Old Hard Disk Disposal

Oldmanmac

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 31, 2012
445
14
Edmond, OK
Hard disks keep getting bigger and bigger. How do you dispose of the older, smaller ones? Can't drill a hole into it.
 

murphychris

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2012
661
1
While this article on ATA Secure Erase is for SSD, it works for HDD as well.

The gist is that Secure Erase is a feature of drives since ~2000. It's a firmware based erasure so it will work faster, and it's more thorough in that all sectors on the disk are subject to erasure, not just the ones with LBAs (many do not have LBAs as they are reserved as bad sectors with latent data, or as replacement sectors). It's unfortunate we don't have this option in Disk Utility, it's necessary to use Linux to do this. You can use a Fedora 17 Live CD, which I think has hdparm on it - if not 'yum install hdparm' and it will be installed (even when booted from the CD).

Does not work through most USB/FW bridge chipsets, so more than likely you need it directly connected to a SATA bus.
 

paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,960
120
Bash it with a hammer, you'll hear the platters shatter.
This....

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While this article on ATA Secure Erase is for SSD, it works for HDD as well.

The gist is that Secure Erase is a feature of drives since ~2000. It's a firmware based erasure so it will work faster, and it's more thorough in that all sectors on the disk are subject to erasure, not just the ones with LBAs (many do not have LBAs as they are reserved as bad sectors with latent data, or as replacement sectors). It's unfortunate we don't have this option in Disk Utility, it's necessary to use Linux to do this. You can use a Fedora 17 Live CD, which I think has hdparm on it - if not 'yum install hdparm' and it will be installed (even when booted from the CD).

Does not work through most USB/FW bridge chipsets, so more than likely you need it directly connected to a SATA bus.
and a little of this as well....
 

carestudio

macrumors 6502
Aug 6, 2008
457
56
Hard disks keep getting bigger and bigger. How do you dispose of the older, smaller ones? Can't drill a hole into it.
why dispose it? you can use all the old drives as JBOD disk. get a eSATA dock or IDE dock and keep using them :)
save the resource and save this Earth.
 

WesCole

macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2010
756
12
Texas
why dispose it? you can use all the old drives as JBOD disk. get a eSATA dock or IDE dock and keep using them :)
save the resource and save this Earth.
I agree with this. I have several hard drives that I am not currently using sitting around since I don't have enough enclosures for them all. Maybe one day when Thunderbolt drive enclosures go down in price I will start using them again.
 

Oldmanmac

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 31, 2012
445
14
Edmond, OK
"why dispose it? you can use all the old drives as JBOD disk. get a eSATA dock or IDE dock and keep using them save the resource and save this Earth."

OR physically destroy the drive........

I was curious about the physical disposal of the drives as well.
After smashing them with a hammer, do you just throw them into the trash?

I'm wanting to have LESS clutter on my desk , hence not reusing them.
 

Mumford

macrumors regular
Oct 8, 2006
181
2
Altadena, CA
why dispose it? you can use all the old drives as JBOD disk. get a eSATA dock or IDE dock and keep using them :)
save the resource and save this Earth.
There's a reason that these are my old disks and not my current disks. Either they've started to fail, or they're too small to be useful. Disposal, for me, means sending to a reuse/recycling center, not chucking into the trash. So there's no worries about saving the Earth.
 

robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,331
243
You'll need a much bigger drive if you want to save the Earth to it....

Physical destruction is secure enough, and much quicker. Electronic recyclers will take the drives in my experience. You could also remove the controller (usually held on with a few screws); they might recycle that separately.

Macsales sells a Newer Technology universal drive cable. I have used stuff like that with some very old disks to make bootable Linux, DOS and/or XP drives. Come in handy sometimes. Linux in particular. For example some of the hard drive utilities for erasing run off Linux drives.

Rob
 

murphychris

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2012
661
1
Disposal, for me, means sending to a reuse/recycling center, not chucking into the trash.
I am curious if an HDD recycling facility has a preference on the state of the drive they receive? Do they prefer a drive without holes or do they not care?

Drilling a hole or two in a drive is faster than Secure Erase, and for all practical purposes are the same. So if the recycler doesn't care about holes, pick the easiest method for you.
 

Mr. Retrofire

macrumors 603
Mar 2, 2010
5,040
451
www.emiliana.cl/en
Old Hard Disk Disposal?
Professionals use probably special heat sources like thermite (heat destroys magnetic information). I would open the HDD with the appropriate screwdriver (or another suitable tool), then i would cover the printed circuit board (PCB) and the platters with 1-2 pounds(s) iron oxide based thermite. The generated heat should destroy the information on the PCB and on the platters of the HDD.
 

carestudio

macrumors 6502
Aug 6, 2008
457
56
If you really want to dispose it. You do not have to "destroy it". It would only take you 10 to 15 minutes to take it apart. Look at the bottom of the drive, unscrew them, remove the PCB board, take out some screws again, and open the HDD case, there are platters inside, you can then break the platters. The rest of components can be reused by Hard disk companies I believe.

Gosh, they should offer a recycle program. Sending back each HDD case and motor and get 10 dollars credit or something. This is to save the Earth :)
 

ThePreditor

macrumors member
Aug 2, 2012
40
0
I take my power drill and drill a few holes through the case and into the platters
Exactly this. That or a solid magnetic degausser.

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H2o will do the trick, just submerge it in a bucket
Nope, not unless there's power running through it. There's a possibility the platters will rust and corrupt, and removing the controller isn't 100% secure either but the best way is physical shattering or destruction, which is why I drill through any old drive I'm ditching.