What's your preferred method of HDD disposal?

August 9, 2010 at 11:04:08
Specs: Windows 7
I've got at least a dozen ancient hard drives piling up in closets and in filing cabinets that I want to get rid of, but I'd be concerned about chucking them directly into the trash as they are.

What's your preferred method of disposal? Smash with hammer, or go all "Office Space" on 'em? Or do you just chuck them in the trash?


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#1
August 9, 2010 at 11:07:52
Hammer time.

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#2
August 9, 2010 at 11:26:10
Should I take the protective metal coverings off first? Because as far as hammers go in regards to the hard disk plates, normally, you "can't touch this."

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#3
August 9, 2010 at 12:00:11
If you smash down the top and bottom of the drive no one is going to retrieve anything from them. If that doesn't satisfy your concerns then you need to disassemble and damage all the platters, which I think would happen if you smash the top and bottom in.

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#4
August 9, 2010 at 12:32:15
Check for similar drives on ebay. Working old drives are hard to find, especially MFM and RLL drives. You may be able to make some good money.

If you do junk them, you can sell the aluminum with your soda and beer cans and the magnets can be useful. I have all kinds of stuff being held up by drive magnets on metal shelves. Then throw the rest of it out. The planet will survive.

Now that's what I call a sticky situation


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#5
August 9, 2010 at 12:44:11
The plattens do or did at least have some very toxic metal. I forget what it was.

You should dispose of them at electronic recycling places.

Why did it take me over a year to phone in a problem to ATT?


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#6
August 9, 2010 at 12:54:31
Really? The platters are toxic?

Maybe smashing them open on the lawn not the brightest idea then, no?


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#7
August 9, 2010 at 13:54:49
I always included the platters with the other aluminum. I believe they're usually an aluminum alloy and then coated with magnetic material. No doubt there's going to be some nasty metals involved but I doubt it's much of a problem once it's all melted down with the aluminum.

Some electronic recyclers expect you to pay them to get rid of electronics but most metal recyclers will let you drop off any metals, and of course they pay for aluminum, copper and other desirables.

But really, if they're working, see if they're worth something. Many years ago I scrapped hundreds of old MFM hard drives and 5.25 floppy drives that are now getting good prices on ebay.

Now that's what I call a sticky situation


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#8
August 9, 2010 at 14:18:25
Most if not all of the electronic parts have some toxic materials. I remember from one school they told about the plattens. You should wash your hands and need to avoid any dust. It was the coating on them that was the problem.

Still better to recycle.

Why did it take me over a year to phone in a problem to ATT?


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#9
August 9, 2010 at 15:16:54
The link from Wikipedia states the platters may be aluminum, ceramic or glass. The magnetic coatings are applied to the substrate.

Doesn't sound toxic to me. No more so than handling magnetic recording tape or floppy disk materials.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_d...


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#10
August 9, 2010 at 19:47:01
I just can't imagine too much of any electronic gizmo being "safe".One of the reasons they make that stuff in China is the lack of any OSHA or EPA. Guess we could see if Maxtor would provide some data to be sure and add to wiki. I can't see myself eating tape either. It isn't simply iron.

Why did it take me over a year to phone in a problem to ATT?


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#11
August 9, 2010 at 22:35:27
They make the electronics in China because of the cheap wages, primarily.

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