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HDD Platter Removal

 
 
bavis
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      12-22-2005
We want to be able to dismantle HDD's and destroy the platters to
ensure the data is destroyed. This seems to require a special tool to
remove the platters from the spindle on some of the older drives. The
spindle appears to be held on with some sort of odd plate type thing
with 6 slots on the edges. Is there a tool somewhere to remove this?
Any recommendations on getting them off? Thanks.

 
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bavis
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      12-22-2005
Okay... I think the spindle attachment I am talking about may just be
locking rings. Which are much easier to remove than some strange screw
mechanism. And I have been killing myself trying to unscrew the darn
thing.

 
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Nomen Nescio
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      12-22-2005
bavis wrote:

> We want to be able to dismantle HDD's and destroy the platters to ensure
> the data is destroyed. This seems to require a special tool to remove the
> platters from the spindle on some of the older drives. The spindle
> appears to be held on with some sort of odd plate type thing with 6 slots
> on the edges. Is there a tool somewhere to remove this? Any


Yes. It's called a spanner wrench.

> recommendations on getting them off? Thanks.


If you're destroying the platters anyway, just secure the platter itself
with a set of vice grips or such (or an extra set of hands), and use a
hammer and screwdriver or chisel to turn that "plate type thing with the
slots around the edge". Put the end of the screwdriver in the little slot
at an angle that allows you to hammer the thing in the direction it needs
to go. Note that some are left hand and some are probably right hand
thread.

Of course the next logical question is why you're removing the platters.
It would be just as effective to destroy the entire unit I'd think...???

 
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Eugene Nine
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      12-22-2005
Nomen Nescio wrote:

> bavis wrote:
>
>> We want to be able to dismantle HDD's and destroy the platters to ensure
>> the data is destroyed. This seems to require a special tool to remove
>> the
>> platters from the spindle on some of the older drives. The spindle
>> appears to be held on with some sort of odd plate type thing with 6 slots
>> on the edges. Is there a tool somewhere to remove this? Any

>
> Yes. It's called a spanner wrench.
>
>> recommendations on getting them off? Thanks.

>
> If you're destroying the platters anyway, just secure the platter itself
> with a set of vice grips or such (or an extra set of hands), and use a
> hammer and screwdriver or chisel to turn that "plate type thing with the
> slots around the edge". Put the end of the screwdriver in the little slot
> at an angle that allows you to hammer the thing in the direction it needs
> to go. Note that some are left hand and some are probably right hand
> thread.
>
> Of course the next logical question is why you're removing the platters.
> It would be just as effective to destroy the entire unit I'd think...???

There are some manufacturers what will let you return the drive without
platters while still under warranty if your a large enough customer.
 
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dnss
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      12-22-2005

"bavis" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...
> We want to be able to dismantle HDD's and destroy the platters to
> ensure the data is destroyed. This seems to require a special tool to
> remove the platters from the spindle on some of the older drives. The
> spindle appears to be held on with some sort of odd plate type thing
> with 6 slots on the edges. Is there a tool somewhere to remove this?
> Any recommendations on getting them off? Thanks.
>


What brand and age of hdd?
I have disassembled hundreds at the platter level - some have been somewhat
difficult.
Most only require removing a few screws, turn the hdd over and the platters
fall out.

As another post in this thread indicates simply bending or scratching the
platters would be sufficient for secure destruction.

There are companies that offer physical shredding of hdd's (personally I
feel that is a waste of resources when a DoD wipe can be used and then the
hdd can be reused).
The hdd's I have ripped apart were beyond use re a variety of failures.


 
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icono
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      12-23-2005

"bavis" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...
> We want to be able to dismantle HDD's and destroy the platters to
> ensure the data is destroyed. This seems to require a special tool to
> remove the platters from the spindle on some of the older drives. The
> spindle appears to be held on with some sort of odd plate type thing
> with 6 slots on the edges. Is there a tool somewhere to remove this?
> Any recommendations on getting them off? Thanks.
>

Do you have a fire place?


