Thursday, January 28, 2010

Destroying data

When an old system needs to retire, it's important to make sure that data doesn't just walk away and land in the wrong hands.

I would recommend that you pay for a service or program that wipes your data and makes absolutely sure that it's gone forever.

In my case, I had an old laptop that had been sitting around forever. It was used at home, and it died a horrible death a while back - keyboard destruction by small child comes to mind. It never booted since whatever he did...

Anyway, house cleaning is a wonderful thing. I recycled the laptop, but yanked the hard drive.

Here's what my son and I decided to do. If you decide to do something similar, wear protective eye wear, and don't blame it on me. ;)

Compound bow:

Target acquired!

Perfectly good, and defenseless hard drive. Its only crime - hosting personal data:

Perfectly good hard drive

Post impact:

Perfectly (?) destroyed hard drive

Small bits of data, or shards of had drive:

Small bits of data... ;)

Data destruction accomplished in 70 micro seconds - that's the time it took the arrow to travel 1/4 inch through the hard drive.

Video of the destruction:

Enjoy! :)


  1. Cool. I'll send any disks I need to destroy to you!

    What's up with all the other holes I see? How many shots did it take to hit the disk? ;-)

  2. Two words: Used target ;)

  3. Hate to mention this, but the FBI could still recover some of the data on that drive, they have clean rooms that can read even badly damaged drives. Try more arrows to reduce the chance of getting any data off the drive....
    Also more fun to shoot it more....

  4. Awww... C'mon... That'll buff right out.

  5. Did you see how small the pieces of hard drive where?

    It's very unlikely that anyone could get anything off that data. I suppose someone that *really* wanted to could have a device that allows you to read off the disk fragments, but that's why I mentioned other methods... ;)

    More arrows would not make more shards, but I agree it would be more fun. However, I need those arrows for Giel's disks... :) :) :)

  6. @Lex: Throwing a hard drive in water damages pretty much no data ever. ;)

  7. Agree with Barton. Prison Break told me that even throwing a hard disc into the river does not damage all data. :)

  8. SON! i claim revenge!!!!! Watch your bits from now...

  9. Awesome!
    I'm afraid I'd have to settle for a hammer as I don't have this kind of archery gear... :-)

  10. @All: If you ever need any data destroyed, please send me your drive(s), plus a service fee of $10 per item... ;)

  11. Are you crazy? no you are not !
    You have great ideas.
    So let's start olympic IT games!!!!

    1. HD Bow shooting
    2. Keyboard pitching
    3. Mouse throwing
    4. to cut the Gordian knot in a USB Cable

    more ideas?

    Anders we have to this on next conference

    cu Daniel (Magin)

  12. @Daniel: I'm putting you down as Chief Co-Special-Events Organizer. ;)