Retire Old Desktop Computer

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Ana-Maria57
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Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by Ana-Maria57 » Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:51 pm

Does anyone have advice for disposing of old desktops and laptops? I am moving the pictures and documents to my new computer. How do I destroy or dispose of the old computer safely? How do I make sure I have moved everything significant? Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks,

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Cheez-It Guy
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by Cheez-It Guy » Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:53 pm

Why are you set on destroying it?

hicabob
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by hicabob » Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:55 pm

Removing the hard disk drive and bashing it with a hammer will destroy your personal data.

mhalley
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by mhalley » Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:56 pm

You can get programs that will format the hard drive over and over, otherwise remove the hard drive and drill holes in it.
https://www.cnet.com/news/the-right-way ... ard-drive/
Lots of people recommend breaking out the power tools and drilling several holes through the drive. You can achieve the same effect by pounding some nails through it, or simply by whacking the heck out of it with a hammer, sledge or otherwise.
Last edited by mhalley on Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

gtd98765
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by gtd98765 » Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:57 pm

Once you have your pictures and personal documents off of it, you can use Darik's Boot & Nuke to wipe the hard drive. Then you can give it away to a nonprofit or school or whatever.

https://dban.org/

neglogic
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by neglogic » Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:24 pm

gtd98765 wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:57 pm
Once you have your pictures and personal documents off of it, you can use Darik's Boot & Nuke to wipe the hard drive. Then you can give it away to a nonprofit or school or whatever.

https://dban.org/
+1 for dban. It's slow, but nothing better.

dbr
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by dbr » Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:41 pm

A dilemma is that giving away a very outdated computer is not necessarily doing anyone a favor, with some possible exceptions. I know one support service for low income people that helps keep those that qualify in computers that are by and large more updated than I am on average. They don't accept donations of obsolete hardware.

mega317
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by mega317 » Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:44 pm

Depending on how old it is, anything in the last 10 years or probably more can be cheaply fixed up by a kid to play a few modern games.
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6212

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:54 pm

If you're letting it go out of you possession, pull out the hard drive and keep it. The rest is easy.

Most of the components in the rest of the computer have value besides the plastic. I scrap electronics as a hobby. Old desktops will likely have 2 aluminum platters. A grinding wheel, belt sander or angle grinder can guaranty the data is gone (magnetic material is turned into dust). Otherwise, I would not trust that anything will make the disk safe. Laptops are easier as instead of aluminum, they use glass as a material. Easy to open the drive, destroy the glass with a hammer and screw driver, then either put it back in or continue to take it apart to get the boards (I'll do either, depending on my time).

You can take the entire rest of the computer to Best Buy. They'll take it.
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Bungo
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by Bungo » Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:59 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:54 pm
If you're letting it go out of you possession, pull out the hard drive and keep it. The rest is easy.
I do the same thing. Hard drives aren't very large, so it's no big deal to keep a box full of old ones in the closet. Everything else goes to e-waste recyclers.

dukeblue219
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by dukeblue219 » Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:07 pm

dbr wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:41 pm
A dilemma is that giving away a very outdated computer is not necessarily doing anyone a favor, with some possible exceptions. I know one support service for low income people that helps keep those that qualify in computers that are by and large more updated than I am on average. They don't accept donations of obsolete hardware.
Agreed. Schools and libraries have enough to do keeping everything secure and operational. They don't need 25 different models of computer from the last decade making that task all but impossible. I know it feels like old computers would be good for schools, the reality is that they will cost more to properly setup and administer than just buying a $400 PC new.

Unless someone is specifically asking for an old computer donation, you're probably best off just removing the HD and recycling it (unless there are any newer components you know to have value).

ARoseByAnyOtherName
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName » Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:09 pm

neglogic wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:24 pm
gtd98765 wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:57 pm
Once you have your pictures and personal documents off of it, you can use Darik's Boot & Nuke to wipe the hard drive. Then you can give it away to a nonprofit or school or whatever.

https://dban.org/
+1 for dban. It's slow, but nothing better.
Beware - it doesn’t work on SSDs. From the website...
It cannot detect or erase SSDs

Atilla
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by Atilla » Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:38 pm

A pound of Tannerite, .308 Winchester rifle, some friends and beer in an empty field would be my choice for retiring the thing. :beer

tiburblium
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by tiburblium » Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:41 pm

Ana-Maria57 wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:51 pm
Does anyone have advice for disposing of old desktops and laptops? I am moving the pictures and documents to my new computer. How do I destroy or dispose of the old computer safely? How do I make sure I have moved everything significant? Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks,
Why store data on a desktop computer? There are plenty of Cloud storage options available, that way your data is replicated, safe, and can be accessed easily by your other devices. Google Drive offers 15gb of storage for free: http://drive.google.com/ , others have similar offerings.

