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A magnet and a hard drive

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Will putting a magnet near a hard drive damage the hard drive rendering it useless (and a professional can see that its been damaged by a magnet) or will it just make the data inside corrupt and inaccessable?

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Posted

[quote name='rIaHc3' date='Aug 11 2005, 17:45']Will putting a magnet near a hard drive damage the hard drive rendering it useless (and a professional can see that its been damaged by a magnet) or will it just make the data inside corrupt and inaccessable?
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you will probably need a beefy magnet to really corrupt the data. little ones won't do anything. i would imagine that the drive would still work fine (albeit with screwed up data on it), it would just need a formatting. someone correct me if im wrong, ive never personally done any of this.

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Posted

I think it will actually render it un-useable

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[quote name='rIaHc3' date='Aug 12 2005, 00:45']Will putting a magnet near a hard drive damage the hard drive rendering it useless (and a professional can see that its been damaged by a magnet) or will it just make the data inside corrupt and inaccessable?
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Something tells me your going to fook up a hard drive to get a new one, I had that thought with my iPod the other day :devil:

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Posted

it will only corrupt your data a bit, not render it useless.

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Posted

what about hooking it up directly to a 12v battery? (just so i know if i ever need to destroy my data quickly)

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Posted

how long in the wave, you think? or maybe just a run under soap and water?

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Posted

hooking it up to a battery would (not sure on the voltage/amperage that it normally uses), if it's over the HD's limits, only fry the controlling circuits and cache (AFAIK, anyway) the platters where the data is stored would remain intact and could be recovered by removing the platters and placing them in another compatible hard drive. I don't think that little magnets would really do anything but I do know that there are products on the market that can nearly instantly wipe a HD and/or magnetic tapes. As for making them permanently unusable via magnets.... not sure.

EDIT: the dishwasher would probably fry the electronics, not sure if the platters would be destroyed or not though... again not sure about the platters in the micro either... I DO know that a microwave will definetly fry a CD.... if you really need to make an HD unusable you could just do the easy thing and smash it, hopefully shattering the platters.

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Posted

how about putting it in the microwave? or the dishwasher?

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Posted

taking a sledgehammer to it or dipping it in acid would be a lot faster :devil:

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Posted

High power magnets will FOOK a drive for good. It will fry the little proccessor thats on it. Much like static to a ram chip. But as stated before it has to be a Beefy magnet. They used to make these big electromagnets used for clearing vhs tapes. they worked wonders!

Friend had to do this to an HDD once...dont ask me why you probly better of not knowing :ninja:

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depends on the magnet...

putting anything with a fan near a hard drive, computer, monitor can NOT be good...

putting a fan beside a monitor (like we do at work) messes up the monitor.

depending on the strength of the magnet.. you will do some damage.

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Posted

To clear the data, you really need a VEFY powerful magnet. I have read around 10,000 gauss or higher.

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[quote name='devn00b' date='Aug 12 2005, 02:12']Friend had to do this to an HDD once...dont ask me why you probly better of not knowing  :ninja:
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thats why i want to know how to destroy data quickly :ninja:

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Posted

[quote name='lylesback2' date='Aug 12 2005, 02:12']depends on the magnet...

putting anything with a fan near a hard drive, computer, monitor can NOT be good...

putting a fan beside a monitor (like we do at work) messes up the monitor.

depending on the strength of the magnet.. you will do some damage.
[right][snapback]586363845[/snapback][/right]
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what about cooling fans lol

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Posted

Dude try hard drive killer pro... Look it up :p And btw it DOES work.. My friend found out the hard way.

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Posted

A magnet isn't going to hurt a hard drive. Hard drives already have magnets in them for the motor.

The whole idea of a harddrive is that it's really fricken hard to change the polarity of any given spot on the disk, and thus you need a really precise mechanism extremely close to the platter to affect it, and not the bits around it.

Unless you're talking super industrial strength magnet... I doubt you'll affect it in any way at all.

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[quote name='lylesback2' date='Aug 11 2005, 22:12']depends on the magnet...

putting anything with a fan near a hard drive, computer, monitor can NOT be good...

putting a fan beside a monitor (like we do at work) messes up the monitor.

depending on the strength of the magnet.. you will do some damage.
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It takes a really powerful magnet to do anything to data stored on a hard drive... the monitor (I'm guessing it's CRT) only gets messed up because they are more sensitive to magnetic radiation because electrons are essentially being shot at the phosphorescent layer of the monitor...

EDIT: in fact, if you think about it the technologies are drastically different CRTs involve free electrons being shot out of an electron gun and flying into something whereas a hard drive involves the alignment of magnetic particles

To really damage a hard drive what is really required is essentially to magnetize it so that everything is lined up the same way... if you apply a magnet to say a spoon the spoon will be attracted but it takes far more to actually magnetize the spoon so that it has it's own magnetic field (all the particles are "lined up" in it)

Edit:
[quote name='threedaysdwn' date='Aug 11 2005, 22:23']A magnet isn't going to hurt a hard drive.  Hard drives already have magnets in them for the motor.

The whole idea of a harddrive is that it's really fricken hard to change the polarity of any given spot on the disk, and thus you need a really precise mechanism extremely close to the platter to affect it, and not the bits around it.

Unless you're talking super industrial strength magnet... I doubt you'll affect it in any way at all.
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Exactly! Just like VHS tapes are a magnetic medium and VCRs have plenty of magnets in them to read and write and drive the motors.

