[Dshield] Dead hard drive disposal

Jim McCullough jim.mccullough at gmail.com
Wed May 30 17:59:08 GMT 2007

While true, I do like the explosives idea.  However, with a slight twist.

syncronized charges above and below the drives on a flat plane.
resulting compression force should push the standard 3.5" desktop
drive into approx a 1/8" thick sheet of uh... stuff.   Practical
application of the remaining matter  in a sheet form is unknown.

This process is currently being used for "sandwiching" a sheet of
steel between two sheets of copper.   End result has many uses and
provides a superior density and strength properties.

On 5/30/07, Valdis.Kletnieks at vt.edu <Valdis.Kletnieks at vt.edu> wrote:
> On Wed, 30 May 2007 11:49:09 EDT, "Timothy A. Holmes" said:
> > Im willing to bet that a similar procedure could be used to destroy old
> > hard drives
> I wouldn't take that bet.  The problem is that although you get an impressive
> fireball, it only lasts a few seconds.  To assure destruction of data by
> heating, you need to make sure that *all* the magnetic surfaces are raised up
> to at least the Curie point temperature (and then some just to be sure) for
> whatever the magnetic oxide is.  For iron, it's way up there at 1043K (about
> 1400F), and for cobalt even higher, although many of the popular alloys for
> recording media have Curie points down around 800F. This applies to *inside*
> faces of multi-platter drives as well. Unless you're willing to physically
> disassemble the drive and separate the platters, you need to maintain the
> temperature long enough so that heat conducts through all the way to the
> inside.  I'd not be surprised if that would be a multiple-minute process unless
> you're able to *sustain* temperatures in the 1200-1400F range, which will
> almost certainly require additional fuel and a *continuous* oxygen supply
> (bellows, compressor, etc).  Think "blacksmith forge" or "blast furnace".
> Plus, if it turns out that you're heating to 850F because some previous run
> used a magnetic material that hit its Curie point at 800F, and you toss in a
> newer model that uses a different oxide with a Curie point at 925F, it won't
> do *anything* to the drive that any good disk-recovery company won't be able to
> reclaim.  Remember - these guys make a *living* recovering disk drives that
> got caught in fires but didn't actually reach the Curie point... :)
> You may as well go to either a welding torch or thermite.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curie_point
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferromagnetism
> http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/tables/curie.html#c1
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Jim McCullough

"Just because the standard provides a cliff in front of you, you are
not necessarily required to jump off it."

    Norman Diamond

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