Wiping a Hard Drive

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by MF, Nov 11, 2004.

  1. MF

    MF Guest

    This is like what do you do in Denver when you're dead....

    Anyone know a practical, effective way to erase a hard drive that is deader
    than a brick? It's a West. Digital 60 gig 7200 RPM. It won't spin up and
    WD's diagnostic utilities won't recognize it. It went out a few days before
    the warranty expired and I want to try to return it, but it has _lots_ of
    sensitive info on it, and, dead or not, I don't want it in the hands of
    strangers.

    By practical, I mean something accessible to the average bozo, like me.
    Running it thru an MRI scanner might be worth a try, but not too practical.

    Thanks!

    Mike
     
    MF, Nov 11, 2004
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. MF

    Kenny Guest

    Maybe you can revive it long enough to get the data off it.
    http://techrepublic.com.com/5100-6255-5029761.html

    --

    Kenny

    "MF" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > This is like what do you do in Denver when you're dead....
    >
    > Anyone know a practical, effective way to erase a hard drive that is

    deader
    > than a brick? It's a West. Digital 60 gig 7200 RPM. It won't spin up and
    > WD's diagnostic utilities won't recognize it. It went out a few days

    before
    > the warranty expired and I want to try to return it, but it has _lots_ of
    > sensitive info on it, and, dead or not, I don't want it in the hands of
    > strangers.
    >
    > By practical, I mean something accessible to the average bozo, like me.
    > Running it thru an MRI scanner might be worth a try, but not too

    practical.
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    > Mike
    >
    >
     
    Kenny, Nov 11, 2004
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. MF

    Martin Guest

    "MF" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > This is like what do you do in Denver when you're dead....
    >
    > Anyone know a practical, effective way to erase a hard drive that is
    > deader
    > than a brick? It's a West. Digital 60 gig 7200 RPM. It won't spin up and
    > WD's diagnostic utilities won't recognize it. It went out a few days
    > before
    > the warranty expired and I want to try to return it, but it has _lots_ of
    > sensitive info on it, and, dead or not, I don't want it in the hands of
    > strangers.
    >
    > By practical, I mean something accessible to the average bozo, like me.
    > Running it thru an MRI scanner might be worth a try, but not too
    > practical.
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    > Mike
    >
    >


    If the info is so sensitive I would use a large hammer on it, and then just
    buy a new drive.
     
    Martin, Nov 11, 2004
    #3
  4. MF

    MF Guest

    "Martin" <> wrote in message
    news:4192ec78$0$18761$...
    >
    >
    > "MF" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > This is like what do you do in Denver when you're dead....
    > >
    > > Anyone know a practical, effective way to erase a hard drive that is
    > > deader
    > > than a brick? It's a West. Digital 60 gig 7200 RPM. It won't spin up

    and
    > > WD's diagnostic utilities won't recognize it. It went out a few days
    > > before
    > > the warranty expired and I want to try to return it, but it has _lots_

    of
    > > sensitive info on it, and, dead or not, I don't want it in the hands of
    > > strangers.
    > >
    > > By practical, I mean something accessible to the average bozo, like me.
    > > Running it thru an MRI scanner might be worth a try, but not too
    > > practical.
    > >
    > > Thanks!
    > >
    > > Mike
    > >


    > If the info is so sensitive I would use a large hammer on it, and then

    just
    > buy a new drive.


    That's a possibility, but I would rather have the company that sold me a
    weak, defective product replace it. Hence asking for an effective way to
    wipe it.
     
