Anthony Atkielski atkielski.anthony at
Thu Jan 20 07:17:21 PST 2005

Matthew Seaman writes:

MS> If your drive contains or once contained military secrets, then in the
MS> USA and probably anywhere in the West, standard disposal procedure is
MS> that the drive be completely overwritten with specific patterns of
MS> random data several times, and then taken to a secure facility where
MS> the whole thing is literally stamped flat and chewed into small lumps
MS> of scrap.

Assuming one doesn't have the resources to do this, what might one do to
secure disk drives before disposal.  I've thought of opening them up and
scratching the platters or chopping them into pieces (not sure how hard
this might be to do), or something.  Home incineration isn't very
practical, nor are machines that can chop metallic platters into

Also, is there anything like a bulk degausser for disk platters (after
removal from the drives)?  Come to think of it, I can't remember the
last time I saw a tape degausser, and I still am not quite sure what to
do with old backup tapes that are unreadable but still filled with
backup data.


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