Storage

Video: Crusher destroys hard drives in seconds

It might not match a sledgehammer's fun-factor, but the PD-8400 portable crusher can mangle, mutilate, and destroy a hard drive in mere seconds.

A few weeks back, I needed to destroy one of my personal hard drives. The drive had failed, and being paranoid about data security, I didn't want to ship the unit off to the local computer recycler without first rendering the drive unusable. So, I broke out the screwdrivers, Channellock pliers, and a hammer. After ten minutes of destruction and at least one minor flesh wound, the drive's platters were sufficiently mangled to prevent them from being spun again.

Although satisfying in "let's get medieval" sort of way, my demolition process just isn't scalable. Organizations, with dozens or even hundreds of drives to decommission, could spend weeks manually destroying old drives. Thankfully, hard drive crushers, like the PD-8400 shown in this video, can destroy old drives in seconds. According to Data Devices International, the manufacturer, the PD-8400 "is designed to physically destroy hard drives in order to prevent persons from being able to spin the hard drive up to retrieve data." The company even offers an optional version of the PD-8400 that they claim "will destroy the hard drive in under 15 seconds."

The PD-8400 is $ $8,950.00, but the price climbs to just over $12,500 when you add a 3-year warranty, a shipping/carrying case, and shipping charges (sales tax will add even more). If the PD-8400 out of your price range, the company offers the MHDD Manual & Motorized Hard Drive Destroyer for $4,125. Of course, a sledge hammer and safety glass will set you back about $50.

If you want to erase the drive's data in under 10 seconds, a degaussing device can do the trick.

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

18 comments
DavidHiltz
DavidHiltz

Now here's a question, what do you do if your hard drive is bullet proof? The company that I worked with was very security conscious so they had their equipment under pretty tight wraps. Anyway, long story short, the company failed and now I have to dispose of the material. I've taken a hammer to these things and they've still been able to stand up to it. Any idea of what I should do?

http://theinnotechsolutions.com/cone-crushers-for-sale.html 

caaseyboostjones
caaseyboostjones

My brother works for a mining company and has access to some of the huge crushers they have there.  I wonder how those crushers would handle a hard drive.  I bet the ones he uses could crush a thousand hard drives all at once.  It is a shame his crushers aren't currently working.  As soon as he gets those crushers the repairs they need, I will be sure to take some of my hard drives over there.

http://theinnotechsolutions.com/cone-crusher-repair-services.html 

Aaron A Baker
Aaron A Baker

What an incredibly selfish, stupid and useless way of discarding a perfectly good Hard Drive. Oh, it may be that it's no longer good to you, but what of all the poor people out there who's chances of getting such hard Drives are rendered Nil by their measly little Welfare of Medical Pension Cheque.?? I submit that it would be much kinder to simply wipe them out, "We still remember how to do that don't we??" and then give them to some local organization dedicated to the advancement of the Poor. This would be far more visionary than this Toy called Crusher and makes absolutely sure that no one benefits from the use of a possibly good hard Drive. Ridiculous and not very generous or kind is it? Seems to me that we have a "Duty" to help those who are worse off than we are. "Suffer thy Neighbors' Pain? " Maybe it's time we started, yes?. Thank you Regards Aaron

michael1r
michael1r

Seems a sledge hammer would be quicker and a lot less expensive..lol

read
read

Most can crushers would likely have a hard time and would wear out quickly. However, a log splitter would do it easily. Canadian Tire sells 4 tons of crushing power (Yardworks brand) for CDN $300 and 6 tons for $600. Both models are electric (screw type). The design is the same as for most can crushers (screw driven with an electric motor) but they're just way more powerful. The mechanism is extremely simple so there is little that can go wrong with it.

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

Every component in the computer has a memory address or memory address range.This range is probably a Government mandated standard.So the firmware in your hard drive has a virus in it and it will not work at all.The scan is run from the BIOS.Panda would have to scan every memory address from your computer's BIOS without accessing an OS on the drive.The BIOS program in the BIOS chip probably has this kind of virus scanning and it should work at boot up.

Hangtown Man
Hangtown Man

Too Slow, Too high of a price. Very Lame Product. A Harbor Fright electric log splitter would do the same thing. or a 5# mini Sledge.

rene
rene

Wat a waste of effort designing, producing, marketing, buying and using such a thing. Announched as "... destroying drives within second .." it does still take 75 seconds. By that time I have selected my largest drill, put it into my stationary drill machine and let it drill trought the housing, platters, etc.: nobody can ever get to the data. Simple and easy.

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

Wasnt there another article on HDD destruction recently?? Hmmm, maybe a few weeks between similar articles would give more responses :D 75 seconds -- per drive??? what a waste! hammer/screwdriver takes about 10 seconds per drive and shatters the platters with ease.

trackpads
trackpads

Even the military allows old drives to be reused. If wecrush them all then who will have any left in order to turn into clocks on ebay? :)

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

In IT Dojo blog, I recently featured a video of Data Devices International's PD-8400 crushing a hard drive in about 75 seconds. Original Post: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/itdojo/?p=114 Crushing is one method of hard drive destruction, but so is degaussing. What's your favorite method? Which method do you think is most practical for an large enterprise?

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