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    Gongalong's Avatar
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    Question HDD/Tape Destruction

    Hi All,

    What approach do you take to destroying hard disk drives?

    We’ve been using DBAN with SATA drives, but also have tens of IDE and SCSI that will be more complex to harness.

    One of the technicians here has suggested drilling through the case and platters, and I have a friend at a school up north that does just that.

    Is there such a thing as regulatory guidance (sans BECTA)? I haven’t checked with our local council to see if they mandate anything in particular.

    We also have a number of tapes that I’d like to dispose of. Can anyone recommend a company that will do this? As opposed to a cowboy, where they'll end up on eBay.

    TIA

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    unixman_again's Avatar
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    I've used Computer Recycling Birmingham | IT, WEEE, Computer Recycling and Destruction in Birmingham for hdd disposal. They used to have a video on their site of the hdd muncher; there is a photo in one of the scrolling pix. It's damn thorough!

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    Gongalong (8th August 2014)

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    robjduk's Avatar
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    I saved them up and got their destruction for free when I put in some huge order with Stone once. I would wait for when you do a large order with a vendor who destroys them and use it at leverage that they collect them and destroy them for free

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    speckytecky's Avatar
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    I laboriously disassemble the HDDs and remove the platters which I then malarmalise. Takes a while but you know they are done when they are done! Interestingly I'd always thought the platters were hard steel but to my surprise some shatter more like glass.

    Oh, and the best way of marmalising them is to put them on a carpet and run over them with the casters of a swivel chair

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    Gongalong (11th August 2014)

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    Galway's Avatar
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    I use a company that certifies them destroyed with all our waste, no need to touch them so its a win.
    I do like to disassemble them and use the magnets and platters, but that's another story. And I always take a few controller boards, to decorate the wall with glitter and to recover a fried drive when I need to pull one out of the bag.

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    Gongalong (11th August 2014)

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    The last batch of tapes, I drilled through (end on, so the drill goes through the whole spool).

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    Gongalong (11th August 2014)

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    hawc's Avatar
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    I have some fun in the Resistant Materials department with the drills and saws.

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    Gongalong (11th August 2014), TheScarfedOne (10th August 2014)

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    bossman's Avatar
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    We burn the tapes and destroy the HDD's with a very big hammer and then weigh them in for scrap!

    Money we make then goes to purchase other equipment.

    Not a chance in creation that anyone would be able to take data off shattered platters!

    I wouldn't trust anyone else with our schools data! even if they give certificates of verification!

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    Quote Originally Posted by speckytecky View Post
    I I'd always thought the platters were hard steel but to my surprise some shatter more like glass.
    Yes some are made of a glass and ceramic material so you need to be careful with lots of tiny slivers floating about.

    Ben

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    Gongalong's Avatar
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    My two concerns are (1) the H&S aspect of drilling/smashing platters, in case it produces nasty bits and (2) inadvertently giving them away to some cowboy who doesn't wipe them and sticks them on eBay.

    I much prefer to destroy them here, but it's tedious with the wiping.

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    speckytecky (11th August 2014)

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    We used to drill ours, but now if the machine it is in is working, we PXE boot Microsoft Dart, and use diskwipe. It's no more hassle than building the PC. Also means we end up with working machines for the disposals people to recycle.

    Broken ones get the drill treatment (for 3.5" drives) or the hammer (to shatter the platters for 2.5")

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    Gongalong (11th August 2014)

  22. #12
    speckytecky's Avatar
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    Who pays you for them, is it a local company? I have only been able to find for free ones such as the excellent LCWS to date.

    I went up into my attic recently and retrieved several boxes of floppies which I took to bits then shredded the platters. It's left me with at least a kilo of good quality aliminium / steel parts that is actually probably worth a few bob.

    Quote Originally Posted by bossman View Post
    We burn the tapes and destroy the HDD's with a very big hammer and then weigh them in for scrap!

    Money we make then goes to purchase other equipment.

    Not a chance in creation that anyone would be able to take data off shattered platters!

    I wouldn't trust anyone else with our schools data! even if they give certificates of verification!
    Last edited by speckytecky; 11th August 2014 at 08:32 AM.

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    Hi @Gongalong,

    You're absolutely right, there is a health & safety risk with drilling/smasing hard drives, as well as the data security risk if for some reason they aren't destroyed fully.

    As @robjduk said, we do indeed collect old IT hardware for free, and hard drives are wiped using industry-leading Blancco software, then either reused or destroyed in our shredder. You'd then get a full audit report and certificate of disposal. We'd be more than happy to help with your requirements for disposal of hard drives and other kit!

    In the meantime, here's a bit of guidance on the regulation side in terms of data destruction: http://www.stonegroup.co.uk/media/62...hite_paper.pdf

    And if you want to find out more about our recycling service: ICT Recycling | Stone Group

    Feel free to PM me if you need any more information.
    Last edited by Stone_Charli; 11th August 2014 at 03:43 PM.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    What you need is a teenage son, an electric screwdriver and a set of bits and leave him to spend an afternoon happily taking them apart... as mine is at this very moment. He has 16 to do on this occasion. The Lacie drives are completely unusable and the miscellaneous drives from servers and PCs are in the process of being deconstructed. He finishes the job by scratching and bending the platters.
    Last edited by elsiegee40; 11th August 2014 at 04:33 PM.

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