Old removable drive disposal

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Old removable drive disposal

Ray Kloss
So I was cleaning out storage and found boxed with old magneto-otptical discs and ORB discs (remember those) and want to trash them. I was going to throw them out, but knowing that they will end up in a dump far away, made me concerned about the data on them. I would rather not sit around all day Sunday hitting them with a hammer and picking up plastic pieces, but is there another way to make sure they are safe. Some may be blank, as I have a habit of moving data to newer drives and erasing the originals, but as I have no device to verify that, I must assume some have data.

I would love to rent a steamroller to run them over and be done with it, but do I have other choices. Even if I dismantle the MO discs, do I need to break the discs also?


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Re: Old removable drive disposal

@lbutlr
On Oct 21, 2017, at 3:43 PM, Ray Kloss <[hidden email]> wrote:
> So I was cleaning out storage and found boxed with old magneto-otptical discs and ORB discs (remember those) and want to trash them. I was going to throw them out, but knowing that they will end up in a dump far away, made me concerned about the data on them. I would rather not sit around all day Sunday hitting them with a hammer and picking up plastic pieces, but is there another way to make sure they are safe. Some may be blank, as I have a habit of moving data to newer drives and erasing the originals, but as I have no device to verify that, I must assume some have data.
>
> I would love to rent a steamroller to run them over and be done with it, but do I have other choices. Even if I dismantle the MO discs, do I need to break the discs also?

Do you want to be certain the data is destroyed? Then yes, you have to destroy the media.

However, consider if you have to be *certain* or just pretty sure?

Most paper shredders can shred CD/DVD sorts of disks. Not wusre what the insides of the MO or ORB disks are like though. There are also places that shred hard drives.

But a couple of whacks with a hammer is generally good enough for me.

--
Apple broke AppleScripting signatures in Mail.app, so no random signatures.




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Re: Old removable drive disposal

Tech@lauterbach5.com
I stack them in a vice and drill two holes through them (hard drives). I usually give the circuit boards a wack with a hammer too.

Thanks

Bob Lauterbach
Sent from my iPhone

> On Oct 21, 2017, at 9:48 PM, @lbutlr <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On Oct 21, 2017, at 3:43 PM, Ray Kloss <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> So I was cleaning out storage and found boxed with old magneto-otptical discs and ORB discs (remember those) and want to trash them. I was going to throw them out, but knowing that they will end up in a dump far away, made me concerned about the data on them. I would rather not sit around all day Sunday hitting them with a hammer and picking up plastic pieces, but is there another way to make sure they are safe. Some may be blank, as I have a habit of moving data to newer drives and erasing the originals, but as I have no device to verify that, I must assume some have data.
>>
>> I would love to rent a steamroller to run them over and be done with it, but do I have other choices. Even if I dismantle the MO discs, do I need to break the discs also?
>
> Do you want to be certain the data is destroyed? Then yes, you have to destroy the media.
>
> However, consider if you have to be *certain* or just pretty sure?
>
> Most paper shredders can shred CD/DVD sorts of disks. Not wusre what the insides of the MO or ORB disks are like though. There are also places that shred hard drives.
>
> But a couple of whacks with a hammer is generally good enough for me.
>
> --
> Apple broke AppleScripting signatures in Mail.app, so no random signatures.
>
>
>
>
> ____________TidBITS Talk Participation Guidelines____________
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Re: Old removable drive disposal

Alexander Forbes
In reply to this post by Ray Kloss
On Oct 21, 2017, at 10:18 PM, gastropod <[hidden email]> wrote:

I would love to rent a steamroller to run them over and be done with it,

I’ve taken several old drives apart in the process of destroying them. Thpde disc patters are metal and cannot be shredded. I was never able to completely remove one, but the cover plate is easily removed with a little judicious brute force. A center punch or stout old screwdriver and a few good hammer blows will deform the platter and destroy magnetic striping enough that it cannot be spun or read in another reader mechanism.

As was already pointed out, this kind of damage renders data recovery not worthwhile for the average snooper or hacker for below-NSA private information.

It’s also worth mentioning that keeping your really sensitive financial and personal data in an encrypted .dmg vault or whole-disk encryption makes the effort of trying to hack a disk fruitless anyway.




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Re: Old removable drive disposal

John Ferman-2
In reply to this post by Ray Kloss
What I have done is open the case, extract the drive, open its cover and ripped the arm off plus filing grooves in the platter. There was a time when the outer case, circuit board and wiring had value to others. If you are in a big town you'd have a better chance to sell them at a pittance.

