recycling old hard disks . . .
Thread poster: Patricia Rosas

Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jul 16, 2008

I hope I'm posting to the right forum. Yesterday, intending to give it to a charity re-sale shop, I got out an old computer in order to erase the hard disk.

When I set it up and booted it, everything appeared all right (I got the Windows 98 screen), then suddenly the monitor went white. I tried rebooting multiple times, but while it seemed that the disk was operating, the screen was black. I double checked the connection to the monitor, and it seems to be fine.

I have sensitive information on the disk, and I'm not sure if the disk crashed or if it is still accessible. Is there anyway to determine that the data is gone or to do something that would insure that the data cannot be accessed?

In general, how do ProZers recycle old computers?

Thanks!


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Sergei Leshchinsky  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 10:05
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
recycling Jul 16, 2008

There are two ways and I use both depending on the device:
1) Funny way -- take a big hammer and have fun! Some our shops offer discounts if you bring some old device and crash in the shop. Three months ago, I crashed an old CD-drive (x4) and 2 keyboards, got a discount and bout an MFU. Have fun!
2) Rational way -- there are workshops that collect old devices and re-use them to assemble computers for easy tasks...


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xxxUSER0059  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 10:05
English to Finnish
+ ...
Zap and scrap Jul 16, 2008

Patricia Rosas wrote:

I have sensitive information on the disk, and I'm not sure if the disk crashed or if it is still accessible. Is there anyway to determine that the data is gone or to do something that would insure that the data cannot be accessed?

In general, how do ProZers recycle old computers?


I use obsolete boxes as test beds or e.g. as stock data displays. When I finally write off a computer, I have the hard disk drives zapped using a demagnetizer. This treatment destroys all data on the disk, and is also likely to damage the drive. Not all computer repair shops have demagnetizers, but some do.

There is also software that promises to erase your disk securely. Although e.g. PGP does a good job of erasing individual files, wiping an entire disk is more complicated, especially while running an operating system on the same disk. Beware of snake oil!


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Igor Indruch  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 09:05
English to Czech
Juste take HDD out Jul 16, 2008

and connect it to another computer. Then you will see. Even if the disc will appear damaged, data can still be there and recoverable. So in that case the best way is really to destroy disc physically. If it will work, then you can use some utility which overwrites HDD with random data.

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Ivana Friis Wilson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:05
Member (2008)
English to Danish
+ ...
Smash up the harddisk and take it to the recycling center Jul 16, 2008

I take out anything that might have interest to others, typically RAM, maybe a net card, take a hammer and smash the harddisk. The rest goes to the recycling center.

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xxxBrandis
Local time: 09:05
English to German
+ ...
there is a small tool from siemens... Jul 16, 2008

Hi! called qpart and it resurrects the MBR and you have a brand new disc. Ask me if you wish to know the command line. Brandis

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:05
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Hammer Jul 17, 2008

I'd go the hammer way.

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megane_wang  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:05
English to Spanish
+ ...
Hammer too Jul 17, 2008

... I feel great after the process !!! "Bonk, bonk, catacrok!"

Ruth @ MW


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Selcuk Akyuz  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 10:05
Member (2006)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Acronis True Image Jul 17, 2008

Acronis True Image or similar programs can be used to delete all information in the harddisk.

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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
tap tap tap ... Jul 17, 2008

Thanks everyone for all the suggestions. Since the computer wouldn't boot, I just disemboweled the case, got out my hammer, and had at the drive. Such a hi-tech solution!

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recycling old hard disks . . .

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