Hard Drive Destruction: How It Works and Why You Should Do It

A pile of old dusty hard drives for disposal and recycling

When most businesses think of document destruction, their first thoughts are of shredders and boxes full of paper records. Though in our increasingly digital world, more data is stored digitally, and often on physical hard drives.  

It’s a mistake, however, to think that digitally stored records are free from the records management priorities that concern paper records. Records stored on hard drives must be managed just the same as paper records: with complete information security in mind and towards an eventual goal of secure destruction.  

Why Hard Drive Destruction? 

Various digital data storage devices. Usb sticks, external hard drive, SD cards, mini and micro SD cards, laptop and smartphone. Ready for destruction.a.) Retention: The records and data stored on hard drives are subject to the same retention policies and require the same attention as any set of paper records. This makes storage and security a priority, even in the case of data that a business isn’t currently utilizing in regular business processes.  

b.) Security: Hard drives falling into the wrong hands can create severe breaches of business or customer data with devastating consequences. Keeping hard drives past their retention point soaks up storage space and creates a greater risk of unattended or neglected hard drives falling into the wrong hands. 

c.) Standards: Secure destruction via industry standard methods is the only logical choice. 

How It Works 

Hard drive destruction can be achieved in several ways. Commercial options may use methods like shredding or puncturing the hard drive. Another method used is degaussing, which employs an extremely strong magnet to scramble the magnetically sequenced information held on the hard drive, rendering it unreadable.  

Hard drive destruction should always be performed by industry-standard methods. There are a lot of ways to “destroy” a hard drive without rendering it completely unreadable. This means the information on the hard drive is still vulnerable to nefarious individuals.  

DIY Hard Drive Destruction 

DIY hard drive destruction with hammerDestroying hard drives on their own isn’t usually an option for businesses, and for good reason. Not only is it physically dangerous, but without industry-standard practices and methods in place, there is a serious risk for information breaches from improperly destroyed hard drives. Also, simply removing the files from the hard drive via a delete function doesn’t permanently remove the information from the hard drive itself, so there’s no simple work around.  

Destruction of old hard drives grows in importance with each further step we take into a digital world. Businesses recognize that destroying hard drives is as much a part of a records management program as destroying paper.  

Hard Drive Destruction with Secure Records Solutions 

With our state-of-the-art commercial shredder, there’s no hard drive destruction job too big for Secure Records Solutions to handle in-house at our Thomasville, Georgia location. Our shredder destroys the metal plate within the hard drive – where the information is stored – rendering the data on the hard drive completely unreadable and unrecoverable.  

All destruction projects are completed to industry-leading security standards, from intake of the hard drives to the production of a certificate of destruction for the hard drives destroyed.  

When you partner with Secure Records Solutions for your hard drive destruction needs, you will get a tailored destruction plan that best fits the needs of your business. Hard drive destruction is one facet of our broader suite of commercial records management services, and we approach it the same way we do all records management projects. That means with creative solutions in mind, a dedication to customer service, and a plan that meets your business needs. Contact Secure Records Solutions today to get started or learn more about a hard drive destruction plan for your business. 


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