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Physically Destroy Old Computers and Devices

Whenever possible, we recommend using Cornell's FREE R5 service to safely destroy media. See Dispose of computers and devices.

Physical Destruction

The objective of physical destruction is to badly warp or distort the platters, rendering the drive or any of its components inoperable. Recommended methods:

  • Drilling the drive in several locations perpendicular to the platters and penetrating clear through from top to bottom. 
  • Hammering or crushing is equally effective but more labor intensive. 

Destroying the logic section of the drive without damaging the platters is insufficient and not recommended.

About this Article

Last updated: 

Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 9:30pm

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