Friday, January 28

Without a trace: how to destroy a hard drive | Digital Trends Spanish


Those who have purchased a laptop or PC with the latest operating system (or the latest in processing) may dispense with their old machine, which opens up some possibilities: offer the latter to a friend or family member, or simply recycle it for the best disposal. of its components. Either way, the first step will be to delete the information so that it is not misused. Then, especially in the second scenario, there may be the possibility of destroy hard drive.

As an advance, there is no single method and there are even specialized centers that are dedicated to it, which offer their services to public and private companies that handle large volumes of data and, therefore, storage media.

Is it enough to reset the old laptop?

If the machine will continue to be used indoors, now for the children’s homework or to be anchored in the living room, it is enough to reset it, once the information has been backed up (if this process applies).

The recommendation is to remove all personal files, applications and settings in order to install only software that will be useful for school activities or making video calls, for example.

The process is also useful in two more situations: when you intend to sell the computer with a relative or you want to give a second “life” to the old computer in case it already feels slow.

Again, the important thing is to be aware that the factory reset will make it almost impossible to recover the data previously saved on the computer, hence the importance of making a backup first.

Is it better to “clean” or erase the storage drive?

Hard drive enclosure
Photo by iyus sugiharto on Unsplash

It could be considered the next level with the intention of preventing someone from accessing sensitive information on a hard drive and is recommended when the user will sell their computer online to a third party.

From the blog of Data Destruction It is read that this method can be a way to prevent identity theft and data breach, protect the reputation of businesses (in the case of companies) or comply with data protection laws and government regulations.

Of course, “cleaning” a disk may require using more specialized software and even an information technology expert.

Of the ways that are available for this task, Data Destruction highlights three: destroying the disk physically (discussed later), using a data destruction program, or hiring the services of data cleaning professionals.

When is it convenient to destroy a hard drive?

Unmounted hard drive
Photo by Bruce Hong on Unsplash

You could say that it is the supreme level to reduce the possibility that someone can access the data on a hard drive, of course, once it has been cleaned (or backed up). It is the most natural option for people who handle sensitive files.

In Data Destruction There are at least five ways to destroy a storage medium like this.

  • Demagnetization A degausser alters the magnetic direction of the disk, which means that it cannot be used or read by a curious person. Of course, managing a team like this almost always involves the supervision of an expert.
  • Trituration. The shredder does its job so that the disc plates (which store the information), being reduced to pieces, are unable to be read. Here are the downsides that shredders are not cheap and that the task can release environmental pollutants.
  • Disintegration. It is an even more complex process, especially due to the use of the machine that will carry out the disintegration activity: the hard disk becomes smaller elements, impossible to be reassembled.
  • Melting It involves dipping the hard drive in acid to destroy its platters and casing, making it one of the most dangerous and least recommended routes.
  • Drilling. With the help of a drill, the idea is to make holes in a hard disk, its casing and its plates, so that it cannot be used again. A hammer can also be used for this.

What has become one of the most widespread forms – for so-called end users – is the dismantling of the units. Once the hard drive has been removed from the computer, the goal is to disassemble it with the help of a Torx-type head screwdriver.

Once the board that houses the electronic components is split in two, what follows is to get to the platters. It will be enough if they are exposed and scratched with a screwdriver to make your information (or the disc itself) inaccessible.

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