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Author Topic: How much HF (and what concentration) would be needed to destroy 12 hard drives?  (Read 3927 times)

Offline pyroflame

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So I'm not sure if this is in the right spot but I'll ask it here anyways. I'm trying to destroy my hard drives (cause they're going in the trash) and don't wanna run the risk of someone recovering any data after I wipe my drive. Any idea of how much acid (or what other acid) would be suitable to accomplish this?


 

Offline Bill.D.Katt.

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First of all you wouldn't want to use HF. HF is extremely hazardous without even considering it's corrosive properties. Plus, using acid on your drives would probably create some very toxic compounds which should not be thrown out in normal trash. Before trying to destroy them physically with hazardous chemicals, I would either run an extremely powerful magnet over it, or send a large amount of electricity through it (not sure if either of these options would work, but it's worth a try).
 

Offline Geezer

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Bill beat me to it. I was about to post this:

I suggest you really don't want to mess around with HF, and it may not even be the best way to go.

Assuming you have removed the platters from the drives, simply wipe a powerful magnet over all the surfaces. You can also take a hacksaw and cut the platters in half for good measure, and put the opposite halves into different trash cans. BTW, if you don't have a powerful magnet, you'll find at least a couple of really powerful ones inside the drive. (Take care not to trap your skin between them and a piece of steel - they can snap together very rapidly.)

Despite the miraculous data recovery forensics sometimes seen on TV fiction, it's bloody near impossible to recover anything from a disk that's been cut in half.
 

Offline RD

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Assuming you have removed the platters from the drives, simply wipe a powerful magnet over all the surfaces.

Seriously overpriced magnet here ... http://www.gsaprice.com/gsa/sem-1100-hand-wand-degausser.html  [:0]

Quote
destroy 12 hard drives?

You are going to destroy ~ $1000 worth of kit ?.
If the drives are operational just overwrite the data and reuse/sell/recycle the drives, there are plenty of programmes which will do this, if you are really paranoid chose the option which overwrites with random pattern of 0s and 1s rather than just 0s or just 1s : it takes longer but is more secure. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_remanence#Overwriting 
« Last Edit: 17/11/2010 04:37:55 by RD »
 

Offline maffsolo

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So I'm not sure if this is in the right spot but I'll ask it here anyways. I'm trying to destroy my hard drives (cause they're going in the trash) and don't wanna run the risk of someone recovering any data after I wipe my drive. Any idea of how much acid (or what other acid) would be suitable to accomplish this?

To jumble up the tiny magnetic poles of information, use a degausser, it is an electromagnet that is powered by an Alternating current.
A Straight magnet with static magnetic properties will not destroy a hard drive.

To really make sure a hard drive is lost its information.
 Take the platters out and put them in your microwave for less than 10 seconds, then take them outside in the yard and put a propane torch to their surfaces, then use them in the next skeet shoot, or hang them on your wall, call them art.

Simple multiple formats multiple repartitioning, multiple rewrites over and over will clean a drive.
After that it will become very expensive process to recover any data that is coherent data.
It can only be detected by the use of an Electron Beam microscope, and a trained eye.
If you are worried that your personal ID will be stolen and you work for covert ops you should begin using a 125 bit encryption and more theft protection for starters.
Now are you that paranoid?
 
« Last Edit: 17/11/2010 05:31:14 by maffsolo »
 

Offline Bored chemist

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All the replies above are quite correct.

However, if you are determined to use chemistry then take the platters out and take a blowtorch to them. Air at red heat will destroy them just as well as HF and is much cheaper.
By the way, what are you trying to hide?
 

Offline peppercorn

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By the way, what are you trying to hide?
;D   Quite!

I would have thought an electric drill through the casing would be easiest and enough to stop most 'recovery' methods.  .... Unless you're expecting the CSI team to turn up! :o
 

Offline Don_1

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When I last disposed of a knackered lap top, I found a club hammer to be quite useful. I rather doubt anyone would go to the trouble of trying to get any data from it in that state.
 

Offline maffsolo

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The means justify the extremes, the expense of extracting data at the molecular level is crazy and very expensive.

Thermal destruction is the way, aluminum will melt like ice if the heat is from an oxy acetylene
torch... I think the platers ase made of a coated aluminum
 

Offline Geezer

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I have also found Don's technique to be highly effective, although I prefer a sledge hammer. (Don't forget to wear safety glasses. You might also consider boots with steel toe caps if you don't trust your aim.)

Heat is good too, but I don't think it's necessary to actually melt the platters to destroy the magnetic imprint.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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My colleagues used to use a 75 ton press, but I think they did that because it was more fun than most of the other methods.
We wouldn't have been able to write a safety case for doing this
but I think it's fair to say the data would have been unrecoverable.
 

Offline lightarrow

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What about this? :

 

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