 
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Winged
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      12-23-2005
dnss wrote:
> "bavis" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...
>
>>We want to be able to dismantle HDD's and destroy the platters to
>>ensure the data is destroyed. This seems to require a special tool to
>>remove the platters from the spindle on some of the older drives. The
>>spindle appears to be held on with some sort of odd plate type thing
>>with 6 slots on the edges. Is there a tool somewhere to remove this?
>>Any recommendations on getting them off? Thanks.
>>

>
>
> What brand and age of hdd?
> I have disassembled hundreds at the platter level - some have been somewhat
> difficult.
> Most only require removing a few screws, turn the hdd over and the platters
> fall out.
>
> As another post in this thread indicates simply bending or scratching the
> platters would be sufficient for secure destruction.
>
> There are companies that offer physical shredding of hdd's (personally I
> feel that is a waste of resources when a DoD wipe can be used and then the
> hdd can be reused).
> The hdd's I have ripped apart were beyond use re a variety of failures.
>
>

Part of the issue here is the value of the data. For the average user
simply making the drive inoperable or DOD wipe is sufficient. A DOD
wipe is somewhat of a misnomer these days. Our current rules require
drive destruction, a wipe is not sufficient. This is overkill in most
cases, but seeing articles on 60 minutes about data retrieved on a DOD
system usually ends up ruining someones career. Additionally we have a
number of unsavory players that might like to retrieve drives to extract
data so it is just common sense and a simple task to destroy a drive
irretrievably and little cost involved once a system is established.

If drive data has high value, the drive should be completely destroyed.
retrieving data from scratched disks is very possible. The disks are
the important issue here as, if one were removing data, one would
utilize methods that did not require the drive case or drive mechanism
or electronics. The professional snoop is not concerned with the
condition of drive and mechanisms, these will hardly be given a glance.
But those shiny platters are the target and simply scratching them
after a DOD wipe is not sufficient for the truly determined and motivated.

This would not be the local script kiddy, a single credit card number is
not "high value" but if someone believes the target might have "high
value", those platters are a target.

In years past, the equipment to accomplish this data reassembly was very
expensive and very time consuming however technology has changed and if
one has the resources to establish a proper lab, the data recovery is
almost an automated process and computer programs exist to analyze not
only the platters but also have the capability to make "good guesses" as
to which electron layer relates to where. Even the scratches can be
analyzed for data. The analysts who do this kind of work are very
determined, very good, and have near orgasms when they are successful,
no matter the data content. There are many ways to destroy those disks,
but gouging them with a screw driver does not make the data
irretrievable. Grinding the disks to a powder and incineration at high
temperatures does however pretty much randomize the information and
render the dust safe from compromise.

The devices I have seen that do this kind of destruct basically is a big
mechanical grinder that grinds case, electronics and all. The facility
then moves waste to an incinerator (along with other sensitive materials
also shredded) where it is incinerated at high temperatures. Most large
metropolitan areas have companies who do this kind of work. I would
recommend using a company in the business as it probably would be much
cheaper, depending on the volume of media, and the sensitivity /
liability of the data to be destroyed. Outsourcing sometimes makes good
economic sense.

Winged

 
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nemo_outis
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      12-23-2005
Winged <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news:d586d$43ab4d23$45493f2f$(E-Mail Removed):

....snip...
>
> The devices I have seen that do this kind of destruct basically is a
> big mechanical grinder that grinds case, electronics and all. The
> facility then moves waste to an incinerator (along with other
> sensitive materials also shredded) where it is incinerated at high
> temperatures. Most large metropolitan areas have companies who do
> this kind of work. I would recommend using a company in the business
> as it probably would be much cheaper, depending on the volume of
> media, and the sensitivity / liability of the data to be destroyed.
> Outsourcing sometimes makes good economic sense.
>
> Winged



Hard drives shredders like the SEM 1424 do the job right.

Sometimes you can find companies that specialize in data destruction
(typically the same ones who do bulk shredding for major companies) who,
for a small fee, will shred your HDs.

If you're a real paranoid you'll want to witness the destruction and have
the shredded pieces returned to you in a vial for your audit trail. SEM
says that it will do this (well, the shredding part) for $7/drive; see, for
instance:

http://www.semdirect.com/contentmgr/...ils.php/id/433

I'm sure a little looking will find similar services in most urban centres.

