Saturday, August 27, 2016

How to Destroy your Computer Information - Part 4 of 7 - Opening and Removing the Disk

By Gary Boutin
Small all metal sledge

Tools and Supplies:
Bench or Flat Surface 
Clamp 4-foot  
Chisels 3/4, 1/2 and 1/4 inch
Douglas Fir 2x4x4 (8)
Warning #2
Drill Bits (Large Metal and Titanium Bits)
Metal drill bit Set: Metal and Titanium
Razor Knife 
Ryobi Cordless Drill Accessories: #1 Phillip Tip, Star Bit 
Ryobi Cordless Drill 18-Volt (or electric)
Saw Horses (2) 
Spring Clamps Large (2)
Sledge Heavy

It's early fall and the weather is changing, and so is the room in our home. There will be seven posts showing step-by-step method of removing data information, then the hard drives and finally destroying the hard drives so one can ever read them again. 

This post shows the twenty four steps on how to open two different drives. But it is worth it for peace of mind, knowing that no one can steal your identity.


This is the workbench that was assembled to destroy these hard drives.

These are the first hard drives that for this post example.

Notice: 369 megabytes (MB) and 639 megabytes (MB). Back when we had our tower personal computers these were big drives. Everything changes!

Later we purchase a tower computer with two gigabytes (GB) hard drives. Place in a metal case that goes into the computer. 

We start by removing the corner screw using a Ryobi Cordless Drill with a Phillip #1 bit. Most drives have 6-Phillips screws on the top.

The arrow shows the Phillip screws that need to be removed from the bottom of the hard drive board. There will be 4-Phillip screws on this board. Use a Phillip #1 bit or smaller to remove these screws. Some hard drive companies have different type of screws.
These show the Phillip screws that were removed from the top of the hard drive case. It is the opposite of the PCB board.

This is Ryobi Combination Drill and Drive Bit Set (101-Piece) that has many types of bits from Phillip to Star bits. Including security bits.


Here come the fun! Take the old wood chisel or new metal chisel and pry it between the disk case and the circuit board. It should come out easily. But if does give it attitude using  the claw hammer and chisel. 

The circuit board (Green board is a PCB: (Printed Circuit Board) which houses the controller, or circuitry) will give easily and flat copper wires might need to be pulled off the case too. 

This is an old wood chisel. Its perfect for the job. It is not sharp and its purpose is to break the rivets inside the hard drive case.

There is a large rivet that allows the spinning of the drives that needs to be removed to get to the data disks. 

Now the circuit board has been removed. This is the back side of the hard drive case. Put it aside the PCB and it will be addressed later. 

Take a look at the hard drive, some of them are easy to open, just find the slot and the cover comes right off. Others are more difficult like this one. 

Notice that the cover has been pounded, but still it is not loose. That because the drive has a large rivet holding the case against both metal edges. Some drives covers come off easily and others you have to use the beat the heck out of them. Use a Metal chisel, and Claw hammer and beat it open. This is good exercise.

Once the cover gets a little loose use pliers to the thinnest cover usually the front and bend it down. Take a little force.

Now you can see the silver disk. A few scratches from the wooden chisel. This drive was beaten with a metal sledge and inside the silver data disks were still in perfect readable shape. Damaging the hard drive case is not enough to protect you from data thieves.

This is the second hard drive case also beaten heavily with the metal sledge and Claw Hammer. This case had metallic tape holding it together. 

The tape was stripped off using a razor knife and just peeling away from the sides of the hard drive.

The circuit board on this hard drive case fell open. It had a nice soft tissue in between the metal  case housing and the circuit  board.

This drive was as tight as a clam. Not fun at all to open. Several sizes of chisels were used to pry open this case. Several hits with a sledge was needed to break the drive rivet.

This old 1-inch chisel was not sharp, it had large broken edge tips unusable for wood work. But it was used to help open these two drives.

Here are two more old chisel. One is a 1/2 and the other is a 1/4 inch in size. Maybe a crowbar might have helped.

Now the case is open and even though the case was beaten very hard, this hard drive silver disk is in perfect shape. See my picture on the disk holding the camera.

A little more hitting with the hammer and the hard drive disc came out. These are made of solid silver metal.

Oh, I  should warn you your Warranty is Void. But I guess you knew that.

How To Destroy your Computer Information:

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Note: The DIY Advisor assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any jobs. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed contractor if in doubt about any steps on these posts. All names were changed to protect client's privacy. DIY Advisor. Reproduction of site content including photos without permission prohibited. All rights reserved. © Copyright 2011-

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