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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > Does baking a HD at 675 make it unreadable?

Does baking a HD at 675 make it unreadable?
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Grizzled Veteran
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Jun 30, 2013, 01:15 AM
 
Seriously, I have a dozen+ ancient ATA hard drives, 3.5, and no adapter to connect and individually erase each one. They have personal info, thus I want them unreadable. So my grill goes to about 675, outside, no fumes indoors.
     
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Jun 30, 2013, 07:09 AM
 
When fireproofing data, the rule is that magnetic storage should be kept below 190 F to be safe, but that doesn't mean that all the bits flip at that temperature. There is significant safety margin built in to that. I do know that drives stored in a fire-proof cabinet for paper (to keep temp below 451F) are pretty unreadable, though.

Or you can just drill a bunch of holes in them.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Jun 30, 2013, 08:26 AM
 
Take the lid off, and scratch (or partially sand) the platters?
Martin at HeadSpin HD now on Blu-ray
     
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Jun 30, 2013, 10:11 AM
 
Put them next to a powerful magnet for a month. Then drill holes in them.
     
Posting Junkie
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Jun 30, 2013, 12:59 PM
 
You're better off with mechanical destruction, like drilling.
     
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Jun 30, 2013, 01:01 PM
 
I expect the baking method will work, that temp will melt all the plastic in the drive. Including wire insulation, and likely the platters.

If you want to be certain, a USB -> IDE adapter is cheap enough at $6.54. Then let a multipass secure format run in the background. As a bonus, you can check for your forgotten treasure map before you wipe.

     
Mac Elite
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Jun 30, 2013, 02:45 PM
 
Just flip it over and cut the wires that lead into the case form the circuit board. Your not the pentagon. That alone will make not worth anyone's time.
     
jmiddel  (op)
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Jun 30, 2013, 03:54 PM
 
reader, unfortunately It "does not support 3.5" hard disk without power adapter & AC power cord". That would have been my preferred solution so I could recycle them. Most would do fine in a Linux setup.

BLAZE, I think i"ll do just that, there are no Pentagonian aspects to my life, very thankfully.

If I owned a gun I'd use them as target practice, heh heh.
     
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Jun 30, 2013, 05:51 PM
 
The kit comes with a power adapter cable: SATA power to Molex. So just grab power from any working tower while it's plugged into USB. An old power supply would work, inside or out of another tower.

newegg has a powered ATA-capable dock also, but it's $55, so I didn't link it.

btw, immersing an old HD in dirty water or bleach will do a complete job. Rip off the warning label first - the one that says "warranty void if sticker removed". That sticker covers the breather hole.
     
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Jun 30, 2013, 06:03 PM
 
Hit them with a hammer until the platters are smashed.
     
Clinically Insane
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Jul 2, 2013, 01:11 PM
 
Just for giggles, here's what I recall of the MoD procedures.

First, degauss a bunch of times.
Yank the platters.
Grind up the platters into dust.
Melt the dust into a solid brick.
Keep the brick stored in a secure and guarded installation.

There's no kill like overkill.
     
cgc
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Jul 2, 2013, 02:15 PM
 
It's amazing how durable a HDD is. I smashed mine with a 4lb sledgehammer then I drilled holes in the platters and ripped up the surface with the drill. Kind of did it for fun but I didn't know what was on it (e.g. finances) so it had to die.
"Like a midget at a urinal, I was going to have to stay on my toes." Frank Drebin, Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult
     
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Jul 2, 2013, 04:15 PM
 
Pop the little air hole open. Pour some sand in. Plug it back in.
     
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Jul 4, 2013, 02:19 PM
 
One very easy method of total drive destruction is to use a hydraulic press to basically snap the drive between two blocks. When you put enough pressure on the middle, the platters shatter. Since they are essentially a glass-like material (and probably won't melt at 650ºF), you wind up with glass crumbs.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Jul 4, 2013, 03:25 PM
 
I'm still waiting for a method that's easier than drilling a few holes through them.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Jul 6, 2013, 07:34 AM
 
My best friend spent $70 for a bench top 6-ton press.

He put a chunk of lumber on each end of the anvil portion of the press, and just placed an old drive on those blocks, with plenty of room in between. The press goes down, the drive bends (freaky to watch!) and the platters shatter. He recommends placing a piece of canvas or other heavy cloth over or around the drive, because bits of platter tend to "explode" out of the drive when they finally shatter. While subego's MoD method is theoretically more secure, the likelihood that anyone could reconstruct your data after this sort of destruction is infinitesimal.

He apparently got this idea from a professional data destruction company's demo for his firm. It does work, it's easy, and if you know someone who does work with a serious press, you can probably just borrow it for a few minutes and destroy your data yourself.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Clinically Insane
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Jul 6, 2013, 02:04 PM
 
You could also just change on your hard drives. While this technically won't erase any data, nobody will want to touch the drives. Would you?
     
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Jul 6, 2013, 02:05 PM
 
"Change" was supposed to be hush money
     
   
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