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Remove and destroy old hard drive

How do I destroy the hard drive? We do not want to wipe data and reuse the drive.

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Re: remove and destroy old hard drive

What I would do is take a screw driver a very small phillips, You can take it apart and remove the disks and destroy and break disks there just like a cd rom and then you can send the rest or it to be recycle at your nearest recycling plant that takes care of computer components. You can just put it back together and recycle it Please don't just throw it in the garbage, Toshiba has a place if you call the 800 number you can send the hole drive and they will destroy it for you, If you want to do that too. I would trust them that they would do so. I am sure if anything happened after that they would be responsible for it... I hope that helps you out...

Posted on Jan 16, 2008

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I need to remove all my personal information off my dell dimension 4600 how do I do it

Depending on how secure you need the data erased: The easiest way is to create a new account with a different name (with administrator privileges). Logout of your account, login to new account, delete your account and all data associate it. Your data MIGHT be recoverable with recovery software but WON'T be readily available to anyone without recovery software. If you need ABSOLUTE data erasure - remove the drive and melt it with a blow torch. Don't want/need to destroy the drive? You can remove the drive, connect it to another computer (either internally or externally by using a USB adapter), and overwrite the drive with all zero's. Beliefs are that the more times you overwrite the drive, the less recoverable your data is. But more recent studies show that a single wipe is all that is required for modern drives.

Apr 25, 2014 | Dell Dimension 4600 PC Desktop

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Destroy hard drive how do I destroy the hard drive

Once you get the hard drive out, there are a number of ways to destroy the hard drive. There are some services that will shred the drive for you. Do not throw it in a fire. There are materials in the manufacture that will give off toxic fumes if burned. I used to take a drill and drill a bunch of holes through the hard drive. It's time consuming, but it makes the hard drive nearly non-functional. Running an industrial strength magnet over the hard drive will destroy the data on the drive as well. Either way, relieve some stress and smash that drive up!

Apr 13, 2014 | Dell PC Desktops

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How to clear memory from dell 2400

i don't understand when u say it works fine but you need to remove old memory.... inside the PC, you will find the a green rectangle stuff near the processor fan. that is the pc memory. But if your referring the memory as a data, then the data is stored inside the hard drive. if you want to wipe all the data, u just simply format the hard drive. all the data will be gone. hope this will help you.

Jun 14, 2012 | Dell Dimension 2400 PC Desktop

2 Answers

My hard disk (C drive) is showing as "not installed" in my BIOS menu on my Dell Dimension 3000. My data is backed up and I just want to wipe the hard drive.

Open your computer and de-assemble the hard disk, clean data buses and ports and reassemble the hard disk, it will work.

Jul 29, 2011 | Dell Dimension 3000 PC Desktop

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Want to get rid of an old computer Should I take out hard drive

Best thing to do is download the contents of the hard drive to a external hard drive or Memory stick. If the computer is more then 5 years old then the hard drive will be old type, and will not go into the newer PC.

Jan 17, 2011 | Compaq PC Desktops

4 Answers

How do I remove the harddrive from my dell dimension 4400? I am re-cycling the computer and want to destroy the hard drive for security purposes.


First go to this page

If you scroll down just a little, it shows how your case opens up. Lay it on its left side (right side if you are looking from the front), press in the 2 locking tabs, and lift up.

That picture shows the hard drive location. Simply remove the data and power cables from the back. Then squeeze the plastic clips on the end of the drive and slide it up and out. That's it. You can remove the rail from the drive and slide it back in if someone else may be using it.

Thanks for using Fixya.

Oct 25, 2009 | Dell Dimension 4400 PC Desktop

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I installed windows xp sp3 on C and D drive by mistake. how can i remove it from D drive?

If you installed Windows two times, one time on each Hard Drive. Then all you have to do is boot into the Windows installation on the C Drive and open My Computer. Then Right-Click on the D Drive and tell it to Format the Hard Drive. This will Destroy all data on that Hard Drive and will make it ready for use again. (if you have any data on that drive you want to keep, make a backup first!)

Apr 30, 2009 | PC Desktops

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Remove Memory from PC before recycling PC

If you look at the motherboard you should see a plastic strip with black squares on it sticking up from the motherboard about 4 inches long. Often in older models the memory cards were at a slant. Either way there are 2-4 slots populated with 1 to 4 of these green plastic strips. Just pop them out. They may have little clips on each end that you have to depress to get them out of the slots. Hope this helps.

Mar 29, 2009 | PC Desktops

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How to Wipe, Degauss, or Destroy Data on a Hard Drive

You own a computer and then purchased a new one. After moving all of your important data to the new computer and deciding to sell or donate the old computer you are faced with the question of deleting the data or destroying the hard drive. One one hand, if you delete the data and reinstall the operating system the next owner can quickly use the computer. If you destroy the hard drive, another drive would have to be installed for the computer to be useful again. 
What if the hard drive lands into the wrong hands? Your tax return, financial records, intimate photos, and more could be used against you. 

