Common Methods of Hard Drive Destruction

Shredded Hard DriveYou’ve started a document shredding program to protect your confidential information, but now you’re getting new computers and don’t know what to do with the old ones.

The data stored electronically contains confidential information and is also covered by the HIPAA and FACTA disposal rules. The question is, what is the best way to properly destroy the information?

The three most popular ways to destroy information on hard drives is software erasure, degaussing and physical shredding.

Software Erasure

There are countless software programs that claim “Department of Defense” compliance. Some are freeware, and others come with a price. They all work on the same principle of overwriting the drive with bad data several times.

At this time the National Association of Information Destruction (NAID) does not recognize software tools as an adequate means of destroying the data.

Bill Adler president of Atlanta-based CyberScrub says, “No one will guarantee anything in the software business. All software is sold without warranty. You have no idea of the configuration of all the computers people have, and people use products the wrong way.”

The most important problem is that even if the data is erased and reformatted, information on the hard drive can still be restored with special software.


Degaussing uses powerful magnetic devices to scramble the information on a hard drive. It demagnetizes the hard drive so the data is basically unrecognizable.

However, the tools that are used in the degaussing process are expensive. And like erasure, the data is still recoverable with special software.

Physical Destruction (Shredding)

The third option is physically destroying the drive. Putting a drill through the drive or just smashing it with a hammer does not completely destroy the data. CyberScrub’s Adler says,” drilling or hammering makes the hard drive inoperable, but someone with forensics ability would be able to recover most of the data.”

The only way to make sure your data will not be reconstructed is to shred the drive into small pieces. Shred Nations can connect you to the services that will shred your hard drives for a fraction of the cost involved with erasure tools. These services not only completely destroy your data, they also comply with state and EPA hazardous waste disposal and recycling laws.

Get Free Quotes on Hard Drive Shredding Services

Shred Nations offers hard drive shredding services that ensure that thoroughly destroy your electronic media devices, rendering them useless for data recovery. Our trained staff of specialists that can help you decide what the best course of action is for your secure hard drive destruction project.

To get your free, no-obligation quotes in just a few short minutes, fill out the form to the right, or give us a call at (800) 747-3365.