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The Proper Way To Destroy a Hard Drive

Posted by Capital Shredder Corp. on 4/29/2021
The Proper Way To Destroy a Hard Drive

Learn the Proper Way To Destroy a Hard Drive

Also known as a fixed disk or hard disk, the hard disk drive (HDD) of a computer is memory hardware. This non-volatile device uses rotating platters that are typically made of glass and coated with magnetic material. They are usually the main storage device a computer uses. It’s essential that you know the proper means of destroying a hard drive.

Physical Damage

The first thing many turn to when trying to destroy their hard drives is physical destruction. Some methods may be successful, while others may not. When targeting an area within this system to render data unusable, you can use a hammer to destroy the platter in the hard drive. Typically made of glass or ceramic, the platter can be shattered. Other hard drives made from metal, though, will take more effort to effectively damage. While you can take hard drive platter destruction into your own hands with tools, using specialty equipment to destroy a hard drive platter can give you more peace of mind. 


A common misconception about physically damaging a hard drive is that submerging it in water will destroy it and its stored information. Though water may cause a short circuit within the electronics, it won’t erase the data from the platters. Once the hard drive is removed from the water and excess water is wiped away, and the hard drive dries, its data will be discoverable.


Degaussing is a fool-proof and noninvasive way to destroy data when at the office without simply hoping you’re smashing the right parts. Many people are unaware of the existence and performability of a degausser.

Capital Shredder supplies NSA-approved degaussers for the destruction of many amounts of stored data by removing the magnetism of the devices. By altering the magnetic domain of hard drives, the information is unreadable and unrecoverable. This irrevocable process removes all files, so it the hard disk cannot be repurposed later. Using a hard drive shredder or degausser is the most secure way to ensure hard drive data destruction.

Though there are several ways to potentially render data useless, the proper way to destroy a hard drive is to use devices designed to do so. Hard drive degaussers ensure permanence and are a better option for destroying a hard drive, especially in a professional setting. When a business knows that information they want to get rid of is undoubtedly gone forever, they’ll feel much more secure. 

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