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Notices, Help With Problems and Your Forum Ideas... => Computer Help => Topic started by: Buffin on August 18, 2020, 08:18:20 PM

Title: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: Buffin on August 18, 2020, 08:18:20 PM
Our old all-in-one PC (upgraded to W10) kept hanging, so we bit the bullet and replaced it with a Dell, which is whizzing along nicely  :thumbsup:

We don't just want to dump the old one at the tip, being conscious that there's possibly still stuff on the hard disc (though I've overwritten whatever I could find).

I can't see how to break open the case to get the HD out. Any advice, please, on what to do with the HD to make it secure?

Thanks, and apologies for the laymanspeak.
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: class37025 on August 18, 2020, 08:19:20 PM
sledgehammer  :smiley-laughing:
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: emjaybee on August 18, 2020, 08:26:16 PM
Similar to @class37025 (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=311) , but with a twist...

...claw hammer.

Easier to wield, claw helps get into the case, and once in, give the hard drive a good work over with the claws.


Oh yes, in case you're wondering, no, I'm NOT joking.
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: chrism on August 18, 2020, 08:29:58 PM
Once I've got an old/dead HD out of the machine I take the HD drive apart.
Over the years I've acquired a handy collection of round mirrors for seeing awkwardly located things - and an eclectic collection of very odd-shaped fridge magnets  :D
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: ntpntpntp on August 18, 2020, 09:03:21 PM
Yes, smash the discs up with the largest lumphammer you can get hold of.   

I had to do eight of the things out of one system once.
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: Philip. on August 18, 2020, 09:07:00 PM
another vote for the big hammer  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: Dorsetmike on August 18, 2020, 09:08:53 PM
I only bin a hard disc when it's broke, otherwise I remove from the old PC and either install as an additional disc in the new PC, or mount it in an external drive case. You can use it as additional storage or as a back up.

To open a PC undo screws on the back to remove the side plates
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: grumbeast on August 18, 2020, 09:11:05 PM
For my money, I tend to use a drill with a nice HSS bit, three or four holes through the case and the plattens and your done :)

Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: ShakyZZR on August 18, 2020, 09:14:56 PM
If you don't want to physically destroy the HDD and can remove it, install it in your current machine as a secondary drive, open a command prompt and run:-

format d: /fs:NTFS /p:1 where "d" is the name windows has assigned to the secondary drive. This basically overwrites every sector of the HDD with zeros.

It's an urban myth that you need to overwrite a squillion times, once does it, as long as it's done properly.
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: LASteve on August 18, 2020, 09:43:53 PM
If you're going to dump it, hammer. Don't believe the internet trolls that tell you that the FBI and Interpol will piece it all together and then arrest you for being part of the vast worldwide n-gauge conspiracy. They've already taken brain scans when you're using your phone, so they've got all they need on you anyway :)

Seriously, a hammer. I've done it myself a couple of times, and it's very cathartic if it was the drive that went bad on you.

Then you might like to take the computer and what's left of the hard drive to a recycling place that takes electronics and dead batteries rather than just dump it though, there's some toxic stuff in there that's not good for what's left of the planet.
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: chrism on August 18, 2020, 09:48:01 PM
Then you might like to take the computer and what's left of the hard drive to a recycling place that takes electronics and dead batteries rather than just dump it though, there's some toxic stuff in there that's not good for what's left of the planet.

Plus useful stuff that can be recovered to save digging up more.
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: emjaybee on August 18, 2020, 10:48:06 PM
If you're going to dump it, hammer. Don't believe the internet trolls that tell you that the FBI and Interpol will piece it all together and then arrest you for being part of the vast worldwide n-gauge conspiracy. They've already taken brain scans when you're using your phone, so they've got all they need on you anyway :)

Seriously, a hammer. I've done it myself a couple of times, and it's very cathartic if it was the drive that went bad on you.

Then you might like to take the computer and what's left of the hard drive to a recycling place that takes electronics and dead batteries rather than just dump it though, there's some toxic stuff in there that's not good for what's left of the planet.

Wot 'e said.

Reduce - reuse - recycle.

Sorry, omitted a step...

Reduce - reuse - beat the crap out of - recycle.

 :D
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: themadhippy on August 19, 2020, 12:19:22 AM
couple of pounds of nitro glycerine should sort it,much less effort than hammering. Or boot from a linux live disc and run the dd command,you could then install a lightweight linux distro and use it as a second machine
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: EtchedPixels on August 19, 2020, 12:17:21 PM
There isn't actually a lot you can do without access. I keep them in the basement for some years when they become inaccessible and then chuck them.

If you can access the drive use a hard disk tool of some kind (I don't know what WIndows offers for this) that issues the secure erase commands. That's the only documented safe way to erase a drive. Overwriting files may or may not work because the disks don't necessarily use the same bit of disk when you overwrite as it did for the original. The secure erase commands actually tell the drive to do a full erase and were added precisely to deal with disposal/recycling for re-use.

The reality though is that without some specialist knowledge and/or effort smashing the circuit board on it is probably enough. Someone is not going to go around all the disks at the tip fitting new circuit boards just in case - not unless you've upset a government or the illuminati 8)

Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: Ted on August 19, 2020, 02:04:17 PM
Jesus.

What are you lot trying to hide?

