starman

Can I apply an electromagnet to the HD and

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Due to the risk of

(1) somebody stealing your computer, especially laptop, and snooping at your data

(2) your hard disk failing, you sending it back, and somebody snooping at your data

I recommend that all personal data (e.g. maybe not your Windows drive, but your data drives) are encrypted.

If you use Linux, I've just completed a HOWTO on taking a new hard disk and encrypting it under Linux, using the upcoming Linux standard for hard disk encryption, LUKS.

http://www.saout.de/tikiwiki/tiki-index.php

The downside is you loose some performance. I am seeing approximately 10Mb/s copying large files from one encrypted drive to another on an AthlonXP 3200+. Just one more reason I should go to dual core :)

Maybe some day public employees will do this their laptops. Then we can reduce the amount of confidential information the Govt leaks:

Laptop with credit card info for 80,000 DOJ workers stolen

MI5 (UK secret service) laptop containing secret data stolen

FBI : Average Laptop Theft Costs Companies $47,000

Thief gets personal data of 100,000 UCB graduates

...

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There is a sticker on the side of the Hitachi covering a hole that was used to format the platters after assembly. You could stick a simple degaussing probe in there to touch the platters and roll it to turn the platters, without having to disassemble anything.

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If you are serious about opening the drive you need to find all the top cover screws. The problem is that there are often one or two beneath the top cover label. One pinning the voice coil actuator, and on ball bearing drives, one pinning the motor spindle. If you want to open a drive without it being noticed you will need to devise a way to remove the label from that / those screw(s) and reapply it when you are done so that it cannot be seen. I do not believe any data is worth that effort but there you go.

Once the drive is open passing just about any magnet near the discs surface should suffice to damage the drive beyond repair (not to mention particle contamination from opening it outside of a good clean room). The field will randomize the user data and more importantly the embedded servo fields. Without the servo fields the drive will not function again.

Free

210956[/snapback]

Thankyou for the Info!

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There is a sticker on the side of the Hitachi covering a hole that was used to format the platters after assembly.  You could stick a simple degaussing probe in there to touch the platters and roll it to turn the platters, without having to disassemble anything.

210960[/snapback]

Thankyou for the Info!

Do you know if I can buy the degaussing probe at Fry's Electronics?

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I want to scramble the HD data on the non-working HD and I have come up with a creative idea.

Will this work?

1. Remove HD lid/cover

2. Place HD next to CRT screen

3. Press CRT degauss button.

Will this scramble the HD data?

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I want to scramble the HD data on the non-working HD and I have come up with a creative idea.

Will this work?

1. Remove HD lid/cover

2. Place HD next to CRT screen

3. Press CRT degauss button.

Will this scramble the HD data?

210980[/snapback]

No, it wont. The magnetic layer on an hd has in fact a quite high coercitive field strenght, so it wouldnt even be scratched by that degaus. So better use a heavy duty electomagnet.

But: You know, when getting a HD from ebay, with missing S/N,ect, its about 90% chance of being stolen. Just forget it. THAT seller sure as hell wont spend clean-room time getting your data (too expensive), and you wont get another hd, either. So just drop it in the garbage and make on entry into the "lessons learned" book.

But if you really are _SO_ concerned about whatever _SO_ important is on the disc that should be deleted: heat it over the curie-temperature, thats should be NSA-proof (especially if you do it rather dirty with a barrel/pit and some gasoline)

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I want to scramble the HD data on the non-working HD and I have come up with a creative idea.

Will this work?

1. Remove HD lid/cover

2. Place HD next to CRT screen

3. Press CRT degauss button.

Will this scramble the HD data?

210980[/snapback]

No, it wont. The magnetic layer on an hd has in fact a quite high coercitive field strenght, so it wouldnt even be scratched by that degaus. So better use a heavy duty electomagnet.

But: You know, when getting a HD from ebay, with missing S/N,ect, its about 90% chance of being stolen. Just forget it. THAT seller sure as hell wont spend clean-room time getting your data (too expensive), and you wont get another hd, either. So just drop it in the garbage and make on entry into the "lessons learned" book.