02nz
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by 02nz » Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:46 pm

If the computer is running Windows 10, there is a reset function that gives you the option to wipe the user data (pictures, documents, etc.). It's above and beyond a simple delete. Not as secure as commercial solutions but adequate for most users. Then you can donate/recycle (for example, Best Buy accepts old computers for recycling). If you're really paranoid, just hold onto the storage drive (hard disk or SSD).

michaelingp
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by michaelingp » Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:58 pm

If the computer is going to the dump, you can remove the hard drive (or SSD) and put it in an external USB enclosure (about $20) and either keep it for data redundancy or re-use it for backups.

Nyc10036
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by Nyc10036 » Sat Feb 29, 2020 3:27 pm

Take out the hard drive and offer the desktop and laptop for free on Craigsist or Freecycle.
There will be people who will take it.

As suggested, put the old hard drive into a USB-to-SATA enclosure and have yourself a hard drive for backups.

.

Conch55
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by Conch55 » Sat Feb 29, 2020 3:49 pm

Concur on running dban on the drive. After running the 7 pass scan remove the drive and toss it. Our local Goodwill is partnered with Dell to recycle computers if that's an option for you.

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tuningfork
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by tuningfork » Sat Feb 29, 2020 4:03 pm

Here's a pretty good article describing how to securely erase hard drives and SSDs. It recommends dban for hard drives,
and reminds you to wear eye protection if you attempt to physically destroy the device. For SSDs you generally need to
use a utility provided by the manufacturer to erase it, or you can encrypt the entire drive and forget the key.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/how-to-se ... ives-ssds/

After erasing the drives, I've always taken my old computers to electronics recycling events, which happen in my area several times per year.
The one we have claims they will erase the drives, but I'd rather not depend on them.

Nummerkins
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by Nummerkins » Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:12 pm

ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:09 pm
neglogic wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:24 pm
gtd98765 wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:57 pm
Once you have your pictures and personal documents off of it, you can use Darik's Boot & Nuke to wipe the hard drive. Then you can give it away to a nonprofit or school or whatever.

https://dban.org/
+1 for dban. It's slow, but nothing better.
Beware - it doesn’t work on SSDs. From the website...
It cannot detect or erase SSDs
Not true, I've wiped many SSDs with dban. It works well.

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Watty
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by Watty » Sat Feb 29, 2020 9:32 pm

Ana-Maria57 wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:51 pm
How do I make sure I have moved everything significant?
If you want you can buy an inexpensive case to put your old disk drive in then plug it in a USB connection and use it as an external drive.

Here is an example of one.

https://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-External ... 205&sr=8-3

The old drive is likely old and small so it might not be all that useful but that can come in handy if you want to look at it six months from now to try to find some document.

helloeveryone
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by helloeveryone » Sat Feb 29, 2020 10:03 pm

Ana-Maria57 wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:51 pm
Does anyone have advice for disposing of old desktops and laptops? I am moving the pictures and documents to my new computer. How do I destroy or dispose of the old computer safely? How do I make sure I have moved everything significant? Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks,
Not my advice but.... if you have a gun shoot your hard drive. that’ll guarantee you wipe the data. I don’t have a gun so drilled a bunch of holes in it and threw away. not sure about the rest of the parts though

GJ48
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by GJ48 » Sat Feb 29, 2020 10:32 pm

Bungo wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:59 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:54 pm
If you're letting it go out of you possession, pull out the hard drive and keep it. The rest is easy.
I do the same thing. Hard drives aren't very large, so it's no big deal to keep a box full of old ones in the closet. Everything else goes to e-waste recyclers.
+1

ARoseByAnyOtherName
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName » Sun Mar 01, 2020 5:23 am

Nummerkins wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:12 pm
ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:09 pm
neglogic wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:24 pm
gtd98765 wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:57 pm
Once you have your pictures and personal documents off of it, you can use Darik's Boot & Nuke to wipe the hard drive. Then you can give it away to a nonprofit or school or whatever.

https://dban.org/
+1 for dban. It's slow, but nothing better.
Beware - it doesn’t work on SSDs. From the website...
It cannot detect or erase SSDs
Not true, I've wiped many SSDs with dban. It works well.
[OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]

The quote I posted above is from dban’s own website. The maker of the software says that it does not adequately erase SSDs. What evidence do you have that this is incorrect? Be specific.

