Is a crashed hard drive secure?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ManhattanPrjct, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. ManhattanPrjct macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2008
    I swapped out my stock 160GB HDD for a 500GB WD HDD a year ago and put the old HDD into an enclosure. I guess I didn't screw it in tight enough and after jostling around a move or two, I just plugged it in to clear the clicking sound of a crashed drive. I can't even mount it onto my computer, so I pretty sure it's gone.

    My question is: I was about to take it to Best Buy to put in their electronic recycling bin, when I wondered if whatever data that was on there is secure, and if there's another step I should be taking before disposing of it properly.
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    If someone were to send the drive to a data recovery service they would remove the platter from the drive and place in to a working drive. The only way to be 100% secure is to physically destroy the drive, cut it up with a band saw or a welding torch.

    There is a fluid you can put on the magnetic media and it gets darker or lighter depending on the direction of the field. If someone used this and a microscope they could read the bits and hand transcribe the data from fragments of the sawed up platter.

    I would not worry, no one will bother.
  3. ManhattanPrjct thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2008
    I guess I should ask the obvious question: if I can't mount it and I hear the clicking, it is more or less gone, isn't it?

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