But if you really are _SO_ concerned about whatever _SO_ important is on the disc that should be deleted: heat it over the curie-temperature, thats should be NSA-proof (especially if you do it rather dirty with a barrel/pit and some gasoline)

210992[/snapback]

Maybe I should pull out my old Oxy-Acetylene torch!

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Hey Starman,

Freeborn is right. Any decent head/media failure analysis engineer will be able to figure out that you opened the drive and ran a magnet over the media. Both of these actions will void the warranty. Not that it matters much since you are likely buying gray market goods anyway...

Just shell out some $$$ and buy a new drive from a legitimate vendor. Use the old one for target practice.

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Do you know if I can buy the degaussing probe at Fry's Electronics?

210969[/snapback]

You'd probably need to order one. I bought mine at Radio Shack for $15 years ago when cassette tapes were popular. It has a very high powered alternating field electromagnet, with a 1/8" diameter probe at the end and resembles a soldering iron. It does not look like this one so be careful when you are shopping: http://www.dansdata.com/danletters009.htm

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Just shell out some $$$ and buy a new drive from a legitimate vendor.  Use the old one for target practice.

211008[/snapback]

Forget it. I looked at his posting history, and hes been here for years, mostly lurking.

He is just trolling/bullshitting around...

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Just shell out some $$$ and buy a new drive from a legitimate vendor.  Use the old one for target practice.

211008[/snapback]

I agree. It's not worth the hassle. You mentioned Fry's a few posts back, so I assume there's one near you. You can usually pick up drives cheap there. Just watch the ads.

As far as your old drive goes, I remember a friend telling me some years ago about an article he read about partitioning by hacksaw. That'll probably do it. :D

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You will not get into the HD without making it bleeding obvious you did so.

Want a big electro magnet? go visit a scrappy. You will not be able to guarantee the data is wiped. If its not detecting, then its probably the board on the HD thats gone, so data would be relatively easy to recover if its *only* the board.

So hit it with a sledgehammer - you'll atleast see how HD's look inside. And buy a proper one, with warranty and a legit copy of doom 3.

or take the lid off, fill it with LED's and just attach power to the motor so it spins, then replace lid with piece of perspex - should look pretty funky. :)

Nox

Edited by Nox

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Just shell out some $$$ and buy a new drive from a legitimate vendor.  Use the old one for target practice.

211008[/snapback]

Forget it. I looked at his posting history, and hes been here for years, mostly lurking.

He is just trolling/bullshitting around...

211021[/snapback]

You think I'm joking? How much drive FA have you done, imsabbel?

It's not that hard to tell a drive's been opened outside of a cleanroom. And the manufacturers have an interest not to RMA drives which have been tampered with - it's expensive to shell out a replacement. It also makes it more expensive (or impossible) to recondition the drive which was tampered with.

This kind of behavior (breaking drives and then sending them back for RMA) shouldn't be encouraged. It drives up storage costs for everyone. :angry:

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If I were the dealer I would not refund in this situation. The original poster has multiple drive failures, most like due to system heat/power problems.

If you take a magnet to the platters, you destroy it completly, and void possible warranties.

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If you only have a hammer....

Due to the risk of

(1) somebody stealing your computer, especially laptop, and snooping at your data

(2) your hard disk failing, you sending it back, and somebody snooping at your data

I recommend that all personal data (e.g. maybe not your Windows drive, but your data drives) are encrypted.

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What about this idea?

1. Open HD lid

2. Put HD in microwave oven and zap it for about 10 seconds

Will microwave radiation affect the magnetic media?

Will this erase the data?

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If you're going to do something to the drive, go ahead already, it's starting to get boring.

Remember to post pics :D.

This kind of behavior (breaking drives and then sending them back for RMA) shouldn't be encouraged. It drives up storage costs for everyone.

This drive can't be RMAed since it was stolen to begin with. Which is why everyone is suggesting that starman buys any future drives from reputable places (no, random people on ebay don't count, which explains your drive failure rate).

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You think I'm joking?  How much drive FA have you done, imsabbel? 

211164[/snapback]

He thinks the topic starter is joking.

211166[/snapback]

Sorry imsabbel, my misunderstanding. Must be my hemorrhoids acting up.

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Problem solved: My Hard Drive has been Degaussed.

I located a computer salvage business that had a degaussing machine and had it done.

Thankyou everyone!!!

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