How to Destroy a Hard Drive from a Desktop Computer

hard drive chip for computer

Here at American Document Destruction, we understand the importance of security. Your home desktop computer can contain almost your whole life on it and can put you at risk of identity theft. If it were to fall into the wrong hands, they could access personal information like social security numbers, credit cards, bank accounts, logins, passwords, and sentimental photos and music.

Even if you “erase” or “delete” these files, they can still recover them. The only sure way to protect your information is to destroy the hard drive from your computer physically. Keep reading to learn about how to destroy a hard drive from a desktop computer.

Data Erasing

While the only foolproof way to protect your information is to destroy the drive physically, there are some data erasing programs out there. These data breach security solutions are good if you plan on keeping the computer, but you want to clear the drive. Be sure to back up any documents, photos, or music you have before you try to erase anything.

One of the most common, best rated, and free data-wiping programs is Darik’s Boot and Nuke (DBAN). Some versions run off USB flash drives and CDs, and according to security experts, it is relatively simple to use.

Hard Drive Destruction

hard drive from a desktop computer

This is the only sure-fire way to render your hard drive unusable without any chance of recovering them. You may have heard of some alternate ways of destroying your hard drive, but this method is much safer than lighting it on fire, cutting it with a saw, or magnetizing it.

  1. To start, you might have to do a little research to find out where exactly your magnetic disk (platter) is.
  2. Next, use a screwdriver to remove screws to access the motherboard of your computer.
  3. After the inside of your computer is exposed, you need to locate the platter.
  4. Once you find it, remove the screws that are holding it in and take it out. It’s usually just a few screws to get it out.
  5. When you have the hard drive out, you need to open the casing to remove the platter. For this part, we recommend wearing some eye protection. Use a hammer, and lightly strike the casing to get to the platter.
  6. Once you remove the platter from the casing, give it a few dings, dents, and scratches. Using both sides of the hammer is effective.
  7. When you have removed the drive and sufficiently damaged the platter, all you need to do is box up the parts and drop them off at your local electronics recycling center. The Reno area has quite a few you can choose from.

Premier Data Destruction Company

American Document Destruction is a HIPAA compliant document shredding company that has been loyally serving Northern Nevada and Lake Tahoe since 1997. We handle all types of on-site and off-site shredding and data breach security solutions. Reach out to us if you have any specific questions about hard drive destruction or identity theft protection!

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