Four Methods to Dispose of a Hard Drive Safely

Safely disposing of technology is a challenge in today’s era because many recovery methods can allow cybercriminals to retrieve and use your data. Furthermore, your business and the clients you work with are also at risk as their confidentiality is on the line.

To ensure that the data is disposed of properly, there are some methods to destroy a hard drive.

Methods to Destroy a Hard Drive

Hard Drive Shredding

Shredding is the best and most frequently used technique to dispose of a hard drive completely. A hard drive shredder works as a mechanical tool with razor-sharp blades to destroy every layer of the hard drive making fine particles of it. The shredder eliminates it so that it is impossible to find every piece of plastic and metal to rejoin it.

The benefits of going with a hard drive shredding firm are that it is a one-time payment and ensures that the data can never be physically assembled again. So, even if a genius hacker is out there, you need not worry about them stealing your data. Besides being cost-effective, it is a quick and convenient method to destroy a hard drive. You will need less than an hour for the whole process and get rid of the data safely.


The next technique you can use is the degaussing of a hard drive. The data on the drive is uploaded using a magnetic mechanism, so if you bring another magnet in its vicinity, then the two magnetic fields will collide, and the hard drive’s platter will be scrambled where the data is stored.

Not all magnets can generate the magnetic energy required to destroy a hard drive. A degausser is a very powerful magnet that scrambles your data to the point that it is inaccessible. However, since we are converting electrical energy to magnetic energy, the downside is that the energy utilized is high, making it an expensive method. Plus, the scrambled drive is just a piece of waste that occupies space.

Melting the Drive

Another method of hard drive destruction is using hydrochloric acid and nitric acid and putting hard drives in them. The mixture destroys every platter of the drive. However, playing with acids is very dangerous, especially with strong acids. One wrong slip and your hand can be in the mixture, or the mixture can fall on your feet. It will corrode your skin with the drive, so you must be careful.

Disintegration Technique

The disintegrators are large machines with a conveyor and blade knives to chop off a hard drive to destroy all the platters. However, these enormous machines need a ventilation system and space; having them in an office building is not feasible.

Wrapping It Up

After looking at all the methods, it is safe to say that a hard drive shredder is the best way to move forward. It is a cost-effective and relatively safest method to destroy data on a drive. If you live in the US, you may come across a hard drive shredding company that handles your case efficiently.