I fought the hard drive, and I won
OK, so I had this old PC from eons ago that I needed to discard. It was taking up space, it hadn’t been powered on in a good while, and it was time I kicked it to the curb. One thing: I had absolutely no clue what was on the hard drive. I don’t even have anything I could connect said drive to to test it, and potentially salvage anything. I also figured with the machine as old as it was it probably didn’t have anything worth salvaging on it anyway. But, with these times being what they are, I figured I should probably be safe and remove the drive from the computer before chucking it.
So, I did.
Great, now the computer’s gone, but I’ve still got this ancient hard drive. What to do, what to do… Well, I can’t use it so the only other thing to protect the data from the wrong hands, would be to destroy it.
Okay, so “how can I destroy this hard drive?” I thought to myself. My first thought (cue light bulb going on) – WATER!
So, I gave the hard drive a soapy bath! But, much to my dismay, after 15 minutes it looked no different than when it had gone in. No corrosion, no nothing.
Apparently, as I’d just learned by asking a few friends, hard drives are sealed so they are ostensibly waterproof. Certain restrictions may apply, individual results my vary, but for the most part, they’re sealed so nothing’s getting in or out of any kind of moisture. OH, KAY… Plan B?
Well, I didn’t have a magnet strong enough to screw it up, so I thought I’d take a screwdriver out and have at it. Maybe I can do some damage to the internals…and damage, I did. Oh boy did I.
To make a long story short, when all was said and done, I’d managed to disassemble the drive to access the inside. I severely mangled the platter, snapped the cable in half that connected the reader arm to the electronics inside, bent the reader arm 90-degrees upwards, and snapped the electronic reader element off of the end. I highly doubt anyone will be able to make any kind of sense of that drive now. Here’s a photo of what the platter looked like, before the “grand finale”:
I went outside with a hammer, gave it a few slams (using both the flat head and the crowbar-esque head), and after adding some nice dents in the drive I figured the drive had had enough. It was gone, and it was mildly fun getting it to that state. I’m not one who is crazily into destruction and mayhem, but a little here and there is perfectly healthy. I assure you I wasn’t holding the hammer and making any sinister laughs while writing that….or was I? Hehe…
The moral of the story, is this: If you get your computer wet, there’s a good chance your hard drive will be totally fine. Don’t get your computer wet, though because most of the rest of it won’t be as fine. If you bash the ever-loving shit out of your computer, your hard drive will most likely be fine, but you’ll be pretty foolish since no warranty on Earth would get your back. So, don’t bash your computer up… And finally: If you take apart your hard drive, scratch your name into the platter, disconnect everything and damn-near poke holes in the platter, you better pray your stuff is backed up, because you’re well up the creek, and I just sold your paddles on eBay.