Windows built-in data wiping tool is leaving behind sensitive information

Ben Myers

Posts: 227   +87
FWIW, you can render a drive unreadable, odds about one in a trillion someone will still be able to read it, with the following:
1. Nearly all drives are put together with a bunch of Torx screws, all taking the same Torx tool to remove them.
2. Remove the Torx screws from the circuit board, then the circuit board itself.
3. Remove the Torx screws from the the air-sealed drive cover on the other side, and then the cover.
4. If you are truly paranoid, peel the sticker identifying the drive from the drive cover, and maybe incinerate it.
5. Scratch the surfaces of the disk platters however you want.

If you do not think that would work, tell me how easy it is to get a circuit board for the exact model of drive, with firmware matching the circuit board you removed. Next, tell me how to unscratch the disk surfaces, restoring metal oxide coating magnetized exactly as it was before you took it apart.

DoD level of destruction? Nope, but darn close.
Last edited:


Posts: 325   +155
As a gamer/home user I've only purposely physically destroyed 2 or 3 HDDs. Any HDD smaller than 100GB I've just reformatted and recycled because there really wasn't anything sensitive on them. Anything bigger and any SSDs I just repurpose one way or another. I have hot swap drive bays on all my systems (2 just HDD, 2 both HDD & SDD) and sometimes it's easier just to pop an old drive in the bay, like when I torrent something...