How to Destroy a Laptop Hard Drive

If you’re wondering why anyone would want to learn how to destroy a laptop hard drive, the answer is simple – the risk of information theft. We live in a dog-eat-dog world, where some people are ready to do anything in order to get easy money. Sometimes, that involves using methods which are entirely illegal, like stealing company’s classified data, for example.

But, it’s not only the business owners who should be aware of the danger. The same goes for those working for any organization that relies on the use of mobile devices. If the information from your laptop ends up in the wrong hands, the results could be disastrous. There is only one way to ensure that such a scenario doesn’t occur, and that is to destroy the hard drive, and the data ts contains.

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First, How a Laptop Hard Drive Works

You can think of your laptop’s hard drive as a sort of record player. It uses the binary system to record the data, which means that sequences of 1s and 0s are stored in blocks on a platter. The inner platter resembles a regular CD and can be made of different materials, including glass, ceramic, or aluminum.

The platter rotates around a spindle, while the head writes (and reads) data onto the platter with the help of electric current. There’s also an actuator involved in the process, keeping control of the whole operation.

Why Do Laptop Hard Drives Need to Be Destroyed Anyway?

You might think that completely destroying your laptop’s hard drive is too extreme. Perhaps there is a more sensible alternative? Unfortunately (and despite many commonly held beliefs) simply reformatting a hard drive is not sufficient to delete the data it contains. Hackers have advanced methods at their disposal which allow them to retrieve deleted data from literally any hard drive.

Even if you reinstall your operating system after reformatting the hard drive, you still won’t get rid of every bit of information stored on it. In fact, you will just delete the file names, while the data will remain somewhere on the disk.

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How to Destroy a Laptop Hard Drive with Water

As there’s no point of reformatting the hard drive to get rid of sensitive information, you’re probably wondering how to destroy a laptop hard drive. You would think that submerging it in water is bound to solve the problem, but that simply isn’t the case. The water will do little more than disable the electronic parts, but the data saved on the platters will stay intact. A forensic expert would have no problems recovering the data – it would just take a little more time than if the hard drive hadn’t been damaged by water.

Can Magnets Be Used to Destroy a Laptop Hard Drive?

If water is of no use when it comes to hard drive destruction, maybe the solution lies in magnets? Well, using magnets is definitely a much better option than trying to delete the data with water, but it’s still not completely reliable. You might have seen it working on TV, but in real life, things are a bit more complicated.

In order to delete all the data from your laptop’s hard drive, you would need a magnet so powerful that it could easily penetrate the protective steel sheathing. Still, even if you managed to find such a magnet, there is no guarantee that this method would work. If you want to be completely sure that the data is gone forever, you need to shred the platter.

For Your Own Safety, Avoid DIY Laptop Hard Drive Destruction Methods

The truth is that there are some DIY methods for destroying hard disks, but the problem is that all of them can be pretty dangerous. Bits of the hard drive might hit you, while there’s also the danger of inhaling dust particles or harmful chemicals that will get released along the way. So, in order to do it properly, you would need protective equipment, but even that can’t prevent creating a total mess in your home or office. A much better solution is to leave it to professionals.

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Hard Drive Shredding: The Only Foolproof Way to Destroy a Laptop Hard Drive

We, at Data Destruction Corporation, pride ourselves on using cutting-edge technology to provide on-site hard drive shredding services. Furthermore, our shredders are operated by highly-skilled technicians who are ready to come to your place whenever you need them. As a result, we’re able to get rid of your sensitive files on the spot, without any need for you to leave your premises. Once we’re done with it, information theft is no longer your concern.

To learn how to destroy a laptop hard drive properly, contact Data Destruction Corporation right away. And let us know in the comments below – have you ever tried DIY hard drive destruction methods? How did it work out?

References

How to Destroy a Hard Drive

How to Destroy a Hard Drive—Permanently

When Selling Or Trashing Your Laptop Or Its Hard Drive Take Care To Remove Your Personal Data

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