Hint: just because you run it and “hurr my files aren’t there anymore!” isn’t adequate.

gtd98765
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by gtd98765 » Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:18 am

The amount of effort one should devote to destroying the data on a hard drive should be proportional to the likelihood that the NSA or GRU care about what you have stored there. The average random crook or Goodwill buyer who acquires it after you are finished with it will not have the skills or interest to try to recover your top secret cat videos.

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LadyGeek
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:00 am

The discussion is getting contentious. I removed an off-topic comment. As a reminder, see: General Etiquette
We expect this forum to be a place where people can feel comfortable asking questions and where debates and discussions are conducted in civil tones.
Please state your concerns in a civil, factual manner.
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Nummerkins
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by Nummerkins » Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:55 am

ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 5:23 am
Nummerkins wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:12 pm
ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:09 pm
neglogic wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:24 pm
gtd98765 wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:57 pm
Once you have your pictures and personal documents off of it, you can use Darik's Boot & Nuke to wipe the hard drive. Then you can give it away to a nonprofit or school or whatever.

https://dban.org/
+1 for dban. It's slow, but nothing better.
Beware - it doesn’t work on SSDs. From the website...
It cannot detect or erase SSDs
Not true, I've wiped many SSDs with dban. It works well.
[OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]

The quote I posted above is from dban’s own website. The maker of the software says that it does not adequately erase SSDs. What evidence do you have that this is incorrect? Be specific.

Hint: just because you run it and “hurr my files aren’t there anymore!” isn’t adequate.
This is a finance board, not an IT board. I'm not going to delve into a discussion of spare areas, over-provisioning and wear leveling. My statement stands. Otherwise, I would recommend opening the drive and physically destroying the NAND.

ARoseByAnyOtherName
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName » Sun Mar 01, 2020 1:26 pm

Nummerkins wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:55 am
ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 5:23 am
Nummerkins wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:12 pm
ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:09 pm
neglogic wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:24 pm


+1 for dban. It's slow, but nothing better.
Beware - it doesn’t work on SSDs. From the website...
It cannot detect or erase SSDs
Not true, I've wiped many SSDs with dban. It works well.
[OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]

The quote I posted above is from dban’s own website. The maker of the software says that it does not adequately erase SSDs. What evidence do you have that this is incorrect? Be specific.

Hint: just because you run it and “hurr my files aren’t there anymore!” isn’t adequate.
This is a finance board, not an IT board. I'm not going to delve into a discussion of spare areas, over-provisioning and wear leveling. Otherwise, I would recommend opening the drive and physically destroying the NAND.
Yes, this is a finance/investment board, and detailed discussions of personal technology happen regularly. So I’m not sure why you’re reluctant to dive into details.
Nummerkins wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:55 am
My statement stands.
My statement stands as well.

Actually, it’s not even my statement. Let’s recap what’s happening here.

Nummerkins recommended that Bogleheads use dban to securely erase SSDs.

The maker of dban states on the front page of its website that it does not securely erase SSDs.

I can’t speak to Nummerkins previous use of the software and what happened in his/her attempts. But I do know what the maker of dban states, in plain English, on the front page of their websites.

Faced with this fact Bogleheads can certainly make their own decisions about whether dban is appropriate to use for secure erasure of SSDs. To me, the evidence is clear.

furwut
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by furwut » Sun Mar 01, 2020 2:23 pm

When it comes to disposing Apple and Best Buy will take all electronics without regard to where you purchased it.

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danielrhall
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by danielrhall » Sun Mar 01, 2020 3:26 pm

furwut wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 2:23 pm
When it comes to disposing Apple and Best Buy will take all electronics without regard to where you purchased it.
And Staples.