    MF, Nov 11, 2004
    #4
  5. MF

    me Guest

    melt it? or cut it in half--or into several pieces with something.
    "MF" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > This is like what do you do in Denver when you're dead....
    >
    > Anyone know a practical, effective way to erase a hard drive that is

    deader
    > than a brick? It's a West. Digital 60 gig 7200 RPM. It won't spin up and
    > WD's diagnostic utilities won't recognize it. It went out a few days

    before
    > the warranty expired and I want to try to return it, but it has _lots_ of
    > sensitive info on it, and, dead or not, I don't want it in the hands of
    > strangers.
    >
    > By practical, I mean something accessible to the average bozo, like me.
    > Running it thru an MRI scanner might be worth a try, but not too

    practical.
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    > Mike
    >
    >
     
    me, Nov 11, 2004
    #5
  6. MF

    Martin Guest

    "MF" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > "Martin" <> wrote in message
    > news:4192ec78$0$18761$...
    >>
    >>
    >> "MF" <> wrote in message
    >> news:...
    >> > This is like what do you do in Denver when you're dead....
    >> >
    >> > Anyone know a practical, effective way to erase a hard drive that is
    >> > deader
    >> > than a brick? It's a West. Digital 60 gig 7200 RPM. It won't spin up

    > and
    >> > WD's diagnostic utilities won't recognize it. It went out a few days
    >> > before
    >> > the warranty expired and I want to try to return it, but it has _lots_

    > of
    >> > sensitive info on it, and, dead or not, I don't want it in the hands of
    >> > strangers.
    >> >
    >> > By practical, I mean something accessible to the average bozo, like me.
    >> > Running it thru an MRI scanner might be worth a try, but not too
    >> > practical.
    >> >
    >> > Thanks!
    >> >
    >> > Mike
    >> >

    >
    >> If the info is so sensitive I would use a large hammer on it, and then

    > just
    >> buy a new drive.

    >
    > That's a possibility, but I would rather have the company that sold me a
    > weak, defective product replace it. Hence asking for an effective way to
    > wipe it.
    >
    >


    I can understand that, but sometimes peace of mind is worth a few
    bucks.......
     
    Martin, Nov 11, 2004
    #6
  7. MF

    Mark Guest

    Set it on one big ass magnet for about two hours.


    "MF" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > This is like what do you do in Denver when you're dead....
    >
    > Anyone know a practical, effective way to erase a hard drive that is
    > deader
    > than a brick? It's a West. Digital 60 gig 7200 RPM. It won't spin up and
    > WD's diagnostic utilities won't recognize it. It went out a few days
    > before
    > the warranty expired and I want to try to return it, but it has _lots_ of
    > sensitive info on it, and, dead or not, I don't want it in the hands of
    > strangers.
    >
    > By practical, I mean something accessible to the average bozo, like me.
    > Running it thru an MRI scanner might be worth a try, but not too
    > practical.
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    > Mike
    >
    >
     
    Mark, Nov 11, 2004
    #7
  8. MF

    jas0n Guest

    In article <>,
    says...
    > Set it on one big ass magnet for about two hours.
    >
    >


    dont think so!

    if you ever open up a hard drive you'll find a nice strong magnet
    already sitting right next to the platters!
     
    jas0n, Nov 11, 2004
    #8
  9. MF

    Mark Guest

    We use one all the time Jason...its the same magnet we use to erase DIGI
    tapes of our phone system...works great on harddrives...they gat a little
    hot after sitting there.

    "jas0n" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In article <>,
    > says...
    >> Set it on one big ass magnet for about two hours.
    >>
    >>

    >
    > dont think so!
    >
    > if you ever open up a hard drive you'll find a nice strong magnet
    > already sitting right next to the platters!
     
    Mark, Nov 12, 2004
    #9
  10. MF

    AG Guest

    "Barry Watzman" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > There's no way that a typical magnet could erase a hard drive with the
    > cover in place. As has been pointed out, the motors and head servo of the
    > hard drive itself have STRONG magnetic fields -- a LOT stronger than
    > common household magnets -- and they ARE inside the hard drive itself, and
    > they don't bother it. You CAN damage a floppy disk with magnets, but not
    > a hard drive, not with anything that would normally encountered in most
    > homes or businesses (now if you work around an MRI machine, that might be
    > another story, but you can forget about "common" household and office
    > devices).
    >
    >
    > LadyTech wrote:
    >> "Barry Watzman" <> wrote in message
    >> news:...
    >>
    >>>The other poster was right, people have no conception of the

    >>
    >> strength of
    >>
    >>>magnetic field required to erase a hard drive. Basically, it's

