General Question

Snoopy's avatar

Reycling desktop computer. What do I need to remove/destroy to prevent ID theft, etc.

Asked by Snoopy (5798points) August 24th, 2008

Just the hardrive (presuming I can figure out just what that is….)?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

9 Answers

glial's avatar

To be totally safe, pull it out and hit with a sledge hammer.

Snoopy's avatar

Oh that is on the to do list for sure. :)

I am taking the tower, monitor, printer, mouse, keyboard etc. to recycling on Mon…..I just wanted to make sure there wasn’t something else that I am supposed to yank out….

sndfreQ's avatar

Yeah…the hard drove is the rectangular case inside that has a spindle or small circular indentation on top, and a hub on the bottom. Usually the circle measures 2.5” or 3.5” in diameter. If possible as glial has recommended smash it, then take the disc platters and drill holes in them with a power drill to resemble Swiss cheese. That will render them unrecoverable (I’ve heard stories of the individual platters transplanted into new hard disk chassis and data extrapolated).

anthony81212's avatar


1) Put thermite inside computer
2) Ignite

Snoopy's avatar

@sndfreQ/glial The disemboweling of the computer will commence this afternoon at some point. Thanks for your suggestions!

@anthony. As I don’t know what thermite is and it is apparently combustable, I will stick w/ glial’s and sndfreQ’s suggestions….but, um, thanks.

tWrex's avatar

A less intrusive and cleaner way to get rid of your data, rather than smashing it would be to wipe it. Use DBAN and use it’s highest settings with the most passes. If you don’t want to spend the time doing that, if you have a large magnet of some sort run that all around the hard drive. That destroys the data as well and is used by the military for most every hd they use – although they do use a special magnet for it.

Or you could just smash it. =)

anthony81212's avatar

Thermite is a mixture of different chemicals that burns at a really high temperature. It would completely melt your harddrive, disc drive, and floppy drive, if you put thermite on them. Other parts of your computer are fine, they don’t save any important data.

roadventer's avatar

Remove the disk drive, give the circuit board side a good hit with a hammer, and then dispose of it with your regular household garbage. Simple, easy, safe.

The fact that your identify might still be salvageable from the drive is correct. But if you are concerned about that, then be sure to look up when you are outdoors…somebody might drop a piano from an airplane and it could hit you.

Snoopy's avatar

OK. The surgery was a success! I have the hard disk drive box. (and…....ewwwww…..was it filthy dusty in there! Yuck!)

I will worry about the acutal destruction of the hard drive later….but I will do it….I was most concerned w/ getting out whatever I need to before taking it to the recycling center tomorrow. Thanks to all.

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