• Sign in to Neowin Faster!

    Create an account on Neowin to contribute and support the site.

I want to recycle some hard drives...used DoD3 pass...Recuva still showing tons of files names with state as "Excellent"

Recommended Posts

AndyD    22

So I'd like to get rid of a bunch of drives I've had laying around by recycling them at Best Buy. I'm pretty sure all these drives were just media drives from prior iterations of my home server but I rather play it safe and wipe.  I don't want the process to take days for each drive so I did a 3 pass wipe using "Eraser".  The process took about 7 hours and seems to have done nothing to prevent recovery of files as a lot that was there before the wiping is still there.

 

Is there a better way of handling this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RichardK    144

Rock pick, drill, large electromagnet, etc.  The ones I get rid of all go in an electric arc furnace.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
usmc5939    33

3 minutes to physically destroy a drive is much safer (and obviously much faster) than any software wipe. 

 

Wipe is only needed if you plan to reuse or resell drive or PC. And even then, use Darik’s boot and Nuke booted from a CD or thumb drive. 

 

Otherwise, take a drill or take out some aggression. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mindovermaster    1,645

Take a screwdriver and a hammer. Hit it on the top (where the sticker is) Hit right in that area. I bricked a HDD that way by hitting something heavy on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
+DevTech    1,374

Really, a large electro-magnet is easy and fast...

 

But if you think about where it ends up, there are mountains of this scrap that go by shipload to Africa and before melting down or whatever, people pick through it trying to build computers for local schools etc so leaving the drive functional is a "good thing" in general.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim K    11,905

Yea, if they are going in for recycling...just destroy the platters (drill or open up the drive/destroy platters/put lid back on). Lot quicker than zeroing out the drive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
+DevTech    1,374

But unless you work for the CIA, or NSA, or FBI, or MI6, or MI5, or China Grove Inc.

 

Then we could label this thread "destroy and ignore that Reuse is far higher on the GREEN PYRAMID than Recycle because of Overactive Paranoia"

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
CrossCheck    316

Toss it in your microwave. but you might need a new microwave afterwards

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AndyD    22

Hah ok thanks guys. I figured if it were recycling it may be reused and / or some Best Buy employee(s) would take them. I don't know what it entails to actually recycle the drive so I didn't want to destroy the platters. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
+DevTech    1,374
25 minutes ago, AndyD said:

Hah ok thanks guys. I figured if it were recycling it may be reused and / or some Best Buy employee(s) would take them. I don't know what it entails to actually recycle the drive so I didn't want to destroy the platters. 

The main problem is that if it can't be reused in some way, it is too hard to recycle due to very toxic components so it is often shipped out in barges and containers...

 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3049457/Where-computer-goes-die-Shocking-pictures-toxic-electronic-graveyards-Africa-West-dumps-old-PCs-laptops-microwaves-fridges-phones.html

 

Pollution_Brokers_manage_to_ship_containers_of_illegal_e_waste_p-a-44_1429747413590.thumb.jpg.7464c1c59008512cc60826965932715d.jpg

 

 

27D5FDD400000578-3049457-Bbroken_Defunct_televisions_computers_and_keyboards_ghana.thumb.jpg.0dcf5662472656bfc88584c76dd5a74f.jpg

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
goretsky    972

Hello,

 

It sounds like Heidi Eraser did not recognize the drives correctly, as there should have been no recognizable file system left on them.

 

You might want to check with the HDD manufacturers in question and see if they have a program to zero-fill (wipe by writing 00's, FF's or some other byte) across the HDDs, which should be sufficient to render all information non-recoverable.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
+BudMan    3,306
15 hours ago, DevTech said:

arge electro-magnet is easy and fast

This is such an old wives tale...

https://www.kjmagnetics.com/blog.asp?p=hard-drive-destruction

 

Any magnet strong enough to do such a thing is not going be something joe sixpack has access too.. Maybe if he works at the hospital he could pit in the MRI machine...

 

Also you only need a single pass, you don't need to do multiple wipes... Not sure what tool you used, but all the files and dir are in the MFT... assuming your using NTFS... So sure you could wipe the data but if you did not erase the MFT then a file/dir listing easy enough to still be seen.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
helpifIcan    44

Drill is the best way if you have any doubts. Right through one side to the other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sc302    1,644

dban is the only thing that I would recommend as far as disk wipe.  

 

Only one real way to be sure:

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
+BudMan    3,306

You do not really need a tool to do this.. Windows can do it with a simple format with /P:#ofpasses

 

You could boot any recovery media to do this with disk in the machine, or if the disk is not your boot disk you can do it just from your OS...

 

Unless you work for the dod or some company that has a specific policy you need to follow - this is really all that is required... If you don't believe so, then do it and then run your recovery tools to see if you can get anything back..

 

But sure its funner to take a hammer too it, or take it out back and use it for target practice with your Desert Eagle 50 cal ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Astra.Xtreme    2,619
1 hour ago, BudMan said:

Also you only need a single pass, you don't need to do multiple wipes... Not sure what tool you used, but all the files and dir are in the MFT... assuming your using NTFS... So sure you could wipe the data but if you did not erase the MFT then a file/dir listing easy enough to still be seen.

Exactly.  There was a time long ago when magnetic memory in a HDD could be a problem, thus multiple passes being a good idea.  But that hasn't been an issue for a long time, so a single pass is more than enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
+DevTech    1,374
5 hours ago, BudMan said:

This is such an old wives tale...

https://www.kjmagnetics.com/blog.asp?p=hard-drive-destruction

 

Any magnet strong enough to do such a thing is not going be something joe sixpack has access too.. Maybe if he works at the hospital he could pit in the MRI machine...