:D
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: Railwaygun on August 19, 2020, 02:15:58 PM
Windows 10 has a utility called Diskpart. you can access it via the Search bar on the bottpm

use "list disk" to see the pC disks and "sele X" to select disk X

it has a command - "Clean" which deletes all disk partitions on X or "Clean All" which deletes all partitions and writes 0's in every sector on X

or several disk wiper utilities available on web to make a bootable wipe disk (Boot'n NUke is good)

Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: zwilnik on August 19, 2020, 02:22:32 PM
Jesus.

What are you lot trying to hide?

:D

Usually bank account details and logins, cloud account passwords, names and addresses, basically anything that can be used to steal your identity or money. Also things like confidential email and work files.

Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: Ted on August 19, 2020, 02:28:41 PM
Jesus.

What are you lot trying to hide?

:D

Usually bank account details and logins, cloud account passwords, names and addresses, basically anything that can be used to steal your identity or money. Also things like confidential email and work files.

Sorry, I was being facetious!
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: javlinfaw7 on August 19, 2020, 02:28:59 PM
I once visited a company that recycled  computers  for the police and NHS they had a programme that wiped discs completely  and the computets  were sold on ,however  if the device had been involved in a crime it was striped in a secure room and the disc physical  shredded.  Phones and tablets went in whole and made a satisfying crunching sound
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: emjaybee on August 19, 2020, 02:30:06 PM
Once we're out of the current craziness you're welcome to bring said disc up to mine and we'll have a cuppa whilst smacking rifle rounds through it.

 :D
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: keithfre on August 19, 2020, 02:41:18 PM
I agree with Mike. With an HDD docking station you can use the hard drive as an external drive, which is jolly useful for making backups (data and/or system) that are less likely to become corrupted, as once they're disconnected they can't be attacked by viri  :)
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: emjaybee on August 19, 2020, 02:44:17 PM
Jesus.

What are you lot trying to hide?

:D

If they told you that, then surely this thread would be moot.

 :confused2:
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: ntpntpntp on August 19, 2020, 02:45:09 PM
Jesus.

What are you lot trying to hide?

:D

Evidence of how many locos and rolling stock we actually have and what we really paid for them  :D
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: Ted on August 19, 2020, 02:46:35 PM
Jesus.

What are you lot trying to hide?

:D

Evidence of how many locos and rolling stock we actually have and what we really paid for them  :D

My girlfriends response to my outlay?

"Well I need a new car..."

So, yes. Destroy all evidence is the MO!
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: Mr Sprue on August 19, 2020, 08:27:07 PM
Garden incinerator!

But seriously I have to destroy any paperwork that have my customers details on (Data protection act) Don't trust shredders as people with time on their hands that are good with jigsaw puzzles can put pieces back together! so I burn it.

its not a big heap to cause annoyance to my neighbours (after 7 pm)  I had a couple of old hard with drives with business data on them that I chucked in there while the paper was burning.

Next morning when I emptied the incinerator blobs of alloy that were once molten from the hard drives and also chard shells.

Beats hammers!  ;)
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: joe cassidy on August 20, 2020, 12:26:11 PM
The Bank of England, or maybe the Royal Mint, must surely have machines that can destroy coins withdrawn from circulation ?

Give them a ring
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: emjaybee on August 20, 2020, 12:42:43 PM
The Bank of England, or maybe the Royal Mint, must surely have machines that can destroy coins withdrawn from circulation ?

Give them a ring

I believe it's a honking great smelter.

 :D
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: Jon898 on August 20, 2020, 01:14:21 PM
If you go the hammer route, remember to wear safety glasses as the silicon disc will shatter into pieces that are very sharp and travel a surprising distance.

Jon
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: class37025 on August 20, 2020, 02:13:23 PM
ideally also wrap it in cloth or thick polythene, then HIT it  :smiley-laughing:
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: ntpntpntp on August 20, 2020, 03:22:02 PM
If you go the hammer route, remember to wear safety glasses as the silicon disc will shatter into pieces that are very sharp and travel a surprising distance.

Jon
Very true, though I find there's no need to open the drive case - just bash a 6" nail through it  :D
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: Dorsetmike on August 20, 2020, 04:49:24 PM
What a waste, destroying a hard disc; when you get the new PC get one with an SSD say 256Gb to use only for software, install the old hard disc and use it for storing data, images, music etc. The SSD gives you a faster machine but a large SSD costs more, so use the old disc for the data which is not so dependant on speed.
Both my PCs came with 256Gb SSDs and I installed 2Tb hard discs from older machines, my laptop has a 125Gb SSD and a 500Gb external drive, plus I have a couple more External drives one is image back up, the other video and music back up.
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: ntpntpntp on August 20, 2020, 05:11:04 PM
Not really a waste when it's an old low capacity disc that's been running for many years and is likely to fail in the near future anyway. They do have a finite lifetime.

Totally agree it's worth re-using reasonably new discs of reasonable capacity. I have a couple of old discs now sitting in external drive enclosures.  They don't get used much nowadays though, as I use a Network Attached Storage drive (NAS) for centralised storage of data and media (and as a printer server).  The NAS is easy to access from any of our household PCs and TVs, and easy to back-up.

Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: guest8885 on August 29, 2020, 01:06:36 PM
a large magnet should wipe it
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: guest8885 on August 29, 2020, 05:28:09 PM
a large magnet can do it or can be used as a lump hammer
Title: Re: Wiping a hard disc before we dump our old PC
Post by: Woodenhead on August 29, 2020, 06:17:16 PM
If you can get past the 6 layers of physical security at their data centres, Google have some rather good machines that can destroy a hard drive in seconds.
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