    >>
    >> almost
    >>
    >>>impossible unless you remove the covers over the platters, which by
    >>>itself ruins the hard drive. At that point you might as well take a
    >>>hammer or drill to it.
    >>>
    >>>[the heads of the hard drive are microns -- millionths of a meter --
    >>>from the platter surface. Magnetic strength varies by the inverse
    >>>square law. If you are only one inch away, you may have to produce

    >>
    >> a
    >>
    >>>magnetic field in the range of 10**12 times stronger than that

    >>
    >> produced
    >>
    >>>by the read/write head. It's virtually impossible.]
    >>>

    >>
    >>
    >> Now I understand.... I never tried it, BUT a friend told me that her
    >> sister used to work for a comp repair shop and the shop had made
    >> little magnets with the shop name and number on them and customers
    >> were putting the magnets on their computers, well apparently customers
    >> were mysteriously getting their hard drives wiped.... well, my friend
    >> said that her sister said it was due to those little magnets they were
    >> putting on their computers..... It was hard to believe, but now that
    >> you explained it more clearly than I understood before, I believe that
    >> the magnets weren't the problem.... thanks Barry :)


    Hey Barry, you've got the answer. All he has to do is take it up to the
    hospital and run it through the MRI!!!

    AG
     
    AG, Nov 15, 2004
    #10
  11. MF

    Martin Guest

    "AG" <> wrote in message
    news:4198e880$0$19043$...
    >
    > "Barry Watzman" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> There's no way that a typical magnet could erase a hard drive with the
    >> cover in place. As has been pointed out, the motors and head servo of
    >> the hard drive itself have STRONG magnetic fields -- a LOT stronger than
    >> common household magnets -- and they ARE inside the hard drive itself,
    >> and they don't bother it. You CAN damage a floppy disk with magnets, but
    >> not a hard drive, not with anything that would normally encountered in
    >> most homes or businesses (now if you work around an MRI machine, that
    >> might be another story, but you can forget about "common" household and
    >> office devices).
    >>
    >>
    >> LadyTech wrote:
    >>> "Barry Watzman" <> wrote in message
    >>> news:...
    >>>
    >>>>The other poster was right, people have no conception of the
    >>>
    >>> strength of
    >>>
    >>>>magnetic field required to erase a hard drive. Basically, it's
    >>>
    >>> almost
    >>>
    >>>>impossible unless you remove the covers over the platters, which by
    >>>>itself ruins the hard drive. At that point you might as well take a
    >>>>hammer or drill to it.
    >>>>
    >>>>[the heads of the hard drive are microns -- millionths of a meter --
    >>>>from the platter surface. Magnetic strength varies by the inverse
    >>>>square law. If you are only one inch away, you may have to produce
    >>>
    >>> a
    >>>
    >>>>magnetic field in the range of 10**12 times stronger than that
    >>>
    >>> produced
    >>>
    >>>>by the read/write head. It's virtually impossible.]
    >>>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> Now I understand.... I never tried it, BUT a friend told me that her
    >>> sister used to work for a comp repair shop and the shop had made
    >>> little magnets with the shop name and number on them and customers
    >>> were putting the magnets on their computers, well apparently customers
    >>> were mysteriously getting their hard drives wiped.... well, my friend
    >>> said that her sister said it was due to those little magnets they were
    >>> putting on their computers..... It was hard to believe, but now that
    >>> you explained it more clearly than I understood before, I believe that
    >>> the magnets weren't the problem.... thanks Barry :)

    >
    > Hey Barry, you've got the answer. All he has to do is take it up to the
    > hospital and run it through the MRI!!!
    >
    > AG
    >


    You got that right.
    An MRI will even blank the strip on the back of your credit and ATM cards.
     
