When you are getting rid of an old computer, the act of destroying hard drives is essential before just throwing it away. There is a lot of personal information to be accessed from your hard drive. Even if everything on it has been deleted and discarded, or the drive has been damaged.
If the computer is accessed without total hard drive destruction, your information is vulnerable. Items that fall into the wrong hands such as your tax returns, your banking information, and your social security number, can cause serious damage, resulting in major financial problems.
Data Back-Up Before Destroying Hard Drives
If possible, all of the data stored on the hard drive of your old computer should be backed up before figuring out how to destroy a hard drive. There are now ways of retrieving old files from dead or malfunctioning hard drives. Once all the information on the computer is backed up and available to access, you are free to do whatever needs to be done to make sure no one can get to it from the hard drive.
Three Levels of Hard Drive Destruction
The National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) has created a guideline for hard drive destruction using three levels of data destruction, or “sanitization.” This method makes it increasingly difficult for anyone to get the information that is or once was on the hard drive.
1. Clear Data
The first level of hard drive destruction is to make the information on the computer more difficult to recover using a program to erase all the data on the drive. The clear procedure should “consist of at least one pass of writes with a fixed data value, such as all zeros,” the NIST guidelines state. Multiple passes using more complex values can also be used to erase the data.
2. Purging the Files
Purging consists of performing a cryptographic erase, overwriting with all zeros, or a pseudorandom pattern. Then, using a degausser, hit the drive with a strong electromagnet.
3. Hard Drive Destruction
The NIST guideline on destroying hard drives suggests you to “shred, disintegrate, pulverize, or incinerate by burning the device in a licensed incinerator.” The goal is to completely obliterate the data and make the hard drive utterly useless.
Should You Destroy Your Hard Drive by Yourself?
No, you should no attempt the process of hard drive destruction on your own. It is far too dangerous without proper equipment, training, and experience.
Contact the Professionals at RW Lone Star Today
At RW Lone Star, an impressive team of industry professionals specializing in hard drive destruction can perform safe, secure, and total destruction of your hard drive. Our experts work on laptops and desktop computers to make the information and data on the hard drives completely unrecoverable.
Contact one of our knowledgeable representatives today for complete information on how to destroy a hard drive and have all of your questions answered.