I'm pretty sure a really powerful AC Electromagnet could do it though.... one of the ones meant for bulk erasures of VHS tapes, backup tapes, DV tapes, Diskettes and sometimes hard drives

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[quote name='lylesback2' date='Aug 12 2005, 02:12']depends on the magnet...

putting anything with a fan near a hard drive, computer, monitor can NOT be good...

putting a fan beside a monitor (like we do at work) messes up the monitor.

depending on the strength of the magnet.. you will do some damage.
[right][snapback]586363845[/snapback][/right]
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Monitors are different.. and we're talking about CRTs here only (put a good fan that's not shielded next to a lot of CRT monitors and you'll see the picture shimmer).

Hard drives, however, are quite different beasts.


If you have a strong magnet near a drive [i]in operation[/i] you're more likely to screw with it, I suppose.

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[quote name='fevoldj2' date='Aug 12 2005, 02:23']Dude try hard drive killer pro... Look it up :p And btw it DOES work.. My friend found out the hard way.
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thats some strong software right there...i just tested it on an old 20 gig win2000 hd i had laying around...im running some of the best data recovery programs available and i cant find ANYTHING on the disk at all..i shall keep this for future reference

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according to the fbi, you have to write over the disk 7 times all 1s then 7 times all 0s for the entire disc to cause total data loss that is unrecoverable. the programs that people run only uncover non-writen over data. a very strong magnet will damage the platters, ( very very strong, as already stated) but can still be recovered by the fbi. when they do scans, they can see the data that is very harshly written, or erased in case of a magnet, but they can also see the shadows of data previously written. even if you format and format again, the old data can be recovered by forensics. if you actually remove the platters, and bend them up really good, they will be useless cuase the polished outsides of the disc will be damaged and will crack and flake away. this data cannot be used cause of the polarity changes that will take place in the process. even if you remove the platters and put a magnet directly to them the data can be recovered. the data can be recovered after using disc killer as well. as it only writes 1s and 0s one time. but if they can actually get enough data to persue you is all luck. as a magnetized disc will still leave shadows on the disc, they will be vastly corupted, and unless you have verry small files on teh disc, they will have to piece them together. how well they go together will decide if it is usable in court. if you ran disc killer several times you could probably make all the data usless, but it is a rough topic. physically damaging the platters will do it. putting it in the microwave will not cause sufficiant damage to the disc, but maybe to the microwave. putting it on the stove will. the heat will align all the magnetic particles into one row. if you are looking for a quick destroy disc, use flash drives, if the data is small enough. one touch with a magnet will lose all data on the flashrom inside. or you could hit the flash rom with a hammer one time and it will be usless.

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Thanks for that edong! Shows how scary it is to give away/sell HDs and how little control over your data you can have... As for the flash drives things on most removable forms like say SD aren't there a couple pins that you can short together that will just wip it like 1 and 3 or 1 and 5 on SD cards or something like that?

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also, banging on the outer shell of a harddrive will not cause much damage to the platters inside. a verry verry large sledge hammer may dent one or two platter, but grab a spare drive and bash on it. they are very resiliant and will take the breath out of you. as you have been told, a powerfull ac magnet will destroy the data, as it will be stronger than a natural magnet, but it will have to be very powerful. i laughed at the scene on "The Core" when he used little vhs erasers to clear his data. they will not work. it would have to be verry powerful and would likely blow any breakers in your house. if you use linux and encrypt the data on the disc, you could cause more loss from a magnet, as the encrypted data would be hard to reverse engineer if the data tables are partially lost. that would be your best bet if you are dealing with dvd data, or large files in general. then you could likely use a smaller ac magnet directly on top of the disc to damage the data so that the encryption cannot be broken and decyphered. but again, a rough topic. also, bear in mind that teh fbi doesnt have to have a warrent to search your home since the patriot act, and you dont even have to be there. granted you ahve to be suspected of terrorism acts, but do you really think big brother is just not going to check for other things..... hm... rough huh. so while you are gone one day, they could come in and copy all the data off your discs, and you wouldnt know. since that is not admissible in court, they could come back with a search warrent and take your stuff. and even if you did physically damage the discs, they could say that they used advanced technonlogy to get the data off the discs. and you would go to jail. i guess, i mean you never said you were doing anything illegal, but i assume.

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Posted

there probably is some kind of pins or something to short or add voltage too, i dont mess with flash discs much, but once the data is gone, it is gone.

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i wouldnt worry so much about selling or giving them away, as the data can be erased enough for the mere mortal. but if sold it to some rich dude, that had nothing better to do, he could have the discs investigated and the data extracted. it is very pricy though, just a platter replacement usually costs hundreds, so imagine what it would cost to use magnetically sinsitive special tools to uncover erased shadows on a polished aluminum platter, then try to make since of it. i wouldnt worry so much. even if you are dealing with illegal downloads of music or movies, or copying dvds, or child porn ( which i condone none of the above) it is likely they will not want to spend much time and effort to get your data. only if it was remotely easy. but if you have maps of airports, and bomb making skills, and checked out books from the library on terrorism and how to fly airplanes and build bombs while chewing C-4 and drinking your juice in the hood, they might take the extra steps. .... you arent a terrorist are you?

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Posted

so after reading all the posts.. especially edgon23's knowledge, setting a drive on fire or set it on a stove is prob the fastest/easiest way to kill the data?

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