    Martin, Nov 15, 2004
    #11
  12. MF

    Thumper Guest

    On Sun, 14 Nov 2004 19:25:03 -0500, "LadyTech"
    <> wrote:

    >
    >"Barry Watzman" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> The other poster was right, people have no conception of the

    >strength of
    >> magnetic field required to erase a hard drive. Basically, it's

    >almost
    >> impossible unless you remove the covers over the platters, which by
    >> itself ruins the hard drive. At that point you might as well take a
    >> hammer or drill to it.
    >>
    >> [the heads of the hard drive are microns -- millionths of a meter --
    >> from the platter surface. Magnetic strength varies by the inverse
    >> square law. If you are only one inch away, you may have to produce

    >a
    >> magnetic field in the range of 10**12 times stronger than that

    >produced
    >> by the read/write head. It's virtually impossible.]
    >>

    >
    >Now I understand.... I never tried it, BUT a friend told me that her
    >sister used to work for a comp repair shop and the shop had made
    >little magnets with the shop name and number on them and customers
    >were putting the magnets on their computers, well apparently customers
    >were mysteriously getting their hard drives wiped.... well, my friend
    >said that her sister said it was due to those little magnets they were
    >putting on their computers..... It was hard to believe, but now that
    >you explained it more clearly than I understood before, I believe that
    >the magnets weren't the problem.... thanks Barry :)
    >

    They probably were. It may take a big magnet to erase a hard drive but
    only a few bits in the right place need to be screwed up to give a
    computer fits.
    Thumper
    To reply drop XYZ in address
     
    Thumper, Nov 15, 2004
    #12
  13. MF

    Martin Guest

    "LadyTech" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    >
    > Thanks... I always knew that magnets will erase floppies, but I wasn't
    > sure about the HDD's.
    >
    >


    I bet a magnetic sledge hammer would work. ;-)
     
    Martin, Nov 16, 2004
    #13
  14. On Mon, 15 Nov 2004 19:44:36 -0500, "LadyTech"
    <> wrote:

    >
    >"Thumper" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> On Sun, 14 Nov 2004 19:25:03 -0500, "LadyTech"
    >> <> wrote:


    >> They probably were. It may take a big magnet to erase a hard drive

    >but
    >> only a few bits in the right place need to be screwed up to give a
    >> computer fits.
    >> Thumper
    >> To reply drop XYZ in address

    >
    >Thanks... I always knew that magnets will erase floppies, but I wasn't
    >sure about the HDD's.
    >


    I've tried both microwave oven magnets and external CRT degaussing
    coils on floppies...nothing got erased initially. I never went back to
    check, say, three months later, though.

    Tom
     
    Tom MacIntyre, Nov 16, 2004
    #14
  15. On Wed, 10 Nov 2004 21:12:44 -0500, "MF"
    <> wrote:

    >This is like what do you do in Denver when you're dead....
    >
    >Anyone know a practical, effective way to erase a hard drive that is deader
    >than a brick? It's a West. Digital 60 gig 7200 RPM. It won't spin up and
    >WD's diagnostic utilities won't recognize it. It went out a few days before
    >the warranty expired and I want to try to return it, but it has _lots_ of
    >sensitive info on it, and, dead or not, I don't want it in the hands of
    >strangers.
    >
    >By practical, I mean something accessible to the average bozo, like me.
    >Running it thru an MRI scanner might be worth a try, but not too practical.
    >
    >Thanks!
    >
    >Mike
    >


    I haven't read it yet, but it showed up in my e-mail within the last
    day or two...

    informit.com

    Make Your Data Go Away: Hard Drive Shredders to the Rescue

    I get the impression that it's not published on their site; it's in
    HTML format also, and I think it's just a newsletter (one of the many
    I receive but can't get a chance to read them). Just an FYI...

