View Full Version : broken drive

05-23-2008, 08:36 AM

What do you do with a broken hard drive? One which has OS and your personal data, e.g. tax records (among other things)?

It is still under manufacturer's warranty and the vendor will take it back for replacement. I have the RMA in my hand, but am reluctant to ship it back.
Data loss is not the problem since all is backed up (several times). The drive is a typical consumer SATA.

Are such drives tested? If the tester manages to access the stored information, then identity theft is at his fingertips. I would be toast. Or do they merely confirm it is broken (won't start, makes clicking noises) and trash it? Like, not worth the cost to repair it?

Somehow I feel this problem applies to many computer users: drive breaks, the user returns it, and allows strangers to access his personal records. What do the macgurus do in such case?


05-23-2008, 08:59 AM
I hit em with a hammer.

Unfortunately, 80 percent of the drives returned to manufacturers are not mechanically damaged. Those 80 percent at least 50% get returned to customers as refurb replacements. That means an enterprising person who get s a replacement drive from manufacturer can run the algorithms that are public to recover any data that is on the drive.

Crap shoot, plain and simple.


05-23-2008, 10:01 PM

well I am 100% with Rick.

If you can get over it, losing one drive with warranty...
open it up the platters are made of glas evaporated with a thin layer of metall or made of aluminum...
so go ahead and use a hammer :)



05-23-2008, 10:35 PM
A cutting torch is fun too. So is a chop saw. :D

05-24-2008, 04:00 AM
Besides if your data is that important and you are really worried about identity theft then you should just buy a new drive. they aren't expensive after all. you can then decide to destroy it with any of the above options.. :)

05-24-2008, 01:12 PM
Thanks guys, appreciate the comments.

However, hammers, torches and saws seem a bit too aggressive. :)

So I tried the unthinkable: I put the HD into my microwave. When lying flat, nothing; it only got warm. I stood it up, the sparks finally came, just a few and then I shut it off. Disk was warm and it smelled. Put a magnet to it for an extra measure, and will dispose of it in city dump.

You all are right..........the drive is cheap relative to the possible damage from identity theft. Thanks.