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Metalworking (rec.crafts.metalworking) Discuss various aspects of working with metal, such as machining, welding, metal joining, screwing, casting, hardening/tempering, blacksmithing/forging, spinning and hammer work, sheet metal work.

Can a small industrial demagnetizer erase a hard drive



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 25th 11, 04:30 PM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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Posts: 6
Default Can a small industrial demagnetizer erase a hard drive

I have a little industrial demagnetizer from a grinding shop. Can this
thing erase contents of hard drives securely? Or the magnetic field is
not string enough? I have a pile of old HDs awaiting destruction.

THe alternative is my press, which is more of a PITA.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old May 25th 11, 05:47 PM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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Posts: 347
Default Can a small industrial demagnetizer erase a hard drive

"Ignoramus23924" wrote in message
...
I have a little industrial demagnetizer from a grinding shop. Can this
thing erase contents of hard drives securely? Or the magnetic field is
not string enough? I have a pile of old HDs awaiting destruction.

THe alternative is my press, which is more of a PITA.

Thanks


Reminds me of the ex girlfriend of one of my buddies back when Radio Shack
had a real computer push. She was their computer guru. Usually she asked
me or my buddy for help with anything as we were real computer nerds back
then. One day she didn't ask us when she decided to erase an old Seagate
MFM hard drive with a mag tape bulk eraser. When she powered it up you
could hear that drive screaming 4 shops down the walkway in the mall.



  #3  
Old May 25th 11, 06:02 PM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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Posts: 116
Default Can a small industrial demagnetizer erase a hard drive

On Wed, 25 May 2011 10:30:08 -0500, Ignoramus23924
wrote:

I have a little industrial demagnetizer from a grinding shop. Can this
thing erase contents of hard drives securely? Or the magnetic field is
not string enough? I have a pile of old HDs awaiting destruction.

THe alternative is my press, which is more of a PITA.

Thanks



Not nearly strong enough for succesful erasure. Severe mechanical
destruction is the only safe way,

A pickaxe stroke strong enough to both penetrate and
mechanically distort the disk platter is a good start.

CD / DVD destruction is much easier see http://flic.kr/p/9LRLva

Jim
  #4  
Old May 25th 11, 07:06 PM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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Posts: 124
Default Can a small industrial demagnetizer erase a hard drive

On 5/25/2011 10:30 AM, Ignoramus23924 wrote:
I have a little industrial demagnetizer from a grinding shop. Can this
thing erase contents of hard drives securely? Or the magnetic field is
not string enough? I have a pile of old HDs awaiting destruction.

THe alternative is my press, which is more of a PITA.

Thanks


Take them outside, put them on a concrete sidewalk, give them 2-3 good
hits with a sledgehammer. Drives made in the last ~10 years have
tempered-glass platters that will shatter totally. Drives older than
that have metal platters, but if they can't spin, they won't work. (Also
if the controller circuit board gets smashed up, only the manufacturer
probably has the ability to get or make a new one)

Then you can just toss them in the trash -- but the frames of many are
aluminum, if you recycle.

-------

If you want to erase a working drive completely, just hook it up as a
slave drive, get a random-over-writer like Eraser and do a 1X random
over-write of the entire drive. Or go 3X if you want to get crazy, but
nothing more is needed. It's not difficult, it doesn't take that long
and you can have that going while still using the computer.
http://eraser.heidi.ie/

Eraser is free and has a bunch of overwrite options, from 1 to 35
passes--but if you look at the list, you will see that many government
and military standards are only a 3x random overwrite.

,,,,,,

The way that most OS's restore previous versions of files is by an
operating system feature, not by any technical aspect of the drives
themselves. The OS does this by writing each new version at a different
space on the drive. If you randomly-overwrite the whole drive even just
once, ALL the versions will get corrupted.

If even just the /previous/ drive write (in any single location) could
possibly be recovered in any easy way with only the drive's own
read/write hardware, then the drive would have 2X the capacity that it
really does, and the hard drive companies would be capitalizing on that.
And they're not.
  #5  
Old May 25th 11, 10:09 PM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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Posts: 1,507
Default Can a small industrial demagnetizer erase a hard drive

Ignoramus23924 wrote:

I have a little industrial demagnetizer from a grinding shop. Can this
thing erase contents of hard drives securely? Or the magnetic field is
not string enough? I have a pile of old HDs awaiting destruction.

