If your organization or company has hard drives stolen or does not destroy them in the right way, the private information of many of its employees or customers, or other privileged information, could become public or fall into the hands of cybercriminals who could ask for considerable sums of money to remedy the situation. That is why it is necessary to invest in professional hard drive destruction.
HOW TO DESTROY A HARD DRIVE QUICKLY?
A hard disk can be destroyed quickly in several ways:
1. Erasing the data: You can simply erase the data, but it is advisable to make a backup copy of the data.
Erasing the data from the hard disk with software. It can even be done on Windows or Mac without having to download or buy any extra software.
3. Open the computer cabinet and remove the hard disk. The hard drive can be found in different places in each type of cabinet, sometimes inside a metal box.
4. Remove the disk cover. To do this, you may have to loosen a variety of screws, depending on the make and model of the hard drive.
5. Remove the magnets. The arm and the magnetic structure must be removed to reach the platter underneath. There are screws involved, but it is quite simple. Remove the magnets carefully because they are very hard and you can get hurt.
6. Remove and discard the platter(s). You will probably have to unscrew the circular piece in the center that presses down. It is also what stores the data, so you will need to destroy it. Sometimes, there is more than one platter; therefore, you will need to remove them all.
Erasing a hard drive: the safe way to do it
The immediate way we usually associate with erasing information from a hard drive is to delete the files or format that drive. When we do this, what we actually do is tell the operating system that there is free space to fill, but it is likely that the information will never be overwritten and will be easy to recover. It is what is called formatting or fast data erasure.
If we only want to erase a hard disk by means of software, we must do it correctly and carry out low-level formatting.
To permanently remove information from a hard disk with a format, the format must be multiple. It is necessary to make several formattings in a row to effectively overwrite the information that we want to eliminate.
The minimum that we must format a not too old hard disk is twice, but nowadays, the sure formatting is associated with seven steps. That is the standard used by the US Department of Defense as a secure method for erasing magnetic contents.
To perform this low-level formatting to modify all stored zeros and ones, we can resort to specific software such as Darik’s Boot And Nuke, one of the most complete as well as free and open source.
But to be certain that a hard drive has been permanently erased and we can rest assured that our information will never be recovered, we must move on to physical methods.
Do you have an inaccessible or worthless hard drive full of sensitive data? Do you want to be sure that the data will never be seen? Once you’ve erased the hard drive, consider one of these options to further protect the data. This wikiHow will show you how to erase the data on your hard drive and destroy it to prevent it from being recovered.
Back up your data. It’s easy to forget about all those MP3s you copied in the ’90s and beloved family photos when all you care about is destroying the cause of your embarrassment and avoiding prison. However, you’ll need to make sure you back up all the important, and legal data since the point of the exercise is to make that stuff, you know, disappear.
Erase all data from the hard drive with software. While the most exciting wiping methods will do a pretty good job of making data unrecoverable, they don’t offer a 100% guarantee (especially if you have reason to believe that the government is willing to waste several months and millions of dollars looking for your dirty laundry). You can do it on Windows or macOS without having to download or buy any extra software. Can you erase the data and destroy the disk? Yes, and no one will be able to recover it.
– Read the article How to erase data from your computer to learn how to get started.
– A complete wipe of the computer will probably work. Only someone with proper forensic equipment would be able to recover the data after an erasure.
Open the computer cabinet and remove the hard drive. The hard drive can be found in different places in each type of cabinet, sometimes inside a metal box. You can find out on the Internet where the hard drive is located if you have difficulty finding it.
Remove the drive cover. To remove the cover, you will probably have to loosen a variety of screws, depending on the make and model of the hard drive. You may have to cut some tape. Beware that there are often screws hidden underneath the labels, so you may have to poke around.
Remove the magnets. You’ll need to remove the arm and the magnetic structure to reach the plate underneath (your real goal). There are screws involved, but it’s pretty straightforward. Remove the magnets carefully because they are very hard, and you can hurt yourself on them.
– Actually, you’ll have a hard time getting them out of a refrigerator. You can break fingers on these things. And for the love of whatever you pray for, don’t eat them and don’t let your pets eat them (pets, in this case, include children).
Remove and discard the plate(s). This is the thing that looks like it would serve well as a mirror. You’ll probably have to unscrew the circular piece in the center that presses down. It’s also what stores (at least most of) the data, so you’ll need to destroy it. Sometimes, there is more than one plate, so pay attention to that.