Five Effective Methods for Destroying Your Hard Drives


Mar 02, 2020

Methods For Destroying Your Hard Drives - eCycle Solutions

Many e-waste products end up in landfills, even though most of them can be recycled via electronic waste recycling services. In any event, when it comes to hard drives, you shouldn’t just throw them out, as cybercriminals can still recover the data found within.

Stolen or mishandled data can also quickly become a PR nightmare for companies. This can cause their shareholders to lose confidence in their enterprise, leading to lost profits and other serious issues. Fortunately, there are many different ways to destroy your hard drives, and we have outlined the five most effective data destruction methods below.


A quick and easy way to facilitate data destruction is to destroy the platter of your hard drive by drilling several holes into the drive. That is, by destroying the platter, you can rest assured that no one will be able to retrieve any of the data from the drive. As an added benefit, you won’t have to utilize any complicated machines to get the job done. As for how to drill into the drive, you can either use a nail gun or a hammer to drive a nail into the unit, or you can use a hand drill to destroy the drive.


Many larger organizations that need to get rid of a plethora of highly sensitive intel will take the disintegration route to make sure the job gets done right the first time. A state-of-the-art machine is known as a “disintegrator” is employed. Each disintegrator unit contains a knife and conveyor system that will slice and dice a hard drive into a myriad of minute particles.

As such, cybercriminals and other such parties will be unable to retrieve the data on the drives because the pieces will be so disintegrated that it will be impossible to reassemble them. However, disintegration, while highly effective at data destruction, has a few cons.

For instance, the machines cannot be used in a typical home or office because they require quite a bit of ventilation in order to not harm homeowners or office personnel. Also, disintegrators have certain electrical requirements that may be hard to meet, such as needing a three-phase 220 volt in order to function. They are also very heavy and rather cumbersome.


Yet another very popular method to destroy hard drives involves hard drive shredding. In order to properly shred a hard drive, the drive must be run through a top-of-the-line apparatus known as a shredder. The shredder will cut up the hard drive into multiple small pieces.

Furthermore, given the fact that hard drives house their information on a platter, shredding the drive into a plethora of tiny pieces will ensure that the hard drive and its data will be rendered completely useless.

Interestingly, there are also shredders in the industry that have the ability to compress the particles that have been shredded into a more compact form so that they can be conveniently disposed of.

However, if you are contemplating shredding each and every hard drive yourself, we would recommend that you avoid doing so. This is because shredding drives will release a myriad of contaminants into the atmosphere that can make you very ill if inhaled. Also, compactors and shredding machines are not cheap, so we would recommend that you turn to a third party to do all of the shredding and compacting for you.


In order to melt a hard drive, you will need to douse the unit in some corrosive acid to destroy its housing and platter. However, while melting drives is a very effective way of destroying data, it is also quite dangerous. This is because melting hard drives involves nitric as well as hydrochloric acid, which will adversely affect virtually any compound known to science. It also has a negative impact on the ecosystem.

As a result, if you want to take the melting route, then you will need to wear highly protective gear from head to toe, as the acids can burn your skin if you are not careful. Given all of the possible dangers involved with melting hard drives, we would not recommend melting as your number one choice for data destruction, despite its marked effectiveness.


Last, but certainly not least, some enterprises or individuals will turn to degaussing once their hard drives have worn out their welcome. In order to degauss a drive, you will need to use a leading edge apparatus known as a degausser.

For those unaware, a degausser utilizes a very powerful magnetic force in order to scramble the platter on the unit completely. As a result, no one will be able to read or use the hard drive.

The degaussing method will change the magnetic direction of the unit, which is highly relevant, as information is stored on hard drives via magnetic principles. Still, despite its effectiveness at rendering hard drives obsolete, it does have two issues that are worth noting.

The first is its price. As degaussers are quite expensive, we would not recommend them unless you need to destroy drives on a routine basis. Moreover, there is quite a bit of knowhow that is needed to use a degausser. Unless you are willing to get the training required to effectively use a degausser or are willing to hire someone to supervise the use of the machine, degaussing may not be the best solution for your business.

eCycle Solutions

Given the expenses and risks involved with proper data destruction, most experts agree that turning to a reputable and certified data destruction enterprise serves as the quintessential solution. At eCycle Solutions, we provide cutting edge data destruction and online reporting services.

In addition, we can also destroy and recycle your hard drives so that all of your personal data will be eliminated without compromise. To learn more about our asset disposition services, please visit our website. You can also contact us at 888-945-2611 for any inquires about our data destruction or electronic waste recycling services.

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