With the 2007 NBA Playoffs on TV this month, an interesting connection has arose. It seems the San Antonio Spurs guard, Bruce Bowen, and his wife have filed a lawsuit against a local computer firm when their hard drive and data ended up on another person's computer. The recipient of the hard drive contacted Mr. Bowen and informed him of the breach of privacy. To read more about this incident visit the news article. As a computer consultant myself, I see a huge breach of computer privacy with this case and I foresee Mr. Bowen winning the lawsuit easily.  

Now what can you do to avoid a similar situation as Mr. Bowen's? First you have to decide if you want to permanently erase the data or destroy the drive. If you decide to permanently erase the data, you have several options. However let's go over what you DON'T want to do.
Don't just delete your data and empty the recycle bin
Don't just format the hard drive
Don't just format and reinstall Windows or another operating system
Why don't you want to do the above? It seems this would be enough to make sure your data isn't compromised.

Let's take a step back and understand how data is stored on a hard drive. When information is written to a drive, the location of the information is stored in a file that resembles a table of contents for a book, On computers running DOS and Windows operating systems, the File Allocation Table (FAT) or the Master File Table (MFT) holds this information. When a file is deleted, the FAT or MFT table is updated to tell the computer the space on the hard drive is available, however the actual data is not deleted until it is overwritten with new data. This is why you read about computer forensic teams, the FBI, and other law enforcement being able to recover data to solve crimes or incriminate individuals. Using software undelete tools, you can restore files that were accidentally or otherwise deleted. In more severe case, services such as Drive Savers are used to recover data that has been physically or electronically destroyed. 

Baring any of these extra efforts, you can use the procedures below to erase or destroy your data so the average individual won't be able to recover anything from your computer hard drive.

Using Wipe Utilities

In order to prevent data from being recovered, you should use data wiping software to completely erase the information to Department of Defense (DOD) standards. I recommend the following free tools to sanitize or wipe a hard drive of information:

Darik's Boot and Nuke - a program that can be booted from floppy or CD to completely erase a hard drive
Eraser by Heidi Computers Limited
Active@ KillDisk
If you plan on giving your computer away, selling it, or otherwise disposing of it, please destroy the data on it by using one of the above wiping utilities. 

Degaussing a Hard Drive

An extra step is to degauss the hard drive. Degaussing is a process whereby the magnetic media is erased using a reverse magnetic field to scramble the electronic data and make it unreadable. Unfortunately degaussing machines are rather expensive ($2000.00 or more) and are not realistic purchases for the average consumer. However, you can send your hard drive to a degaussing company like Garner Products or SEM and for a few dollars can have your hard drive completely degaussed and/or destroyed. If your data security is important enough, this is a wise step.

Physically Destroying a Hard Drive

Physically destroying a hard drive is by far the most effective method for the average person to ensure the safety of their data. However, please wear protective glasses and other gear if you decide to physically destroy a drive yourself. It can be a dangerous activity that I don't recommend to everyone. Also, as a precaution, wrap the hard drive in a towel so the parts don't fly off and do more damage.

Whether its smashing the hard drive with a sledgehammer, drilling holes into the drive, tearing the drive apart and destroying the platters, shredding the drive, or other methods your sensitive data will be safe. 

For the most security, I recommend doing as many of the above procedures (wiping the drive, degaussing it, and destroying it) as you can. If a drive is wiped, degaussed, and destroyed the chances of recovering the data is almost nil.


If a computer store, consultant, or other qualified computer tech tells you your hard drive is crashed and the data is unrecoverable, ask for them to return the original drive to you. This way you can physically destroy and dispose of the drive to your satisfaction and avoid situations like Mr. Bowen's where your data suddenly appears on someone else's computer screen.

Oct 18, 2008 | PC Desktops

1 Answer

Wiped all files

Formatting a drive is not a complete loss. When you format a drive you wipe out the File Allocation Table (Hard Drive Index) and the data is mostly still in tact as long as nothing writes to the drive after the format.

The problem here is that you didn't just format your drive. You ran the system restore which means you formatted your drive, then wrote the factory defaults to your drive completely destroyed the data on your drive.

I can't offer your a solution for your data. I can offer you a solution that will prevent this from happening in the future.
Pick up an external USP hard drive. They have come down considerably in price now a days and for Around 70 to 200 dollars you can get a real nice drive. You want something between 200GB to 1TB.

Put your files on that external drive. If your computer blows up and you have to reformat, your files will be there after you recover your PC and replug in your drive.

Jun 09, 2008 | Acer Aspire™ T180 PC Desktop

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