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What is the Best Way to Destroy a Hard Drive?

You probably already know that you need to completely erase or remove the hard drives from obsolete PCs and laptops before donating or recycling them. But how can you be absolutely sure that the data on the hard drives never sees the light of day again? What is the best way to destroy a hard drive? Once you’ve degaussed your hard drive, you might want to consider one of the following options to further protect your data. Some are more effective (not to mention practical) than others but most will do a pretty good job.


Shred it

Whilst possibly the most effective way to destroy a hard drive is to shred it into a zillion pieces, there are not many of us who have an industrial shredder at our disposal at any given time. They can of course be rented for the day, so if you have enough of them to make it cost effective, this could be the best way to destroy a hard drive for you.


Bash it with a Hammer

Perhaps one of the fastest and most direct methods of destroying the platter in a hard drive is to bash it with a hammer. Platters are generally made out of glass or ceramic and will easily shatter. Others are made from metal and a good hammering will make them unusable. Is it the best way to destroy a hard drive? Who knows, but it gives you an opportunity to take out any pent up aggression you may have!

Burn It

And when we say burn, we mean melting the platters in the hard drive. Whether you decide to burn your obsolete hard drives in a fire or with a blow torch, it’s probably going to take a while. A standard fire may not even get hot enough to melt the hard drive sufficiently. Also, the melting of a hard drive may give off toxic fumes that could be harmful to your health, so the safety of yourself and others in close proximity, should be paramount. For the more experienced pyromaniac, we’re sure there are other ways of generating a lot of heat that would melt a hard drive effectively, just be really careful!

Bend it or Crush It

Perhaps one of the easiest and more user friendly methods is to bend or crush the hard drive rendering it unusable. Hard drive crushers (like the Crunch 250 Hard Drive Destroyer) exerts ‘more than 3 tons’ pressure through the hard drive and is able to destroy 250 full height and 500 laptop hard drives per hour. It only takes a few seconds to crush a hard drive using this method and is 100% safe as you won’t have any parts flying out at you that you might when basing it with a hammer! Systems like the Crunch 250 are also quiet in operation and can be used in any environment including an office or home. In our opinion, this is one of the best ways to destroy a hard drive.

Melt/Dissolve it

If you have a container of battery acid or similarly strong acid to hand you could drop your hard drive into this and watch it dissolve. You’ll still be left with the problem of how to dispose of the acid when finished and a bucket of battery acid is not the kind of thing you want sitting around the office, but it can be very effective.


While we may not have exhausted every method in our search for the best way to destroy a hard drive (you could use your old hard drive as target practice and shoot it or you could drill into the platter with an electric drill) but we think these represent the most practical solutions.

For more information on our hard drive degaussing and destroying solutions, call us today on 530 626 6924 (outside of US call  1.877.798.1679 or email