What to Do with Old Hard Drives That You’re Tired of Keeping
Hard drives are an important part of most electronic devices especially computers and mobile phones. On average, each one lasts about 2 to 5 years according to a report by Backblaze. Seeing as the average person replaces their mobile devices roughly every 18 months, these drives can pile up. This is why it is important to have a hard drive disposal procedure like hard drive shredding.
Dealing with old devices can fall anywhere between simply throwing them away and leaving them lying around until they get missing or worse: stolen. Either solution is problematic in its own way, due to the possibility of someone accessing your private data. The thought of what to do with old hard drives may seem abstract and maybe even mundane, but it can be confusing when it’s time to decide. That’s why we’ve compiled this list to help you decide:
1. Give Them Away To An Organization That Needs Extra Storage
Hard drives can can be a really good gift, especially for small organizations and businesses with a tight budget. These include student bodies, churches, local corner shops and nonprofit organizations.
While giving them out is a great way to recycle old hard drives, you should make sure that all data stored on them is fully wiped before doing so. Contrary to popular belief, merely deleting files and formatting a device doesn’t completely erase the data on it. Anyone can access the data later if they know how to. The best solution to this problem is to use the services of a certified data destruction company around you.
2. Format and Re-use the Hard Drives For Remote Storage
It’s important to know where to recycle old hard drives because lot of the time, they can be recycled and reused. As long as they are still in good condition, you don’t necessarily have to throw them away. Although there are now more advanced online storage methods like cloud technology and blockchain, hard drives are still a great option. So if there’s any extra data you would like to store in a place that’s safe from hackers, here’s what you can do:
- Format the hard drive: data destruction isn’t necessary in this case since you’ll be using the hard drive yourself.
- Extract the hard drive: If it’s still in a computer or other device, you may have to extract it and buy a new casing, to make it more portable. You can do this by simply unscrewing the drive compartment. Some devices do not come with easily-detachable hard drives so you will need to call an electronics recycling or servicing company to extract the drive without damaging it.
- Store Data: Once the drive has been extracted, you can connect it to a computer, download data on it and store it in a safe place.
3. Destroy Them Using Effective Hard Drive Destruction Methods
This is probably what you think of first when deciding what to do with old hard drives. It’s a good option when you are sure that you don’t need them anymore. This way they no longer take up space and nobody can access the data on them. However, you should hand them over to experts to avoid buying expensive equipment and destroying them the wrong way. Any of the following methods can be used to physically destroy hard drives:
- Hard drive shredding: This hard drive disposal procedure involves using a specialized shredder to rip hard drives into pieces. Shredding ensures that they can never be used again.
- Degaussing: This is the use of a magnetic force to scramble parts of the drive so that it can no longer be used. While degaussers are readily available for purchase on the market, the cost isn’t justified if you’re only destroying a few hard drives.
- Drilling: This involves creating holes in the platter of the hard drive using a nail and hammer or hand drill.
What to Do With Old Hard Drives If These Options Don’t Work? The Answer is Simple
Giving old hard drives to trusted electronics recycling experts takes the problem of deciding whether to keep or destroy them off your hands. At All Green Recycling, we have several affordable options for handling old hard drives. They include data destruction services, hard drive shredding, recycling and degaussing amongst others.
You don’t have to keep those drives lying around and cluttering up your rooms and offices anymore. We have drop-off sites in every state so that you can conveniently reach us from any location within the country. Contact us to find the most affordable hard drive disposal option that makes things easier for you.
Have you had problems deciding what to do with old hard drives in the past? Leave a comment below and we will respond. Don’t forget to share this with anyone who would like to learn about hard drive disposal.