into their computer, and they have access to all of your data.


Stockpile Them: Given the above, you might be tempted to just stockpile your hard drives and never get rid of them. Which sounds sensible, until you realise that they can still be stolen easily.


Delete Files Or Reformat Them: Deleting a file might make it disappear from your sight, but it isn’t gone completely. Deleted or reformatted data can still be recovered by thieves with the right software, so it’s not a secure method of destruction at all.


Wipe Or Degauss It: The same does for wiping or degaussing (using a magnetic field) your hard drive. While it might be slightly more successful, there is no guarantee that the data will be truly destroyed.


Instead of trying all that, your best bet is to simply shred it. That’s right – a good old-fashioned shredder can do the job where a blowtorch, gun or powerful magnet can’t. An industrial shredder can securely and completely destroy any data held on your old hard drives, reducing them to scraps of metal and plastic. At Greenaway, we operate a fully secure hard drive shredding service for businesses and person customers across the country. Simply send us your old hard drives, and we do the rest. For more information, just get in touch with us today.