If Steve just added drive shred to his library....

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Where I work they retain failing hard drives and have some service destroy them, as in the link above. Our work laptops are replaced every few years. Before turning the old one in I encrypted all the data that was 'mine' before turning it in. I doubt anyone would try to access the encrypted data on the disk. If they did, Password Haystacks estimates it'll take some number of billion years to brute force it. I suspect my data is safe!
 
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I think the point would be to up-cycle the devices, rather than shread and melt them down. Overall, I think the energy to up-cycle and use these old drives is less than the energy to shred, melt and refine the metals... But that is just a guess.
 
Steve has talked of a "data destroying" product, to be called "Beyond Recall" for a number of years. I think it was his intention to base it on Spinrite, but as a separate product.

However, changes in disk technology might mean that it is no longer feasible to guarantee that you have removed 100% of old data. If the disk reallocates spare sectors to replace faulty ones, traces of the old data may remain on the old sectors. This is particularly true of SSD's where files are "deleted" by just unallocating the pages of memory. In some circumstances, this is not acceptable.
 
Yea, but if it would work for us mortals, that would be awesome! I would trust his code over BleachBit....
 
This is perhaps naive, but what about attaching the drive via a sata-to-usb adapter and wipe it with Initdisk?
 
Where I work they retain failing hard drives and have some service destroy them, as in the link above. Our work laptops are replaced every few years. Before turning the old one in I encrypted all the data that was 'mine' before turning it in. I doubt anyone would try to access the encrypted data on the disk. If they did, Password Haystacks estimates it'll take some number of billion years to brute force it. I suspect my data is safe!
We ended buying our own destruction device. That way, no production hardware leaves the production room in working order. I hear the drive crusher is fun to watch. We used to do this with drills by hand 15 years ago.
 
I wonder how a bulk tape eraser would work? I've used it in the past to wipe floppies, but never tried it on old hard drives.
 
bulk tape eraser would work
It might work, it might not. The uncertainty is why people destroy drives. Also, modern drives have magnetic markers put on them, and if a bulk eraser erased those, the drive wouldn't work any more, and they can only be placed during manufacturing, so the drive can't be repaired and you might as well destroy it and be sure.
 
I found some magnetic encodings are surprisingly resistant to being demagnetized. I've never tried it on a hard drive, but I wouldn't trust it. Especially with multiple stacked platters, even if the top get wiped there is no telling about platters in the middle. I usually take mine apart, remove the magnets (very strong) for future use, and physically damage the platters. I guess it depends how secure the data that may be on the drive is. I like taking them apart for the magnets.

If anyone decides to remove the magnets use extreme care. Even smaller ones can be quite powerful, and if they slam into something or each other they can shatter with pieces flying off at amazing speeds. Larger ones are very hard to pry apart even with a screw driver. If you've never taken magnets from a hard drive, probably even if you have, read the safety info at https://www.kjmagnetics.com/safety.asp first. I've had them get pulled out of my hand, shatter and launch small pieces- use caution!
 
If anyone decides to remove the magnets use extreme care. Even smaller ones can be quite powerful, and if they slam into something or each other they can shatter with pieces flying off at amazing speeds. Larger ones are very hard to pry apart even with a screw driver. If you've never taken magnets from a hard drive, probably even if you have, read the safety info at https://www.kjmagnetics.com/safety.asp first. I've had them get pulled out of my hand, shatter and launch small pieces- use caution!
I want to second that advice. I've got a few Neodymium 1" x 1/8" magnets that I bought online for experimenting. @Ralph speaks truth. If these type of magnets are any bigger than a few mm, you're basically not going to pull them apart directly. The ones I have included teflon spacers to keep the magnets a couple of mm apart. If you have those, use them. IF super magnets of any non trivial size (meaning bigger than 1/4" x 1/16" or so) slam together and part of your finger is in the way, you're either going to have a blood blister, a leaky finger, or a broken bone (for bigger ones). Good luck getting them off your skin. Most people who are used to refrigerator magnets have no concept of this. Do not let kids or pets play with these things. Speaking of flying, these things can take off from your non metallic work surface and fly toward a metal wall, table, bench, or even your tools with amazing speed and from a surprising distance, easily 6" or more. For what it's worth, the way to get these things apart is to shift them sideways relative to each other at right angles to the attraction force. Keep a firm grip on both pieces and gradually move them further apart. The magnetic force increases exponentially as the distance apart decreases, and falls off rapidly as the distance apart increases.

May your bits be stable and your interfaces be fast. :cool: Ron
 
It might work, it might not. The uncertainty is why people destroy drives. Also, modern drives have magnetic markers put on them, and if a bulk eraser erased those, the drive wouldn't work any more, and they can only be placed during manufacturing, so the drive can't be repaired and you might as well destroy it and be sure.
Well, of course, I wasn't wanting to re-use a drive that had been subjected to a bulk erase. I was just thinking I could avoid the more physical types of 'disassemble' (said with a robotic voice). I have a small box full of drives that date back twenty or more years, that I've been too lazy to do anything with to destroy the contents before discarding.
 
I also have a small collection of hard drives, the oldest from what I think was my first PC, a whopping 112MB. A few of the oldies won't spin any more, and a couple moan about it but get up to speed. For how many years some of these things have been laying around it is amazing any of them spin up. I wonder how an SSD would come out of 20 years of storage? I know there won't be any bearing noise :) but I suspect it wouldn't have any data either.