General Question

KoleraHeliko's avatar

How should I go about destroying some data?

Asked by KoleraHeliko (1587points) October 5th, 2011

Supposing I had some discs (40 or so) and required the destruction of the data upon these discs, what would be the cheapest, most effective (or most creative) way to destroy the data upon them?

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30 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

What type of disks? Floppy? Hard? Optical? Do you need to re use the media?

Assuming you don’t need to reuse the media – Floppy discs or DVD’s then you can put them through a big office shredder, most have a setting for CD’s. With hard drives the best way is to degauss the drive (ie put it close to a very powerfull magnet there are devices you can get to do this) and then put the thing through a wood chipper. For a slightly cheaper option you could hit the drive with a sledghammer or drill holes into it. Even just braking open a hard drive case will make accessing the data again difficult and expensive (but not impossible).

Afos22's avatar


KoleraHeliko's avatar

@Lightlyseared My apologies, for clarity they are optical discs.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Ahh in that case a couple of greasy fingprints on the back usually makes them unreadable.

escapadesofapoet's avatar

Burn them…its the only way to be sure :P Failing that add some alcohol then burn them again.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I convert them to heat in my high-efficiency, wood burning stove.

PhiNotPi's avatar

If you want to reuse the media, you could buy (or find a free version of) a type of program called a shredder. These programs overwrite files with random noise multiple times to eliminate any chance that the data could be recovered.

XOIIO's avatar

Microwave. Seriously, it’s what I use

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GabrielsLamb's avatar

Recycle and turn them into an art piece… *After the greasy fingerprints of course. I saw a show once where a guy melted old records and disks and turned them into molded coasters, bowls and little chachkies. Pssst… Is it porn? Just curious, I won’t tell…

LostInParadise's avatar

If you want to reuse the discs, run the format command to free up disc space. Then run a program to fill the discs with new data and finally reformat them.

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mowens's avatar

Paper shredder that can do credit cards.

koanhead's avatar

For media that will be reused: GNU Shred(Unix). It’s part of coreutils and therefore should come with Cygwin.
Please don’t burn optical disks, icky chemicals result. It’s best to mechanically shred or grind them and recycle the bits. Most largish cities will have a vendor that can do the recycling.

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Blueroses's avatar

String them from wire hangers, take them out to hang at a target range and blast away at them with a rifle. I actually do this

tlm's avatar

Do you need the disks to be alive after that? If so, try DBAN. If not, well, just KILL THEM WITH FIRE.

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jerv's avatar

I have snapped them with my bare hands (my most common method), shredded them with a paper shredder (some of which are designed to do so), melted them both with torches and just setting them on fire (unwise, but fire is cool), and attacked them with a Dremel sander.

If my wife and I had a Blendtec, I would do that at least once just to say I did it.

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njnyjobs's avatar

Burning the Optical Disc (CD/DVD) will definitely obliterate your data. merely breaking disc in pieces does not assure that filles will be unrecoverable.

XOIIO's avatar

@njnyjobs Yeah, but who is going to take the peices, glue them together, sand them down and polish them just to possibly see something?

njnyjobs's avatar

@XOIIO FBI, U.S. Secret Service, CIA . . . who knows what OP is trying to hide….

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KoleraHeliko's avatar

@Judi I actually like this idea. In the event I find something cool to do, I’ll make a video for all to see.

@GabrielsLamb Oh, you won’t tell? In that cas-HEY

I think I may burn them. Or blend them. Or burn them with a blender.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

@KoleraHeliko Well of COURSE I won’t tell…

*Until you piss me off. Then we tear up the contract and call it all bet’s are off, and even the score..

I don’t play…

*but seriously… Burn them with a blender. That just sounds cool

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