    Tom
     
    Tom MacIntyre, Nov 16, 2004
    #15
  16. On Tue, 16 Nov 2004 22:04:52 -0500, "LadyTech"
    <> wrote:

    >
    >"Barry Watzman" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> It's not the magnets that do the erasing, it's the magnetic field

    >that
    >> exists at the surface of the platter (or diskette). This may sound

    >like
    >> semantics, but it's not.
    >> >
    >> >
    >> > Thanks... I always knew that magnets will erase floppies, but I

    >wasn't
    >> > sure about the HDD's.
    >> >
    >> >

    >
    >I know it's the magnetic field.... I realized that last night when I
    >actually thought about it :)
    >
    >My husband used to work at a factory where they did welding and one of
    >the bosses used to put a floppy in his shirt pocket almost everyday
    >after he was done with the computer and by the time he got to the
    >other side of the building that floppy with the info on it was
    >erased.... I thought maybe it was caused by some of the workers
    >welding...
    >


    I'll tell you what will erase floppies in large numbers, even to the
    point that a Track Zero Bad, Disk Unusable message is reversed...a
    bulk video tape eraser in a TV station. I personally think that a HDD
    would be unphased (sorry for the bad and unintentional pun here)
    though. :)
    Tom
     
    Tom MacIntyre, Nov 17, 2004
    #16
  17. MF

    MF Guest

    hey, tom,

    yeah, it's on their site. here:
    http://www.informit.com/articles/printerfriendly.asp?p=349882 .

    it lead me to other sites where i discovered that they now have shredders
    for hard drives. cut 'em up, chop 'em up and spit 'em out in particles.
    might try to get a job in one of those places. :)

    it looks like the only possibility would be a bulk tape eraser - i thought
    maybe a degausser would do it, but from what you and others said ( yours was
    actually empirical, always better) that won't do it.

    thanks to all who replied. recap - the drive is dead, it won't spin, hence
    software is useless. i discovered it;s death a couple days before the
    warranty ran out. after about increasingly irate eight emails, got an RMA.
    but then became paranoid about the data on the drive.

    it failed sometime before i discovered it. it was the slave on the primary
    channel in a computer that works fine, and it's function was to support 4
    operating systems in a lab. because it was big enough to do that easily, i
    just left the data from previous use on it. (lesson for me and all - don't
    do that.) i did that because i have -personally- had good luck with drives.
    I have a couple that are ten years old, have sat for half a decade, and
    still work. This one sat for three months and failed. Western Digital. My
    last.
    on methods - kenny's link to 200 ways to revive your drive - was great.
    thanks! i had already tried most of them. have finally slammed it on the
    floor - and that didn't work. have tried what barry calls the radial twist,
    as good a name as any, many times: it didn't work. i have from the
    beginning been pretty sure it's a dead chip on the controller board - which
    means that a thief in the receiving room at the return mail room could get
    it running again by screwing on an old controller board.

    unfortuneately, i can't get a replacement on a credit card and swap boards
    without violating the warranty, if they happen to look at it.

    now, just to clear up a myth, taking the cover off a drive rarely destroys
    it. it will introduce stuff that will ruin the drive over time, but i have
    pulled old drives out of boxes, taken the covers off to show students what
    they looked like inside, put the covers back on, stuck them into a machine,
    booted them up finding windows 3.1, and examined the data on the drives.
    just to show it could be done. it can be done, and for security purposes
    don't forget that.

    breaking the platters will work. you can still get data, but no casual or
    even professional thief would have the necessary equipment, or the desire to
    look for it. so that's probably what i'll do, and forgoe the replacement.

    tis truly a bite in the ass. i've had personal even intimate experience
    with about 8 WD drives. three of them failed early. i would like WD bear
    some of the cost. but my only possible access to a bulk tape eraser is a
    friend in a radio station 450 miles away, not a feasible trip right now, and
    not cost effective in any case. and his station may not even have one any
    more....

    if anyone knows of possible access to a bulk tape eraser in the philadelphia
    area (south east pennsylvania / south jersey) please let me know at
    wallacestevens at usa com. symbols and dots in the
    appropriate places.

    thanks for all the answers, even those that suggested hitting it with a
    hammer.

