One of the last acts before you ship your old computer off to the recycling centre or depot is to try and clean your hard drive of all sensitive information. There is a small problem with that, however. It appears that once information or data gets on your hard drive, it never really comes off.

The experts are now telling us that there is no way to be guaranteed that your hard drive is clean, unless it is completely destroyed. That is a problem, especially if there is personal, confidential or financial information on that hard drive.

There are several main ways to get rid of a hard drive safely. You can do it yourself, hire a shearing company or a crushing service to not just clean up your old hard drive, but to obliterate it.

1. Do it yourself hard drive destruction

First, a few ways that won’t work to get rid of your problem. Don’t put the hard drive in a microwave, try to burn it, or put acid on it. They don’t completely erase the data on the hard drive. The safest and most effective way is to take hard drive out of the computer.

If you do not know how to do this, there are plenty of tutorials on the Internet. Remove the magnets that holds it in place and take out the hard drive and smash it as hard as you can with a hammer. Protect yourself with glasses or goggles and break the hard drive into as many small pieces as you can.

2. Have your hard drive crushed

Crushing your hard drive obliterates it and any information which has been stored on it. The process involves punching an irreparable hole through each hard drive with 7,500 lbs. of force pressure. All elements of the hard drive are completely destroyed in this manner.

Crushing the hard drive makes it permanently obsolete and any data is absolutely unrecoverable. Some document shredding companies offer this hard drive crushing service and they will provide a certificate of media destruction after each service and a guarantee of controlled access to your hard drive while it is in their possession.

3. Hire a company to shear your hard drive

You can hire a company that offers a shearing service to get rid of your hard drive. Many document shredding companies offer this type of service. They will pick up your hard drive and then shear it, destroying and recycling all appropriate materials from your hard drive. The process itself involves slicing your hard drive into small pieces using 40,000 lbs. of destructive force.

At the end, this destroys the drive platters, mechanisms, and all of the electronic components of the hard drive. If you use a reputable paper shredding company, they will even provide you with a certificate of destruction and guarantee that all information on your hard drive has been completely destroyed or erased. That could come in handy later in the case of any dispute about this information.

4. Ensure your company information is protected


For business people, that’s a particularly worrisome issue. Our social media posts might be embarrassing if they resurfaced. But nothing like the financial and legal implications that might be incurred if customer or client files discovered and made public. That is simply not a set of risks that any company or corporation wants to take on. That’s why many of them are turning to hard drive destruction services to get rid of that sensitive information and any potential disasters down the road.

Individuals are also paying more attention to ensure that their hard drive is not just cleaned, but destroyed to the point where the information is unreadable or cannot be extracted. They, like the corporate entities, want to ensure that any information on their hard drive is gone and they are doing that by hard drive destruction.

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