3 Hard Drive Myths Debunked



If you’ve ever searched the internet for “how to wipe a hard drive,” it’s likely you’ve come across at least a few hard drive myths that make it seem easy to destroy personal data from your living room.

There’s so many out there, it’s hard to keep track of which ones are legit and which ones are just plain false. Here are three of the most common hard drive myths and explanations as to why they are wrong.


#1: Using Household Magnets to Destroy Hard Drive Data

Probably the most wide-spread rumor about hard drive data destruction is that using a magnet will frazzle the data to make it unreadable. Now, this statement would be true if you were trying to wipe a floppy disk, but a magnet strong enough to wipe a hard drive would be strong enough to cut your finger off should it get stuck between the magnet and the surface you are attaching it to.

#2: Melt Your Hard Drive to Destroy Data

The advice on this one ranges from using a blow torch to toasting it in the microwave (spoiler alert: hard drives contain metal– this does not end well). Truth is, melting your hard drive is not a legitimate method of destruction. For starters, this method is unsafe and definitely not eco-friendly.

A melted hard drive releases toxins within the hard drive into the air, and upon disposal, these toxins will get into the landfills then end up in, harming the soil and possibly the water streams. Not to mention, you will end up breathing these chemicals in, and could end up with serious injury.

#3: Wipe Hard Drive Data Before Destruction

Although this method does work when employed properly, a recent study found that not all hard drive wipes are as thorough as promised. After purchasing over 200 used hard drives, researchers were able to uncover residual data on over 78%.

Their conclusion? Not all resellers are taking the necessary precautions to wipe data completely clean before reselling used electronics to the next user.

Author: R3 Recycling