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Author: Subject: The best way to physically destroy an hard disk
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[*] posted on 13-7-2014 at 15:40


Just fire a few rounds into it, or open the case and scratch it with anything. You could also put the disks in the microwave... a bit less dramatic than explosives but it will get the job done. The old way that the ORNL complex disposed of old drives was just to shoot them several times with a rifle :)



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[*] posted on 14-7-2014 at 01:05


Are you speaking about workable or not workable hdd? If you use full HDD enscryption, after that format it and 5 or 6 times write noise on it you doesnt need to worry about safety i think. But its better to use HDD not at all, use Tiles on sd card for dangerous info.
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[*] posted on 14-7-2014 at 09:37


What does the hard disk drive physically consist of? Inside the metal shell?

Spindles, reader heads et cetera are not awfully important. Assume that whoever is working at the remains of the hard disk drive is using professional hardware to seek for fragments of information on the non-obliterated sections of the disc. Then what?

What is the magnetic material carrying the information? Cobalt what?

And what does the disk consist of that rotates under the read-write head?
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[*] posted on 14-7-2014 at 09:42


I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Thermite, cheap and fast and also effective.
Just keep a spare 500 gram bag hanging around for when the cops come knocking.
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[*] posted on 14-7-2014 at 09:49


Quote: Originally posted by aldofad  
Yes you read correctly. Acides, explosive or thermites. I' m seeking the best way. The best is that wich leaves no traces.
I' ll try to realize to best way.

Cheers,
aldo

First reply to the topic, emphasis mine




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[*] posted on 14-7-2014 at 09:54


Apologies, didn't notice that, just skim read.

Also, is english your first language?
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[*] posted on 14-7-2014 at 10:05


Um, mine or his?
Also, why does it matter?




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[*] posted on 14-7-2014 at 10:08


Quote: Originally posted by Manifest  
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Thermite, cheap and fast and also effective.
Just keep a spare 500 gram bag hanging around for when the cops come knocking.


You need an optimum amount. Too little and it does not destroy the whole drive - too much, and it takes too much space inside the computer. Oh, and too conspicuous fire inside the computer, too.

Also: does your optimal thermite composition depend on whether your disc platter is aluminum (melts at 660 degrees, oxidizable) or glass/ceramic?

Does a hard disc stay readable all the way to Curie temperature, and what is it?
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[*] posted on 14-7-2014 at 10:47


Yours, I find it hard to understand what you're saying sometimes.
For example:
Quote:

Yes you read correctly. Acides, explosive or thermites. I' m seeking the best way. The best is that wich leaves no traces.
I' ll try to realize to best way.


Acides is a simple typo, the sentence became kind of broken when you said explosive, it should be plural and it should be 'and thermites' you also need to add in what that answer was in reference to, as I didn't really understand what you meant by that.
Seeking the best way to what?

I'm not trying to insult, I just feel that people could understand you better if you write in complete english.
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[*] posted on 14-7-2014 at 10:51


"The best is that which leaves no traces."
No chance.
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[*] posted on 14-7-2014 at 10:52


That wasn't me. If you look carefully, you would notice that I was quoting a different member, aldofad.



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[*] posted on 14-7-2014 at 11:36


How was that not you? Did you not type that reply?
I can't read your replies as they don't make sense, it doesn't matter if you were quoting someone or not.

@chornedsnorkack
Haha I didn't intend on fitting the thermite inside the computer chasis, it would be much more practical to leave it open and simply lift the harddrive out, go outside, place bag of thermite on top of hard drive and light.
I want the drive wiped, I don't want my house burned down in the process lol
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[*] posted on 14-7-2014 at 11:41


Quote: Originally posted by Manifest  
How was that not you? Did you not type that reply?
I can't read your replies as they don't make sense, it doesn't matter if you were quoting someone or not.


Zts was quoting a post from somebody else and was simply showing you what had been stated earlier in this thread.

All of Zts' comments make perfect sense to me, and I have never had an issue understanding what he is attempting to explain.

You should go to the first page of this thread and read the posts, you will see that Zts was not the individual that posted the comment that you had an issue with understanding.

[Edited on 7-14-2014 by SirViking]




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[*] posted on 14-7-2014 at 11:46


Whoops, I assumed zts16 was the same poster as the first reply, aldofad.
Apologies zts, your comments make perfect sense to me aswell.


Can we get back on topic anyway?

[Edited on 14-7-2014 by Manifest]
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[*] posted on 14-7-2014 at 13:10


Sure. My friend has successfully tested a hard-drive melting program... scary...



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[*] posted on 14-7-2014 at 13:37


As Cheddite Cheese said earlier, use an overwrite program, like Darik's Boot and Nuke:

http://www.dban.org/

But thermite is always a good idea; as would thermate or a melting furnace, like MrHomeScientist made. Disassembing and smashing the platters to bits also works.