    mike flinn



    "Tom MacIntyre" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Wed, 10 Nov 2004 21:12:44 -0500, "MF"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > >This is like what do you do in Denver when you're dead....
    > >
    > >Anyone know a practical, effective way to erase a hard drive that is

    deader
    > >than a brick? It's a West. Digital 60 gig 7200 RPM. It won't spin up and
    > >WD's diagnostic utilities won't recognize it. It went out a few days

    before
    > >the warranty expired and I want to try to return it, but it has _lots_ of
    > >sensitive info on it, and, dead or not, I don't want it in the hands of
    > >strangers.
    > >
    > >By practical, I mean something accessible to the average bozo, like me.
    > >Running it thru an MRI scanner might be worth a try, but not too

    practical.
    > >
    > >Thanks!
    > >
    > >Mike
    > >

    >
    > I haven't read it yet, but it showed up in my e-mail within the last
    > day or two...
    >
    > informit.com
    >
    > Make Your Data Go Away: Hard Drive Shredders to the Rescue
    >
    > I get the impression that it's not published on their site; it's in
    > HTML format also, and I think it's just a newsletter (one of the many
    > I receive but can't get a chance to read them). Just an FYI...
    >
    > Tom
     
    MF, Nov 19, 2004
    #17
  18. MF

    MF Guest

    p.s

    hat will ruin the drive over time, but i have
    pulled old drives out of boxes

    by boxes i mean real boxes: old, open, cardboard boxes with everyting inside
    covered with dust, not the metaphor for computers.

    sorry for the lack of clarity.

    pop quiz: metaphor, simile. what's the diference?




    "MF" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > hey, tom,
    >
    > yeah, it's on their site. here:
    > http://www.informit.com/articles/printerfriendly.asp?p=349882 .
    >
    > it lead me to other sites where i discovered that they now have shredders
    > for hard drives. cut 'em up, chop 'em up and spit 'em out in particles.
    > might try to get a job in one of those places. :)
    >
    > it looks like the only possibility would be a bulk tape eraser - i thought
    > maybe a degausser would do it, but from what you and others said ( yours

    was
    > actually empirical, always better) that won't do it.
    >
    > thanks to all who replied. recap - the drive is dead, it won't spin,

    hence
    > software is useless. i discovered it;s death a couple days before the
    > warranty ran out. after about increasingly irate eight emails, got an

    RMA.
    > but then became paranoid about the data on the drive.
    >
    > it failed sometime before i discovered it. it was the slave on the

    primary
    > channel in a computer that works fine, and it's function was to support 4
    > operating systems in a lab. because it was big enough to do that easily,

    i
    > just left the data from previous use on it. (lesson for me and all - don't
    > do that.) i did that because i have -personally- had good luck with

    drives.
    > I have a couple that are ten years old, have sat for half a decade, and
    > still work. This one sat for three months and failed. Western Digital.

    My
    > last.
    > on methods - kenny's link to 200 ways to revive your drive - was great.
    > thanks! i had already tried most of them. have finally slammed it on the
    > floor - and that didn't work. have tried what barry calls the radial

    twist,
    > as good a name as any, many times: it didn't work. i have from the
    > beginning been pretty sure it's a dead chip on the controller board -

    which
    > means that a thief in the receiving room at the return mail room could get
    > it running again by screwing on an old controller board.
    >
    > unfortuneately, i can't get a replacement on a credit card and swap boards
    > without violating the warranty, if they happen to look at it.
    >
    > now, just to clear up a myth, taking the cover off a drive rarely destroys
    > it. it will introduce stuff that will ruin the drive over time, but i

    have
    > pulled old drives out of boxes, taken the covers off to show students what
    > they looked like inside, put the covers back on, stuck them into a

    machine,
    > booted them up finding windows 3.1, and examined the data on the drives.
    > just to show it could be done. it can be done, and for security purposes
    > don't forget that.
    >
    > breaking the platters will work. you can still get data, but no casual or
    > even professional thief would have the necessary equipment, or the desire

    to
    > look for it. so that's probably what i'll do, and forgoe the replacement.
    >
    > tis truly a bite in the ass. i've had personal even intimate experience
    > with about 8 WD drives. three of them failed early. i would like WD bear
    > some of the cost. but my only possible access to a bulk tape eraser is a
    > friend in a radio station 450 miles away, not a feasible trip right now,

    and
    > not cost effective in any case. and his station may not even have one any
    > more....
    >
    > if anyone knows of possible access to a bulk tape eraser in the

