Can I just go ahead and drill my hard disk platter without first running the
DBan software? My floppy disc drive and CD drive is not usable because I don’t
have a floppy disc, and my CD drive isn’t working. Will I be safe by doing this
before donating my old computer?
In this excerpt from
Answercast #16, I look at the damage that can be done to a hard drive with
an electric drill; it’s pretty extensive.
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Can I drill my hard drive?
Absolutely! Drill away!
You don’t need to run any software on the hard drive before physically
destroying it in that manner. I mean – you can if it makes you feel better.
Ultimately, drilling holes through the hard drive, through the hard disk
platters, is gonna cause several kinds of problems.
- One is there’s gonna be a big hole; meaning that everything that was
recorded in those holes is gonna be physically gone.
- The other problem, of course, is that it’s going to introduce all the
remnants of those holes; the drill dust, if you will, is gonna end up inside of
the hard disk so that even if the hard disk were turned on, that dust was going
to fly around there and scratch the heck out of everything
- It will probably also cause the disk heads to come into contact with the disk
media and just cause all sorts of self-destructive stuff.
Government level forensics
Unless you’re really, really concerned about, like, national security agency
kind of data recovery techniques, where they’ve got thousands of our dollars
ready to focus on a problem like this, drilling the hole through the disk is
absolutely going to render it effectively useless.
After you’ve done that. one of the things I might suggest you do before
donating the machine is remove the hard drive and leave it out of the machine.
Then donate the machine without a hard drive. Or, if you’re feeling charitable,
buy an inexpensive replacement hard drive that’s empty and put it in there.
But remove the hard drive; drill some holes in it; run it through
electronics recycling (so that you’re not polluting a landfill somewhere) and
you’ll be just fine.
Next from Answercast #16 –
Will deleting games free up more space on my hard drive?