Regards,



 
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Moe Trin
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      12-23-2005
On Thu, 22 Dec 2005, in the Usenet newsgroup alt.computer.security, in article
<d586d$43ab4d23$45493f2f$(E-Mail Removed)>, Winged wrote:

>Part of the issue here is the value of the data. For the average user
>simply making the drive inoperable or DOD wipe is sufficient.


Agreed

>A DOD wipe is somewhat of a misnomer these days.


DOD 5220.22-M was renamed 'National Industrial Security Program Operating
Manual' (NISPOM) (ISBN 0-16-045560-X) in 1995, and is only _required_ by
contract. If you want to do more than that as part of a contracted service,
see the contracting officer for that contract. Some of them are required to
follow the book, rather than going the "extra mile".

>This is overkill in most cases, but seeing articles on 60 minutes about
>data retrieved on a DOD system usually ends up ruining someones career.


In most cases, there is nothing preventing you from destroying the drive
_after_ wiping the drive and making the contracting officer happy. Do
make sure to have a cast iron audit trail. 8 x 10 color pictures with
the description printed on the back might be a good idea.

>Most large metropolitan areas have companies who do this kind of work.
>I would recommend using a company in the business as it probably would be
>much cheaper, depending on the volume of media, and the sensitivity /
>liability of the data to be destroyed.


The grinders aren't that expensive, but the furnace may require local
licensing (air quality issues) that are a pain in the a$$. Companies
that provide "off-site storage" of backup media will often offer this
service as well.

>Outsourcing sometimes makes good economic sense.


Economies of scale - very much so.

Old guy
 
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Hairy One Kenobi
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      12-23-2005
"Winged" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:d586d$43ab4d23$45493f2f$(E-Mail Removed)...
> dnss wrote:
> > "bavis" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> > news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...
> >
> >>We want to be able to dismantle HDD's and destroy the platters to
> >>ensure the data is destroyed. This seems to require a special tool to
> >>remove the platters from the spindle on some of the older drives. The
> >>spindle appears to be held on with some sort of odd plate type thing
> >>with 6 slots on the edges. Is there a tool somewhere to remove this?
> >>Any recommendations on getting them off? Thanks.

> >
> > What brand and age of hdd?
> > I have disassembled hundreds at the platter level - some have been

somewhat
> > difficult.
> > Most only require removing a few screws, turn the hdd over and the

platters
> > fall out.
> >
> > As another post in this thread indicates simply bending or scratching

the
> > platters would be sufficient for secure destruction.
> >
> > There are companies that offer physical shredding of hdd's (personally I
> > feel that is a waste of resources when a DoD wipe can be used and then

the
> > hdd can be reused).
> > The hdd's I have ripped apart were beyond use re a variety of failures.
> >
> >

> Part of the issue here is the value of the data. For the average user
> simply making the drive inoperable or DOD wipe is sufficient. A DOD
> wipe is somewhat of a misnomer these days. Our current rules require
> drive destruction, a wipe is not sufficient. This is overkill in most
> cases, but seeing articles on 60 minutes about data retrieved on a DOD
> system usually ends up ruining someones career. Additionally we have a
> number of unsavory players that might like to retrieve drives to extract
> data so it is just common sense and a simple task to destroy a drive
> irretrievably and little cost involved once a system is established.


<snip excellent detail>

Aside from a "soft" wipe, there are/were another two other methods used over
here in the UK - for medium-secure, the drive was soft-wiped, and a
half-inch hole drilled through case and platters using a drill press..
what's left flys even further apart as the platter starts to spin.

For higher-level security, the entire unit is transported to a site as
described by Winged, and a random sample turned on to ensure that the data
that it left the establishment with was still inside the case; the whole
unit is then crushed and incinerated. Lots of nasty gases released, so not
that many locations over her with the right equipment.

Somewhat ironically (for conventional thinkers) the equivalent of shredded
documents are viewed as the least secure method of disposal - because one
can't verify what was actually disposed.

--

Hairy One Kenobi

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this opinion do not necessarily
reflect the opinions of the highly-opinionated person expressing the opinion
in the first place. So there!


 
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