    philadelphia
    > area (south east pennsylvania / south jersey) please let me know at
    > wallacestevens at usa com. symbols and dots in the
    > appropriate places.
    >
    > thanks for all the answers, even those that suggested hitting it with a
    > hammer.
    >
    > mike flinn
    >
    >
    >
    > "Tom MacIntyre" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > On Wed, 10 Nov 2004 21:12:44 -0500, "MF"
    > > <> wrote:
    > >
    > > >This is like what do you do in Denver when you're dead....
    > > >
    > > >Anyone know a practical, effective way to erase a hard drive that is

    > deader
    > > >than a brick? It's a West. Digital 60 gig 7200 RPM. It won't spin up

    and
    > > >WD's diagnostic utilities won't recognize it. It went out a few days

    > before
    > > >the warranty expired and I want to try to return it, but it has _lots_

    of
    > > >sensitive info on it, and, dead or not, I don't want it in the hands of
    > > >strangers.
    > > >
    > > >By practical, I mean something accessible to the average bozo, like me.
    > > >Running it thru an MRI scanner might be worth a try, but not too

    > practical.
    > > >
    > > >Thanks!
    > > >
    > > >Mike
    > > >

    > >
    > > I haven't read it yet, but it showed up in my e-mail within the last
    > > day or two...
    > >
    > > informit.com
    > >
    > > Make Your Data Go Away: Hard Drive Shredders to the Rescue
    > >
    > > I get the impression that it's not published on their site; it's in
    > > HTML format also, and I think it's just a newsletter (one of the many
    > > I receive but can't get a chance to read them). Just an FYI...
    > >
    > > Tom

    >
    >
     
    MF, Nov 19, 2004
    #18
  19. On Fri, 19 Nov 2004 03:12:57 -0500, "MF"
    <> wrote:

    >p.s
    >
    >hat will ruin the drive over time, but i have
    >pulled old drives out of boxes
    >
    >by boxes i mean real boxes: old, open, cardboard boxes with everyting inside
    >covered with dust, not the metaphor for computers.
    >
    >sorry for the lack of clarity.
    >
    >pop quiz: metaphor, simile. what's the diference?
    >


    They're types of soda pop? :)

    Seriously, without looking it up...I don't know. I wonder if a
    Thesaurus would list them together, or if they're different enough for
    this not to happen.

    Tom

    >
    >
    >
    >"MF" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> hey, tom,
    >>
    >> yeah, it's on their site. here:
    >> http://www.informit.com/articles/printerfriendly.asp?p=349882 .
    >>
    >> it lead me to other sites where i discovered that they now have shredders
    >> for hard drives. cut 'em up, chop 'em up and spit 'em out in particles.
    >> might try to get a job in one of those places. :)
    >>
    >> it looks like the only possibility would be a bulk tape eraser - i thought
    >> maybe a degausser would do it, but from what you and others said ( yours

    >was
    >> actually empirical, always better) that won't do it.
    >>
    >> thanks to all who replied. recap - the drive is dead, it won't spin,

    >hence
    >> software is useless. i discovered it;s death a couple days before the
    >> warranty ran out. after about increasingly irate eight emails, got an

    >RMA.
    >> but then became paranoid about the data on the drive.
    >>
    >> it failed sometime before i discovered it. it was the slave on the

    >primary
    >> channel in a computer that works fine, and it's function was to support 4
    >> operating systems in a lab. because it was big enough to do that easily,

    >i
    >> just left the data from previous use on it. (lesson for me and all - don't
    >> do that.) i did that because i have -personally- had good luck with

    >drives.
    >> I have a couple that are ten years old, have sat for half a decade, and
    >> still work. This one sat for three months and failed. Western Digital.