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sunny_socal
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by sunny_socal » Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:33 am

I always pull out the hard drive and beat it up with a hammer. It's unlikely anyone will try to recover data from it after that.

Then, donate the computer to Salvation Army (they'll take anything; Goodwill won't take computers) I'm sure SA just throws it away.

BTW OP, before you get rid of it, old computers make great units for the garage. Just put Linux Mint on it and it will run like new! Seriously.

TN_Boy
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by TN_Boy » Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:01 am

gtd98765 wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:18 am
The amount of effort one should devote to destroying the data on a hard drive should be proportional to the likelihood that the NSA or GRU care about what you have stored there. The average random crook or Goodwill buyer who acquires it after you are finished with it will not have the skills or interest to try to recover your top secret cat videos.
It's not that hard to pull data off a drive that has not been erased. It's absolutely worth the trouble to securely erase the disk if you can, even if the NSA is not closing in upon your spy ring.

It would be one thing if it was amazingly hard to erase a disk drive, but it is not.

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8foot7
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by 8foot7 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:05 am

TN_Boy wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:01 am
gtd98765 wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:18 am
The amount of effort one should devote to destroying the data on a hard drive should be proportional to the likelihood that the NSA or GRU care about what you have stored there. The average random crook or Goodwill buyer who acquires it after you are finished with it will not have the skills or interest to try to recover your top secret cat videos.
It's not that hard to pull data off a drive that has not been erased. It's absolutely worth the trouble to securely erase the disk if you can, even if the NSA is not closing in upon your spy ring.

It would be one thing if it was amazingly hard to erase a disk drive, but it is not.
Plenty of bad actors buy old PCs at Goodwill and other places (eBay is another 'goldmine' for this type of thing) specifically to try to find personal information. While I agree the average person has no inclination to do this, there are enough nefarious types out there that the risk is high enough to offset the minimal effort required to wipe a drive.

TN_Boy
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by TN_Boy » Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:09 am

tiburblium wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:41 pm
Ana-Maria57 wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:51 pm
Does anyone have advice for disposing of old desktops and laptops? I am moving the pictures and documents to my new computer. How do I destroy or dispose of the old computer safely? How do I make sure I have moved everything significant? Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks,
Why store data on a desktop computer? There are plenty of Cloud storage options available, that way your data is replicated, safe, and can be accessed easily by your other devices. Google Drive offers 15gb of storage for free: http://drive.google.com/ , others have similar offerings.
I back up all kinds of things to the cloud.

But I don't want it only in the cloud. Among other things, I might want to access data even when the internet is down, though I'll grant you that in most modern homes, the internet is about as reliable as the electricity. Or, if my google account is unavailable (google issue, my account hacked etc) I'd like to be able to access my data.

And some applications need the data to be local.

tibbitts
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by tibbitts » Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:31 am

tiburblium wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:41 pm
Ana-Maria57 wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:51 pm
Does anyone have advice for disposing of old desktops and laptops? I am moving the pictures and documents to my new computer. How do I destroy or dispose of the old computer safely? How do I make sure I have moved everything significant? Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks,
Why store data on a desktop computer? There are plenty of Cloud storage options available, that way your data is replicated, safe, and can be accessed easily by your other devices. Google Drive offers 15gb of storage for free: http://drive.google.com/ , others have similar offerings.
Some of us rely on cellular data for internet and truly unlimited plans (that never throttle on tethered connections) are expensive. Even with typical broadband, things like photo apps are faster with local data. Most of us manage multiple terabytes of storage. In theory cloud is better, but it's not a complete solution for most of us yet.

gtd98765
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by gtd98765 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:05 pm

TN_Boy wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:01 am
gtd98765 wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:18 am
The amount of effort one should devote to destroying the data on a hard drive should be proportional to the likelihood that the NSA or GRU care about what you have stored there. The average random crook or Goodwill buyer who acquires it after you are finished with it will not have the skills or interest to try to recover your top secret cat videos.
It's not that hard to pull data off a drive that has not been erased. It's absolutely worth the trouble to securely erase the disk if you can, even if the NSA is not closing in upon your spy ring.