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[*] posted on 14-7-2014 at 14:01


Quote: Originally posted by Brain&Force  
As Cheddite Cheese said earlier, use an overwrite program, like Darik's Boot and Nuke:

http://www.dban.org/

But thermite is always a good idea; as would thermate or a melting furnace, like MrHomeScientist made. Disassembing and smashing the platters to bits also works.


I believe it can still be recovered although it is incredibly difficult, data needs to be overwritten for data to be truly removed and bad sectors will always have data written on them.
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[*] posted on 14-7-2014 at 14:08


Quote: Originally posted by Manifest  


@chornedsnorkack
Haha I didn't intend on fitting the thermite inside the computer chasis, it would be much more practical to leave it open and simply lift the harddrive out, go outside, place bag of thermite on top of hard drive and light.
I want the drive wiped, I don't want my house burned down in the process lol


Well, that depends on whether you count on having the time to remove the harddrive and carry it out... rather than fitting the demolition charge inside the computer chassis and set it off inconspicuously when the computer is searched.

How much temperature is needed to reliably destroy magnetic memory?

The underlying platter is either aluminum, glass or ceramic.

Aluminum platter melts at 660 Celsius. And melting it into liquid would destroy the magnetic record on surface.
Glass and ceramic may be more resistant. They might be cracked and shattered by thermal stresses, or soften and bend, but this does not mean specially suited reader heads at low speeds cannot read magnetic records on the fragments.
Heating the magnet over its Curie temperature would destroy the magnetic record, but the Curie temperature of cobalt is as much as over 1100 Celsius.

But the magnetic covering of hard disc is supposed to be included in a multilayer coating. What do these layers consist of?
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[*] posted on 14-7-2014 at 14:40


I think you're going to add to your list of felonies when the cops are lifting and seizing your equipment and a bomb goes off inside the chassis taking hands off the cops.
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[*] posted on 14-7-2014 at 16:55



It would be easy to destroy a hard drive if hard drives were make out of nitrocellulose. Simply light one end, and FWOOOSH...gone. If this sounds absurd, well, that's because it is. What I'm saying, though, is if you want to destroy an object quickly, it makes sense to not make that object something that is difficult to destroy.

Big 5.25" hard drives have considerable mass, and trying to destroy one in your living room will either, A). Burn your house down with thermite. This is not really hypothetical. It WILL happen. Or, B). Destroy the hearing of both you and your little cat when your hard drive detonates unexpectedly (like while you're sitting there using the computer one day). You'll be sitting there surfing the web, and the cat will be sitting there licking herself, and then suddenly "BANG"!!! No fun.

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[*] posted on 14-7-2014 at 16:58


Quote: Originally posted by WGTR  
B). Destroy the hearing of both you and your little cat when your hard drive detonates unexpectedly (like while you're sitting there using the computer one day). You'll be sitting there surfing the web, and the cat will be sitting there licking herself, and then suddenly "BANG"!!! No fun.
That sounds like such a weird and specific story that it would have had to come out of personal experience...



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[*] posted on 14-7-2014 at 17:02


Yeah WGTR...... that was oddly specific....
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[*] posted on 14-7-2014 at 17:13


HA HA! No, I'm just waxing pathetic (poetic). That, and I've had way too much caffeine. Anyway, it's far better to keep your ambitions small. Try destroying SMALL things, like external uSD or USB cards. That way the whole mess can be contained in a small high-temp enclosure.

It often takes more to destroy something than you'd think. I was not surprised to see that the circuit boards were recovered almost intact from the incident in Boston. I've seen a 1lb shape charge go off right next to a circuit board, only to find the board 100 feet away, almost reusable. If portions of a hard drive platter are still recoverable, I can see the magnetic patterns when mounting it up in an SEM. Certainly a dedicated lab could read data off of that.

[Edited on 7-15-2014 by WGTR]
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[*] posted on 14-7-2014 at 17:27


Yeah, I would advise against blowing up a hard drive. I don't know how good data recovery techniques are, but chances are some data can be recovered from undamaged fragments of the platters. Keep the temps high (you want to hit the Curie point and remove the magnetism of the platters), and you want to ensure the platters end up in very small pieces or melted. Thermite or melting the HDD itself does this. (I would recommend thermite though.)



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[*] posted on 14-7-2014 at 17:53


In a situation where you don't have much time, and if you really wanted to go far, you could build a hidden enclosed high-temp furnace to throw the hard drive into. If that's not enough you could possibly make a device that lets you connect an electrode to each end, then puts a high-voltage current through it prior to putting it in the furnace.



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