Hard Disk Drive Destruction: 4 Common Ways to do it

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Hard disk drives are often destroyed to make the stored information unreadable. There are good and bad ways to destroy hard disks. Common ways to destroy hard drives include shredding, degaussing, disintegration, and crushing/mangling.

Degaussing

This term is commonly mentioned during the process of data wiping. It wipes away data by passing a hard disk drive through electromagnetic pulses or magnetic fields in a closed chamber. While degaussing a hard disk can be effective, it isn’t always a foolproof method as demagnetization may fail to reach every platter or part. Thus, a two-step process of destruction is strongly recommended. Also, degaussing chambers are expensive and often need special training, which makes it unrealistic for small to medium-size companies. Learn more about data security, go here.

Shredding

Just like office paper shredders that tear paper into shreds, hard disk drive shredders have strong blades that help shred hard disks into tiny strips such that it’s almost impossible to piece them back together. While a hard disk shredder can destroy various drive types and sizes, from a few thousand to one at a go, it’s typically bulky, heavy and normally requires a reliable AC power source to operate. Depending on the kind, a shredder can be used to destroy hard drives, electronic organizers, smartphones, PDAs and other storage media. They’re definitely unsuitable for office environments. You can get more info here.

Disintegration

Disintegrators are normally used by companies that handle highly classified data and use a rotary knife as well as conveyor belt to rip hard drives into unrecognizable bits that cannot be joined back together. While very efficient, disintegrators are heavy and bulky too, and need special reliable AC power supply to operate. They also may need ventilation outside, which is highly likely to be controlled by state, local or federal authorities. Similar to a shredder, a disintegrator is definitely not suitable for an office setting.

Crushing/Mangling

This method is extremely cost-effective for small and mid-size firms that can’t afford to buy or lease expensive hard disk shredders and degaussers.

Crushers/manglers destroy hard disks by using enormous pressure that mangles the platter and crushes the chassis, rendering the hard disk practically unreadable. Crushers or manglers are sold either as hand or electric-powered.

Hand-driven devices come with a handle that’s hydraulically operated to make a strong steel plate crush the chassis and drive. Some crushers may load 1-2 disks at a time, based on your company’s needs and don’t require much training to operate. Conversely, electrically-powered crushes may be dearer and can require a little maintenance and minimal physical interaction. Both varieties are completely enclosed in a casing and have chambers that allow safe use. There are also small sizes that can be operated on a desktop. Take a look at this link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_Shredder for more information.

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