Destruction manual


I have an old hard drive that I want to get rid of. The only trouble is, I have no idea what’s on there or how sensitive the data might be. I don’t have any way to do a low-level format to erase it properly, since it’s an old drive with connectors you can’t even find these days. So my only other option is to physically destroy the device. But that’s easier said than done.

Sure, I’ve seen people destroy hard drives by taking them apart and smashing the platters with a hammer, or putting the platters into a microwave. But I really don’t feel like going all Office Space on the drive. Surely there’s a more elegant way to retire it without making such a mess.

I’ll probably do some research online before I resort to the crude solutions above. But I’ll leave you with this thought: companies that make data storage products like hard drives and USB storage keys should provide a recommended process for destroying the device and all its data. Eventually, everything reaches the end of its useful life, and it would be nice to have a simple and approved process for sending these devices into retirement.