Hard Disk Disposal
If you are discarding a disk or a computer with a disk installed, you must take measures to ensure any personal and/or confidential information on the disk is unreadable.
1. Writable Disks
If the disk is writable -- completely overwriting the disk one or more times should suffice.
#> dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdc bs=1M on a UNIX like system will write zeros to the entire disk.
Darik's Boot And Nuke - DBAN is a self-contained boot disk that automatically deletes the contents of any hard disk that it can detect.
ATA Secure Erase function that's included in the firmware of most drives these days is available with the hdparm tool (credit Randy Goldenberg,UBC-IT for this tip)
2. Non-Writable Disks
If the disk is non-writable then the disk may be effectively destroyed physically via a hydraulic press ("taco-chip" process). See the images below for the result of this process.
"Taco-Chip" Process Details
$2 per standard size hard disk.
Submit the disk without any frames, slides, or carriers attached. Disks with additional parts attached will not be accepted.
Deliver disks to the PHAS machine shop in the Hennings Building Room 215-G (on the ground floor).
Include a completed, hardcopy JV with the disks.
The disks will be securely stored prior to destruction. The PHAS machine shop will send the destroyed disks for standard E-Waste processing unless instructed otherwise when the disks are dropped off.
diskDestruction_600x450_01.jpg (high-res version)
diskDestruction_600x450_02.jpg (high-res version)
diskDestruction_600x450_03.jpg (high-res version)
diskDestruction_600x450_04.jpg (high-res version)
diskDestruction_600x450_05.jpg (high-res version)
diskDestruction_06s.jpg (high-res version)
diskDestruction_07s.jpg (high-res version)
diskDestruction_08s.jpg (high-res version)
3. Other Options
If the taco chip process is not sufficient for your purposes then we recommend you consider one of these alternatives...
- The BC provincial government now provides a shredding facility to which you can send wirtable media (disks, phones, etc) for destruction. Their web site lists a charge of $6/drive.
- Electronic Recycling Association offers disk destruction (both on-site and off-site) in addtion to recycling all types of computer equipment.
- Iron Mountain is a commerical company that offers disk destruction services. They are used extensively on campus for paper shredding.