Wood-chopping-axI just dropped off an old computer for electronic recycling. Of course I did not want to leave all my personal data on the computer’s internal hard drive. One option would be to use a software utility to reformat the hard drive. But I decided to use a much faster — and I think more permanent — method to disable the hard drive mechanism.

This was my low-tech method:

  • I removed the hard drive from the old computer.
  • Placed the hard drive on a piece of cardboard in my driveway…
  • …then pounded it several times with a heavy wood-chopping ax.

As you can see from the before and after photos, I’m quite certain the data will not be recoverable.

How to remove data from hard drive