ComTech: IT Support Stirling

What is the most innovative way you can think of to destroy a hard drive?

ComTech: IT Support Stirling

Something slightly different today.  I was talking to a fellow tech last week about the usual – tech issues, new gadgets on the market and so forth when the conservation got onto hard drives, specifically what is the most innovative way you know of to physically destroy a hard drive? So below is the list we came up with.

1. Whack it with a hammer.  This is a really good way to unwind after a stressful day in work and yes it does work.

2. Soak it in a sink full of washing up liquid.  Did this once to see if it would work and yes it does.

3. Run it over in the car.  Again the amount of damage an average car can do means the hard drive will never be used again.  The bigger the car the better!!

4. Shoot it with a gun (never tried this unfortunately but would guess a hard drive with a hole in it wouldn’t work again).

5. Install Windows on it (other guys suggestion and not mine!!)

6. Apply a magnet to the outside.

7. Flamethrower (this has been done by one guy I do know!!)

8. Use a grinder and turn it into dust.  This is a most satisfying way to destroy a hard drive having tried it once.

9. Drill a hole through the centre of the hard drive (works on the same principle as the gun method).

10. Drop it in a vat of acid.

That is what we came up with.  Do you have any ideas that we missed? If so please share!!

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

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5 thoughts on “What is the most innovative way you can think of to destroy a hard drive?

  1. I know of two hard drives that were walked off the raised floors they were sitting on. These were the big Winchester drives from the 80s. Operators discovered they could make the entire unit walk by alternating the head position in a controlled method forcing it to one side quickly and then slowly back to the other side. The fast movement would cause the drive unit to creep to that side. What they didn’t count on was having the power and control cables so long that they actually walked the drive unit off the side of the raised floor.

  2. Call a NAID AAA Certified professional and they will record all the serial numbers for you, and shred them, crush them, destroy them in all sorts of various ways for a great price. The key to destroying hard drives is to destroy the platters where the data resides. Just making the hard drive difficult to operate does not mean that the data is gone. Done correctly the data gets destroyed.

  3. Those are very innovative! Be careful with number 1, 3 and 9. If you smash it with a hammer place the drive in some freezer bags first to eliminate shards of metal and glass from going everywhere. Also a car may not do much damage to a hard drive. Drives are very durable on the sides so a car tire may not destroy the platters with the data on them. And of you drill into a drive be sure to do it off center. Drilling into the center of the drive may not be easy because the spindle could be tough to penetrate. All you need to do is look on YouTube and you can probably find videos of each one of these. How about feeding it to a Great White shark?

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