    >My
    >> last.
    >> on methods - kenny's link to 200 ways to revive your drive - was great.
    >> thanks! i had already tried most of them. have finally slammed it on the
    >> floor - and that didn't work. have tried what barry calls the radial

    >twist,
    >> as good a name as any, many times: it didn't work. i have from the
    >> beginning been pretty sure it's a dead chip on the controller board -

    >which
    >> means that a thief in the receiving room at the return mail room could get
    >> it running again by screwing on an old controller board.
    >>
    >> unfortuneately, i can't get a replacement on a credit card and swap boards
    >> without violating the warranty, if they happen to look at it.
    >>
    >> now, just to clear up a myth, taking the cover off a drive rarely destroys
    >> it. it will introduce stuff that will ruin the drive over time, but i

    >have
    >> pulled old drives out of boxes, taken the covers off to show students what
    >> they looked like inside, put the covers back on, stuck them into a

    >machine,
    >> booted them up finding windows 3.1, and examined the data on the drives.
    >> just to show it could be done. it can be done, and for security purposes
    >> don't forget that.
    >>
    >> breaking the platters will work. you can still get data, but no casual or
    >> even professional thief would have the necessary equipment, or the desire

    >to
    >> look for it. so that's probably what i'll do, and forgoe the replacement.
    >>
    >> tis truly a bite in the ass. i've had personal even intimate experience
    >> with about 8 WD drives. three of them failed early. i would like WD bear
    >> some of the cost. but my only possible access to a bulk tape eraser is a
    >> friend in a radio station 450 miles away, not a feasible trip right now,

    >and
    >> not cost effective in any case. and his station may not even have one any
    >> more....
    >>
    >> if anyone knows of possible access to a bulk tape eraser in the

    >philadelphia
    >> area (south east pennsylvania / south jersey) please let me know at
    >> wallacestevens at usa com. symbols and dots in the
    >> appropriate places.
    >>
    >> thanks for all the answers, even those that suggested hitting it with a
    >> hammer.
    >>
    >> mike flinn
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> "Tom MacIntyre" <> wrote in message
    >> news:...
    >> > On Wed, 10 Nov 2004 21:12:44 -0500, "MF"
    >> > <> wrote:
    >> >
    >> > >This is like what do you do in Denver when you're dead....
    >> > >
    >> > >Anyone know a practical, effective way to erase a hard drive that is

    >> deader
    >> > >than a brick? It's a West. Digital 60 gig 7200 RPM. It won't spin up

    >and
    >> > >WD's diagnostic utilities won't recognize it. It went out a few days

    >> before
    >> > >the warranty expired and I want to try to return it, but it has _lots_

    >of
    >> > >sensitive info on it, and, dead or not, I don't want it in the hands of
    >> > >strangers.
    >> > >
    >> > >By practical, I mean something accessible to the average bozo, like me.
    >> > >Running it thru an MRI scanner might be worth a try, but not too

    >> practical.
    >> > >
    >> > >Thanks!
    >> > >
    >> > >Mike
    >> > >
    >> >
    >> > I haven't read it yet, but it showed up in my e-mail within the last
    >> > day or two...
    >> >
    >> > informit.com
    >> >
    >> > Make Your Data Go Away: Hard Drive Shredders to the Rescue
    >> >
    >> > I get the impression that it's not published on their site; it's in
    >> > HTML format also, and I think it's just a newsletter (one of the many
    >> > I receive but can't get a chance to read them). Just an FYI...
    >> >
    >> > Tom

    >>
    >>

    >
     
    Tom MacIntyre, Nov 19, 2004
    #19
  20. On Fri, 19 Nov 2004 00:41:19 -0500, "MF"
    <> wrote:

    >hey, tom,
    >
    >yeah, it's on their site. here:
    >http://www.informit.com/articles/printerfriendly.asp?p=349882 .
    >
    > it lead me to other sites where i discovered that they now have shredders
    >for hard drives. cut 'em up, chop 'em up and spit 'em out in particles.
    >might try to get a job in one of those places. :)
    >
    >it looks like the only possibility would be a bulk tape eraser - i thought
    >maybe a degausser would do it, but from what you and others said ( yours was
    >actually empirical, always better) that won't do it.


    I'm not from the "Show Me" state, but I often act like it. :)

    Tom
     
    Tom MacIntyre, Nov 19, 2004
    #20
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