Author Topic: Disposing old laptops  (Read 643 times)

Blazer

  • One too many mornings and a thousand miles behind
Disposing old laptops
« on: November 26, 2018, 04:14:47 pm »
Hi,

I'm hoping for some advice.

I have two laptops and a netbook which are surplus to requirements.  They still function but very slowly so have been replaced.

I'd like to securely dispose of the 3 devices but want to cleanse the data first.  I'm not that computer literate so I'm asking if there is an easy and free way for me to wipe my data so the machines can be disposed of?

Thanks in advance

Blazer

Re: Disposing old laptops
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2018, 04:22:08 pm »
Disposal of data? Well I know that Government sites us a service in the North East somewhere which puts hard drives through a shredder...
HAving been to one or two VERY Secure sites where if you took a hard drive off site you would likely be marched off at gunpoint...

For normal people like us there are bootable USB sticks which will run an erase pass over hard drives several times.
See   https://dban.org/

Re: Disposing old laptops
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2018, 07:13:08 pm »
I just smash the hard drive with a sledge hammer before taking to the tip.

Blazer

  • One too many mornings and a thousand miles behind
Re: Disposing old laptops
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2018, 08:05:19 pm »
Thanks both,

I have considered the hammer direct approach followed by a trip to the tip and think that might be the 'safest' option

Cheers

Ben T

  • What you saying, then?
Re: Disposing old laptops
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2018, 08:08:09 pm »
Smashing a hard drive with a hammer won't guarantee to render it completely impossible to get the data.
It will almost certainly render it very difficult, and might render it impossible, but what if you just smashed the outer casing, and the platters remained intact?
An SSD is even more likely to be able to retain the data, as it's solid state - no moving parts.

No, your best bet is to bring it to the boil in a pan of salt water and simmer for at least 24 hours.
Unless you put on overalls, boots, and a helmet with a high tech pre fitted lamp - and you dig coal - nope, you don't know me.

Re: Disposing old laptops
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2018, 08:59:48 pm »
If you just make it very hard, then leave it in the rain for a bit it’s likely that the data isn’t worth extracting. Of course, you may have important and useful data that is worth the effort for someone, but then you probably couldn’t tell us:)

Morat

  • I tried to HTFU but something went ping :(
Re: Disposing old laptops
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2018, 09:07:32 pm »
I used to zap them in the microwave first, just enough to get the electronics sparking. I doubt it does much to the platters but it'll stop the thing spinning up properly. Then you can smash it! Of course, they're quite robust...
Tandem Stoker, CX bike abuser (slicks and tarmac) and owner of a sadly neglected MTB.

Re: Disposing old laptops
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2018, 09:10:01 pm »
No, your best bet is to bring it to the boil in a pan of salt water and simmer for at least 24 hours.

I can't think what this would do to either a hard disk or SSD to guarantee the data was destroyed.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Disposing old laptops
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2018, 09:12:30 pm »
A couple of passes with DBAN is probably more secure than hitting it with a hammer.

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Disposing old laptops
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2018, 10:07:09 pm »
Last time we had to do this, I took the cover off, connected it to a power supply, and dragged the tip of a screwdriver across the platter as it spun.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Vince

  • Can't climb; won't climb
Re: Disposing old laptops
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2018, 10:26:09 pm »
I had to dispose of a few disc a couple of years ago. I took the cover off the drive and extracted the platters. I put each in a vice and hit it with a hammer. The first just bent and was folded in half. The second and third shattered in to thousands of pieces of glass.
216km from Marsh Gibbon

Re: Disposing old laptops
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2018, 11:03:22 pm »
The pointy end of a pickaxe works well.

Re: Disposing old laptops
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2018, 10:27:26 am »
Remember to write "Bitcoin Backup" on the remains of the drive when taking it to the tip.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Disposing old laptops
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2018, 10:46:13 am »
Some years ago when I was working as a general IT dogsbody, my boss asked me to destroy a whole bunch of his boss's hard drives. I didn't really know how to do it the correct way (ie overwriting all the data multiple times) so I drove a bunch of 6 inch nails through them with a lump hammer and chucked them in a skip. Six months later, the boss man was in prison for fraud. He was such a twat, I was glad to be of assistance to his arrest and imprisonment  :P

If you really want to destroy a hard drive - or indeed any kind of drive, get an angle grinder and fuck it up so much that it's just a pile of dust....

Edit: Do remember your PPE though, as all that porn dust can get messy...
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Disposing old laptops
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2018, 01:15:48 pm »
I like using the magnets out of the drives for magnet stuff.

Blazer

  • One too many mornings and a thousand miles behind
Re: Disposing old laptops
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2018, 02:21:02 pm »
Thanks everyone,

Much appreciated  :thumbsup:

Valiant

  • aka Sam
    • Radiance Audio
Re: Disposing old laptops
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2018, 01:28:37 pm »
Ooh ooh take the magnets out of the drives, the platters also make nice coasters. Btw any chance you might be willing to snap the screens off and post them if they are LED lit? I can cover cost. I have a few project ideas that require led backlights.
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