 

Huh?

 

I said "Large Electro-magnet"

 

I didn't say it was practical, and was just aiming for the same over-the-top ideas being presented in what has become a very not-serious thread.

 

Or do we REALLY expect people to buy "Desert Eagles" for this purpose to retire old hard drives while quoting appropriate lines from "Dirty Harry"

 

Simple really:

 

1. Install GPS locator and Satellite Radio underneath the PCB of the hard drive.

 

2. Throw drive in "Recycle Bin" at Best Buy or wherever

 

3. Wait for "E.T. Phone Home" when someone powers up the drive on the other side of the planet, perhaps the famous computer dump site in Ghana...

 

4. Watch remotely as the Trojan Virus you installed infects all the local school computers built from scrap parts from every corner of Planet Earth and melts them down to slag

 

5. Submit your membership application form to the Dr. Evil Foundation!

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mindovermaster    1,645

Get this...

 

 

LOL

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
+DevTech    1,374

First World Thinking:

 

1. Nobody would want this drive I don't need anymore and re-using stuff is HARD, so Recycle Bins are Green and Yummy

 

2. Worries a lot about the extremely unlikely case of who knows what being recovered from a non-data drive by some unspecified Nefarious Organization of Random Data Pack Rats.

 

3. Gives NO thought about what happens when the "I'll show them who is boss drilled out remains of the drive" are thrown into the local electronics "Recycle Bin"

 

4. No city wants the extremely toxic chemicals in old computer components being burned or buried in the local environment to make a new Love Canal or Flint, Michigan  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Canal

 

5. So contracts are negotiated across the First World with "Recycle Corps" who ship containers of this stuff to the Third World

 

6. So, seriously? Drilling hard drives? YOU, (all of us) have done this:

 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3049457/Where-computer-goes-die-Shocking-pictures-toxic-electronic-graveyards-Africa-West-dumps-old-PCs-laptops-microwaves-fridges-phones.html

 

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/burning-truth-behind-e-waste-dump-africa-180957597/

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/24/technology/poor-nations-are-littered-with-old-pcs-report-says.html

 

https://returntonow.net/2018/01/09/how-africa-became-our-electronics-dump/

 

"But, as privileged first-worlders, we don’t have to deal with our own garbage, we just ship it to Africa and let “them” sort it out."

 

Discarders of electronic goods expect them to be recycled properly,” reports The Guardian. “But almost all such devices contain toxic chemicals which, even if they are recyclable, make it expensive to do so. As a result, illegal dumping has become a lucrative business.”

 

“Injuries, such as burns, untreated wounds, eye damage, lung and back problems, go hand in hand with chronic nausea, anorexia, debilitating headaches and respiratory problems. Most workers die from cancer in their 20s.”

 

Billions of tons our old computers, TVs and refrigerators have been dumped in Africa, with 41 million tons of e-waste discarded globally in 2014 alone, according to the United Nations University.

 

Only six million of those tons were recycled. Nearly 12 million tons came from Europe (primarily the UK and Germany) that year, and a presumably much larger amount came from the United States.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
+DevTech    1,374

939205337_privilegedfirst-worlderswedonthavetodealwithourowngarbagewejustshipittoAfrica.thumb.jpg.12575524b5eb6707055870b1aa05c34e.jpg

 

The future "home" of your "re-cycled" hard drive.

 

Forget drills and hammers and silly thinking, just don't do this...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
helpifIcan    44

As far  as someone using it again, if you don't want it the odds are that neither does anyone else. Probably worth more as scrap than anything else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
+DevTech    1,374
12 hours ago, helpifIcan said:

As far  as someone using it again, if you don't want it the odds are that neither does anyone else. Probably worth more as scrap than anything else.

"First World Thinking" is a phrase that has a standard meaning and you have provided a classic example of it.

 

Stare at some of the pictures I posted and then tell me when you buy your next 8 TB hard drive that the 300 gig drive you discard has ZERO use to any human on Planet Earth. 

 

1203138139_TensofmillionsoftonsoftoxictrashedelectronicsfromAmericaandEuropearequietlyillegallydumpedinAfricaeveryyear-Electronic-waste-in-Agbog-009.thumb.jpg.7423a24c541f77534a1504d1806f5318.jpg

 

 

A child playing with a dead laptop in one part of Planet Earth may dream of MIT and Silicon Valley when he grows up, while on another part of Planet Earth, a different future awaits...

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AndyD    22
On 12/10/2018 at 12:17 PM, BudMan said:

This is such an old wives tale...

https://www.kjmagnetics.com/blog.asp?p=hard-drive-destruction

 

Any magnet strong enough to do such a thing is not going be something joe sixpack has access too.. Maybe if he works at the hospital he could pit in the MRI machine...

 

Also you only need a single pass, you don't need to do multiple wipes... Not sure what tool you used, but all the files and dir are in the MFT... assuming your using NTFS... So sure you could wipe the data but if you did not erase the MFT then a file/dir listing easy enough to still be seen.

I used the app "Eraser" - I don't recall it having an option to wipe the MFT.  What app can I use for that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
+BudMan    3,306

anything that writes zero's to the whole disk.

 

You could just use the windows format tool if you wanted with the /P option

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.