THe alternative is my press, which is more of a PITA.

It shouldn't really matter. Is the data on them important enough to
anybody for them to bother to go to the trouble to read it anyway?

If they were mine, I'd take the bandsaw to them. Or crush them.

But just opening the cover and scraping the disk with a screwdriver
will do it.

And to me, it'd be a heck of a lot more fun crushing them in the press
than running a silly lil' ol' demagnetizer over them, which probably
wouldn't have any effect anyway, since the steel covers will "short out"
the magnetic field.

Have Fun!
Rich

  #6  
Old May 25th 11, 10:12 PM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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Posts: 1,507
Default Can a small industrial demagnetizer erase a hard drive

DougC wrote:

On 5/25/2011 10:30 AM, Ignoramus23924 wrote:
I have a little industrial demagnetizer from a grinding shop. Can this
thing erase contents of hard drives securely? Or the magnetic field is
not string enough? I have a pile of old HDs awaiting destruction.

THe alternative is my press, which is more of a PITA.


Take them outside, put them on a concrete sidewalk, give them 2-3 good
hits with a sledgehammer.


If you do this, put some kind of backer plate under them so you don't
chip or crack the concrete.

Good Luck!
Rich

  #7  
Old May 25th 11, 11:55 PM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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Posts: 6
Default Can a small industrial demagnetizer erase a hard drive

On 2011-05-25, Bob La Londe wrote:
"Ignoramus23924" wrote in message
...
I have a little industrial demagnetizer from a grinding shop. Can this
thing erase contents of hard drives securely? Or the magnetic field is
not string enough? I have a pile of old HDs awaiting destruction.

THe alternative is my press, which is more of a PITA.

Thanks


Reminds me of the ex girlfriend of one of my buddies back when Radio Shack
had a real computer push. She was their computer guru. Usually she asked
me or my buddy for help with anything as we were real computer nerds back
then. One day she didn't ask us when she decided to erase an old Seagate
MFM hard drive with a mag tape bulk eraser. When she powered it up you
could hear that drive screaming 4 shops down the walkway in the mall.




Hard drives have very powerful magnets in them.

i
  #8  
Old May 26th 11, 12:07 AM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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Posts: 1,343
Default Can a small industrial demagnetizer erase a hard drive

Ignoramus23924 wrote:

I have a little industrial demagnetizer from a grinding shop. Can this
thing erase contents of hard drives securely? Or the magnetic field is
not string enough? I have a pile of old HDs awaiting destruction.

THe alternative is my press, which is more of a PITA.

Thanks


My brother uses a 1" neodymium magnet to find conduit and nails in walls. He is an
electrician. One day he forgot the magnet was in his pocket and picked up his laptop that
was running on batteries. He said that as the laptop came near his pocket he heard the
windows shutdown song and his laptop never booted completely again.

Using Spinrite to look at various cylinders on the disk, I determined he wiped a number of
cylinders out in an instant.

I suspect that if you power up the drive and use a similar sized magnet and do a slow wipe
with the magnet on top and bottom of drive that disk will be dead forever.

I hope you are not involved in anything that requires that level of paranoia. A hit with
a hammer on the controller board would be enough to stop the curious at the landfill.

I have a pile of drives I need to kill for good practice, I'm going to mine them for
magnets. That might be a good job for your son. Give him some torx screwdrivers and tell
him to take them apart and find the magnets. By the time he is done, that drive will be
dead enough unless the FBI or CIA wants you for something.


Wes
--
"Additionally as a security officer, I carry a gun to protect
government officials but my life isn't worth protecting at home
in their eyes." Dick Anthony Heller
  #10  
Old May 26th 11, 03:38 AM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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Posts: 874
Default Can a small industrial demagnetizer erase a hard drive

Is it a security issue ? - a few screws takes off the back and
then you just bend the platter(s). Easy.

Martin

On 5/25/2011 10:30 AM, Ignoramus23924 wrote:
I have a little industrial demagnetizer from a grinding shop. Can this
thing erase contents of hard drives securely? Or the magnetic field is
not string enough? I have a pile of old HDs awaiting destruction.

THe alternative is my press, which is more of a PITA.

Thanks

 




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