PC Components

How To Destroy a Laptop Hard Drive

Man Beating Hard Drive With Hammer

A hard drive (also referred to as a hard disk or HDD) is one of the most popular forms of technology that stores your data, such as applications, files, photographs, and much more. Every laptop has a hard drive hidden away in its body somewhere that contains a lot of information about you, such as passwords, bank details, etc., that you may not even realize. Even after you wipe a computer, this information can still linger around in the background, so it’s really important to either wipe the hard drive fully or destroy it.

Anybody who cares about their personal information needs to remove the hard drive from their laptop. The last thing you want is some sort of hacker having full access to everything you’ve done in the past on your laptop because it can be used against you in a multitude of ways that you may not even know about.

Quick Answer

Those looking to destroy the hard drive on a laptop need to do a couple of things, including getting the appropriate tools to do the job, finding out where to locate it, how to remove it, and what part of it needs to be destroyed. While doing this, you also have to be careful that you don’t damage any unwanted parts of the laptop, because then it won’t be able to be resold in the future.

Let’s discuss how you can destroy your laptop hard drive.

Tools You Need To Destroy A Hard Drive From Your Laptop

Without tools, you’re not going to be able to get to the hard drive inside the laptop’s body. Here’s what you’ll need.

  • A small Torx screwdriver, which can be bought in any hardware store.
  • A flat-head screwdriver, which can be bought in any hardware store.
  • Something to physically destroy the hard drive, e.g. a hammer, hand or electric saw, etc.

How To Destroy A Hard Drive From A Laptop

Here, we will give you an in-depth, step-by-step guide on how to destroy your hard drive so nobody can ever access the information you stored on it.

Follow these steps on how to destroy a hard drive on a laptop.

Step #1: Locate Where The Hard Drive Is On The Laptop

Firstly, you need to locate where your hard drive is on your laptop. This will really depend on what make or model you have. If you can’t find it, Google search for where the hard drive is on the make and model of your laptop. You’ll find it in no time.

Step #2: Remove the Screws

Next, you’re going to get your screwdriver, go to the place where the hard drive is stored, and begin to remove each screw holding the part of the body protecting your laptop.

Warning

Be careful not to damage any of the screw heads while attempting to remove them. Sometimes they can wear if you’re too rough.

Step #3: Remove the Lid and Screws From Hard Drive

Once you’ve removed the first set of screws, take off the lid protecting the hard drive. There may be another set of screws in the hard drive holding it. If there is, start to remove that set of screws with the screwdriver.

Step #4: Remove the Hard Drive From the Laptop and Locate the Circuit Board

After removing the screws from the hard drive, you’ll want to remove it. Make sure that all the screws are removed first, and then take the hard drive out of the laptop. Put the hard drive on a clear table where you can move it around and locate the circuit board that’s on it

Note

The circuit board will be a dark green color.

Step #5: Remove and Destroy the Circuit Board

Remove it from the hard drive once you’ve found the circuit board and simply snap it in half. That’s the first half of the destruction completed.

Step #6: Locate the Large Silver Disk

Begin inspecting the hard drive to find the large disk inside of it. There should be a smaller disk holding it in place. You need to focus on those two components.

Step #7: Remove the Disks

Get your screwdriver and begin removing the screws holding the smaller screw into place. Once loosened, the larger one should automatically fall out of place.

Step #8: Destroy Each Disk

Finally, get your weapon of choice and begin destroying each disk, so they will be unaccessible in the future. Be sure to do a decent amount of damage to the pieces so they can’t be put back into another laptop.

Summary

To completely destroy your laptop hard drive, these steps summarize the method described above.

  1. Find the hard drive on your laptop.
  2. Remove every screw from the part that’s protecting the hard drive.
  3. Then remove each screw from the hard drive.
  4. Take the hard drive out of the laptop’s body.
  5. Locate the circuit board, and snap it in half.
  6. Go back to the hard drive and locate the two silver disks.
  7. Remove the screws from the small disk, and the bigger one should fall out of place.
  8. Inflict heavy damage to the disks so they can’t be used again.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a way to remove the data from the hard drive before destroying it?

Yes, there is a way that you can remove the data from the hard drive before damaging it.

1) Google search to find yourself a data wiping application.
2) Download the application.
3) Log into the application and find the option to wipe every bit of data from the hard drive.
4) Click it and allow it to wipe the whole system.

It’s important to note that just because you’ve wiped all of the data from your laptop’s hard drive doesn’t mean that it’s completely clean. To ensure you’ve gotten rid of everything you need, destroy the hard drive after wiping it unless you plan on using it again.

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