Sent from iPad
John Ferman
Minneapolis, MN


> On Oct 22, 2017, at 11:00 AM, [hidden email] wrote:
>
> Re: Old removable drive disposal



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Re: Old removable drive disposal

Ray Kloss
Sorry for the misunderstanding, but these are just removable discs, not drives

> On Oct 22, 2017, at 11:49 AM, John Ferman <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> What I have done is open the case, extract the drive, open its cover and ripped the arm off plus filing grooves in the platter. There was a time when the outer case, circuit board and wiring had value to others. If you are in a big town you'd have a better chance to sell them at a pittance.
>
> Sent from iPad
> John Ferman
> Minneapolis, MN
>
>
>> On Oct 22, 2017, at 11:00 AM, [hidden email] wrote:
>>
>> Re: Old removable drive disposal
>
>
>
> ____________TidBITS Talk Participation Guidelines____________
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Re: Old removable drive disposal

Ray Kloss
Ended up scratching up the discs.  Quick and easy


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Re: Old removable drive disposal

JohnGregory
Dunking them in the sink or dish washer might have worked too. Glad you solved the problem!

JohnGregory


From: Ray Kloss [hidden email]
Reply: TidBITS Talk [hidden email]
Date: October 22, 2017 at 6:52:30 PM
To: TidBITS Talk [hidden email]
Subject:  Re: Old removable drive disposal

Ended up scratching up the discs. Quick and easy


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Re: Old removable drive disposal

David Ross
In reply to this post by Alexander Forbes
If you have access to a drill press or a good drill and a way to hold the drives steady a nice good 1/4" bit through the case and platters makes it worthless for anyone not qualified to decode nuclear threats. Most cases have a circular outline of where the platters are located.

Since at times you may be shattering glass ceramics it is very important to use appropriate safety wear.

On 10/22/17 11:09 AM, Alexander Forbes wrote:
On Oct 21, 2017, at 10:18 PM, gastropod <[hidden email]> wrote:

I would love to rent a steamroller to run them over and be done with it,

I’ve taken several old drives apart in the process of destroying them. Thpde disc patters are metal and cannot be shredded. I was never able to completely remove one, but the cover plate is easily removed with a little judicious brute force. A center punch or stout old screwdriver and a few good hammer blows will deform the platter and destroy magnetic striping enough that it cannot be spun or read in another reader mechanism.

As was already pointed out, this kind of damage renders data recovery not worthwhile for the average snooper or hacker for below-NSA private information.

It’s also worth mentioning that keeping your really sensitive financial and personal data in an encrypted .dmg vault or whole-disk encryption makes the effort of trying to hack a disk fruitless anyway.




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Re: Old removable drive disposal

David Ross
In reply to this post by JohnGregory
Not really.

I'd still suggest a hole drilled through them.

On 10/22/17 7:07 PM, JohnGregory wrote:
Dunking them in the sink or dish washer might have worked too. Glad you solved the problem!





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Re: Old removable drive disposal

@lbutlr
On Oct 23, 2017, at 9:56 AM, David Ross <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 10/22/17 7:07 PM, JohnGregory wrote:
>> Dunking them in the sink or dish washer might have worked too. Glad you solved the problem!

> Not really.

Yes, that will destroy the board as well as the connectors. it will not destroy the platters on a new He drive, but most drives are not sealed  against water, and the soapy water will render them irrecoverable.

> I'd still suggest a hole drilled through them.

That is effective if you have the equipment to do it, but whacking the drive with a sledge a few times is nearly as effective and much simpler.

--
Apple broke AppleScripting signatures in Mail.app, so no random signatures.




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Re: Old removable drive disposal

David Ross
On 10/24/17 12:14 AM, @lbutlr wrote:
> On Oct 23, 2017, at 9:56 AM, David Ross <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On 10/22/17 7:07 PM, JohnGregory wrote:
>>> Dunking them in the sink or dish washer might have worked too. Glad you solved the problem!
>>>
>> Not really.
> Yes, that will destroy the board as well as the connectors. it will not destroy the platters on a new He drive, but most drives are not sealed  against water, and the soapy water will render them irrecoverable.
He was talking about removable platters. And while any residue left on
them might render them irrecoverable I would not bet on it doing so 99%
of the time. Or even much over 50% of the time. Been there. Done it.
>> I'd still suggest a hole drilled through them.
> That is effective if you have the equipment to do it, but whacking the drive with a sledge a few times is nearly as effective and much simpler.
And maybe more dangerous depending on how they are made.

We both have good points. If you want to say I'm wrong so be it. I'm
dropping out of this.

David


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