What is the best way to destroy a laptop so that nothing on it is recoverable? - Asking for a friend obviously


The End Justifies the Memes
Jul 14, 2020
Take the hard drive (or SSD drive) out- that's actually the only part you have to worry about. I generally keep my old drives in case I want to retrieve something I forgot about later on.

To ensure they are blanked out, you'll need to either pass them through an industrial degausser (or a very strong electromagnet if you can't get one), You can also connect it to a running system and run a military-spec data wipe that basically overwrites the entire disk with various patterns of 1s and 0s several times to make sure the original data is wiped.

None of these, however, are guarantees. A disk recovery service can usually still find enough traces of previously written data to get at least partial information off a disk. DoD actually no longer considers degaussing/overwriting sufficient, and actually recommends physical shredding. So if I want to get rid of a disk drive with actual platters (non SSD) I'd do a mil-spec overwrite then smash the platters into dust with a hammer. (this is very therapeutic)

SSDs are a little tougher since they don't have a large spinning platter you can smash. Best cheap budget way to ensure they are destroyed is to incinerate them (but be aware you may be releasing some nasty chemicals if you do that)


Avatar of Change
Apr 25, 2019
1. slice off the cord on the end that connects the PSU to the laptop.
2. Apply Taser to said end of cord while connecting it to the laptop
3. open laptop and use said taser on any chips.

All of this is while the battery is not inserted....gotta put that out there because fucking idiots will blow themselves up otherwise.

Kosher Dill

Potato Chips
True & Honest Fan
Feb 3, 2013


Latestage Degeneracy
Nov 2, 2018
Over 37 gutmann pass erases will prevent standard law enforcement data recovery contractors from recovering data. I recall hearing CIA can do up to about 60, NSA more so. It depends on the density of data stored. Physical destruction is the only guaranteed way. Also data can be removed from RAM. Consider looking up InternetEvidenceFinder. It's software aimed at forensic recovery and will give you some vague details about its potential for data preservation and reclamation.

The Intern

Aug 7, 2020
Heres what you do

The best electronics disposal powder
  1. Get 7.5lbs of red iron oxide
  2. get 3.5lbs of aluminum flake preferably above 300
You mix that together, and run the mixture through a 40 mesh screen 5 times. and break up all the clumps, till its nice and uniform.
make a stone circle that will contain your laptop and the 10lbs of electonics disposal powder.
then you put your laptop in the center of the circle. and the 10lbs on top of it.
Now all you have to do is to just light it. and all your problems will go away. it may cause some others, but your laptop will be gone.


True & Honest Fan
Mar 29, 2014
When a file is deleted normally, the operating system just marks the data as "not there lol" even though it's still there.

So instead of destroying the laptop, why not just erase the empty space on the drive by filling it up with junk data or junk files?

The OS may have an option to erase empty space as well, so that junk data thing may not be needed.