Friday, December 7, 2007

Hard Drive Disposal

Timing is everything, a few days ago, a client called and wanted me to stop by and pick up a few old machines. So i stopped by and picked up 4 used laptops and 3 desktops, there are a few more coming in the near future. The work on these machines is relatively simple, copy off the documents, then wipe the drives and let me know if I can re-use the machines based on our technology plan, and then wipe the data from the other machines. Sounds simple right? If you answered no you are correct. Simply erasing the files or formatting the hard drive no longer assures that people cannot get the data that was written to the computer. To properly destroy data on a Hard drive you need to use the proper software and or cause physical damage to the drive. Simply drilling a hole in the drive is effective, provided you have the proper drill bits, smashing it with a hammer is also effective. However, disposal of the hard drive is still an issue, since there are still materials that should be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. Many companies offer destruction services. For the mean time I'm going to wipe the data on hard drives with some good software, like DBAN, then keep using the drives until the drive fails or outlives it's useful life. On very sensitive data I will remove the CPC (Controller board) and drill holes in the drive platters or cause other physical damage to the drive and then hold it until I locate a PC recycler that looks promising.

-- Tim Krabec

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