It would be one thing if it was amazingly hard to erase a disk drive, but it is not.
Agree, and as I noted above, I believe in using software to easily and securely erase (or encrypt) a hard drive before disposal. But physical methods like shooting the drive or drilling holes in it seem like an excessive amount of work for no benefit. Who exactly is trying to get at this data, and how much time and money are they willing to spend to do it? Why is Goldfinger interested in me?

I believe TV crime and spy shows give people a vastly exaggerated idea of the number of and skill levels of bad actors out there. The vast, vast majority of people with the skills to suck valuable data off a used hard drive can use those skills legitimately to earn an honest living with no risk of prison. Of the tiny percentage left, what are the odds they care about me?

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Jimbo9911
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by Jimbo9911 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:30 pm

I am all for the suggestion of shooting it.
Jim

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:34 pm

While it would be cool to do, shooting a drive will not prevent a data recovery company from retrieving a good portion of the data. One of the guys at Boardsort talked about this. They received a drive that had been shot, through the platter. They were able to retrieve about 80% of the data. It cost a boatload of money.

As I said......a grinder, belt sander or angle grinder can grind the magnetic material off. Then there is no way to retrieve the data. Pulling the drive and putting it in a closet is also pretty safe.

The most recent laptop I was scrapping had an in tact drive. We plugged it into an extension drive mount and in minutes, I had a full tax return and applications to the government for benefits from some program for the owner's kids. I'm amazed at all the info left on drives. I'm always finding pictures on drives.

We have a stack of our own personal drives. One has a percentage bitcoin on it. We don't remember which one, however.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by Peculiar_Investor » Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:49 pm

My old desktop computers get repurposed as a Linux file server with extra drives generally added.

My older HDDs are always erase using https://dban.org/ to ensure the data is scrubbed. As their website suggests,
dean website wrote: While DBAN is free to use, there’s no guarantee your data is completely sanitized across the entire drive. It cannot detect or erase SSDs and does not provide a certificate of data removal for auditing purposes or regulatory compliance.
Not perfect but good enough for me.

I check with my local resources and recycle the unwanted electronics. By the time I’m done with them there is usually no useful life left to make it worthwhile to dump on someone with the hope they can repurpose.
Normal people… believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet. – Scott Adams

TN_Boy
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by TN_Boy » Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:06 pm

gtd98765 wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:05 pm
TN_Boy wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:01 am
gtd98765 wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:18 am
The amount of effort one should devote to destroying the data on a hard drive should be proportional to the likelihood that the NSA or GRU care about what you have stored there. The average random crook or Goodwill buyer who acquires it after you are finished with it will not have the skills or interest to try to recover your top secret cat videos.
It's not that hard to pull data off a drive that has not been erased. It's absolutely worth the trouble to securely erase the disk if you can, even if the NSA is not closing in upon your spy ring.

It would be one thing if it was amazingly hard to erase a disk drive, but it is not.
Agree, and as I noted above, I believe in using software to easily and securely erase (or encrypt) a hard drive before disposal. But physical methods like shooting the drive or drilling holes in it seem like an excessive amount of work for no benefit. Who exactly is trying to get at this data, and how much time and money are they willing to spend to do it? Why is Goldfinger interested in me?

I believe TV crime and spy shows give people a vastly exaggerated idea of the number of and skill levels of bad actors out there. The vast, vast majority of people with the skills to suck valuable data off a used hard drive can use those skills legitimately to earn an honest living with no risk of prison. Of the tiny percentage left, what are the odds they care about me?
From the post I quoted, it wasn't clear (to me at least) what you thought should be done for hard drives being "routinely" disposed of. I think such drives should be erased.

I don't believe doing things like shooting the drive or drilling holes in it are as secure as doing a proper erase. You can drill holes in it, but there will still be sectors with data on it. Just use the right software to erase it.

GreatLaker
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Re: Retire Old Desktop Computer

Post by GreatLaker » Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:20 pm

The lazy way is to take out the hard drive then haul the PC to electronic recycling.

I delete all my personal stuff then wipe the drive with Dban or Eraser. Then I use Windows Recovery Reset this PC command to reset WIndows and wipe all the software. Then I run Dban or Eraser again to wipe the free space one more time.

I just sold a Windows XP Pro PC with a monitor for $45. The buyer posted an ad on Kijiji looking for something with Win XP for her daughter to play video games with Grampa. They had another PC that died leaving the daughter with no games to play. What a feel good story. :)

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