When wiping old hard drives isn’t possible, use these simple, no-cost methods to snoop-proof the drive’s data.
Plus: Windows access for Linux-formatted drives, a severe Windows-kernel crash, and a Win7/8 tool for removing tons of obsolete Windows Update files.
No-tech/low-tech drive-disposal options
Reader M.L. needs to dispose of a pair of old hard drives that contain sensitive information. He’s looking for an alternative to the usual data-wipe methods.
- “Dear Fred: I have a very old, very dead desktop PC that contains tax records. The PC doesn’t even turn on any more.
“I removed both hard drives and can now dispose of the PC. But what should I do with the hard drives to protect my privacy?
“I’m not sure if the drives even spin. I use a laptop now, so I have no way to connect desktop-type drives to it. I’m looking for a very simple, non-techie solution. Can you help?”
If you knew the drives worked, you could purchase a drive-connector kit to hook up the old desktop-type drives to your laptop. You could then use drive-wiping software. But buying the connector kit and then finding out the drives don’t work would be a waste of money. Moreover, that method doesn’t meet your “non-techie” requirement.
Happily, there are reliable, low-tech ways to make old drive data unrecoverable — I’ll get to those in a moment.