The Realm of the Verbal Processor

Jarvis's Ramblings

Securing Hard Drive Data with firepower

When a computer is decommissioned / thrown away / given away / etc. how do you wipe the hard drive to ensure that the data on the HD is unreadable? This is a topic that comes up from time to time. Knowing that there is a good liklihood of Quicken data, Social Security numbers, or a myriad of other personal data that could be mined from an old hard drive, what can be done to secure it?

There are many great programs for this out there. I have personally used DBAN (Darik’s Boot and Nuke). It works well and is free. Honestly, I haven’t looked beyond that one for a software based hard disk wiper. It works and is free. It wasn’t worth my time to look elsewhere.

However…while it works well, it takes a bit of time…and well…it lacks panache. So, a few of us have had a bit more fun with the process of securing the data on our hard drives. So, what could we do to both secure the data and have fun at the same time? How about if we add some firepower to the process? Like maybe a .45 Auto? Below is a video of my wife helping in one of our “Data Security Sessions”. She’s about 4’11” and sub-100 pounds. She is holding a Sig Sauer P220 in .45 Auto. What you see is her first time ever shooting a .45 Auto. In front of her you will see a large earthen backstop with some old timbers set up for holding targets. At the base of the backstop you will see a small rectangle. That is the hard drive that she is aiming at. Her first shot nails it. The other shots just barely missed. The guy that you see and hear offering encouragement is our friend Jay Tsugawa. It’s his pistol.

The more impressive shots that I have personally seen involved a .25-06 (high powered hunting rifle) and a 12 Gauge slug and two of my brother-in-laws. With the .25-06, we turned the hard drive sideways and shot into the thin side of the drive and popped the spindle. The result was quite impressive. It just plain exploded. Then my brother-in-law pulled out his 12 Gauge and shot through the platters of another hard drive. The hole through the drive was just massive. You could stick the 12 Gauge shell through the hole. Unfortunately I don’t have pictures of either of these. They were both thrown away by mistake before I could get a picture. The picture is one that my friend Philip took of a HD that he shot with the .45. On the right half just below the serial number, you can see the .45 slug that was inside the case when he picked it up after shooting it.

Philip’s Hard Drive

November 5, 2007 - Posted by | guns, tech |


  1. Ahh, memories…. I miss killing hard drives.

    Though obviously not as fun as shooting them, I’d still like to run a few through the “Model 22 HDD Hard Drive Destruction Unit”.

    Comment by Philip | November 10, 2007

  2. Dude…that’s cool. It basically turns it to dust.

    Comment by Jarvis | November 10, 2007

  3. Mac users hate guns and gun owners, as they think they’re something that’s only owned by psychos.

    Comment by max | November 29, 2007

  4. Max left comments all over my blog after getting a bit miffed by a couple of my Mac posts. Here is my response to him.

    Comment by Jarvis | November 29, 2007

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