Ian Moore imoore at
Fri Jan 21 05:57:14 PST 2005

On Fri, 21 Jan 2005 01:47, Anthony Atkielski wrote:
> 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
> confetti.
> 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.

I open up my old backup tapes & use a cutting blade to cut through the tape 
spool in a couple of places, to you end up with hundreds of pieces of tape, 
no more than a couple of centimetres long. Then I generally throw them in a 
couple of different bins.
Tape de-gaussers usually aren't much good - they were mostly made for erasing 
open reel tape that used ferric oxide particles.
Backup tapes normally use metal particle tapes that need a much stronger 
magnetic field to effectively erase them.


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