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To the Test: Extreme Hard Drive Disposal Methods

Don't try this at the office (or, really, anywhere), but here are some interesting ways that people (hopefully not your end users) are handling hard drive disposal.

Throughout my career in IT, I have heard of a number of different and creative methods for SSD and hard drive disposal. (Disposal of virtual drives is another matter--but one that also must be considered.) Of course, I’m not recommending any of these for corporate data--especially when it comes to compliance--but it’s interesting to look at the different methods people use (especially if any of those people could potentially include your end users).

Indeed, I strongly recommend using a professional-grade hard disk shredder or crusher, or utilizing a drive destruction service for SSD and hard drive disposal. It's also important to educate end users on appropriate disposal methods of any electronic device that stores sensitive information. This is especially important for employees who use their own devices for work, and even more of an issue now that more and more people are working from home.

But I was curious about some of the do-it-yourself methods. Specifically, I wanted to know which methods were most effective, required the least effort and were the least likely to cause injury. For the record, all of the methods that I am about to describe carry at least some potential for personal injury. During tests I wore all appropriate (and then some) protective gear. But, even so, I do not recommend trying any of these methods. In fact, I recommend against all of them.

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