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

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Desu Vult

Pronouns: nig/nigger/niggest
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Ive destroyed a few old ones to get some good magnets, if it counts.

Bootkits exist, so if the sensitive info is something that fits into a less than a few MB or so, getting rid of any and all flash memory containing chips is the paranoid option. This, of course, presumes a preexisting interest by serious glowie types.

I do remember an extremely unlucky pedo somewhere that IIRC used a commercial partitioning software to split his Windows disk, and later wipe both partitions. The partitioner left a minuscule amount of space between partitions and that's where the guy had a single surviving CP image.

Re boobytrapping computers, no cop since 1980s will try to turn on the computer and try to get something out of it. The SOP is to remove the HDD and connect it to forensic lab's computer via a write protector.
 

The-Patriarchy

The End Justifies the Memes
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Anyway, now that we've all got our thermite LARPs out of our system, how about a follow-up question.
How many people here have actually physically destroyed a drive, and how and why?

Bonus question: when was the first time you heard the thermite LARP? For me it was a computer teacher in high school telling us some yarn about hackers with "kill switches" on their desktop PCs that would "burn through" the hard drive with thermite if the feds came a-knocking.
Had a neighbor who was tossing out an old busted laptop who asked me how they could prevent anyone from stealing information off it. Pulled out the hard drive, smashed it with a 15 lb sledge a few times, then distributed the fragments of the platters into a few different garbage bags and tossed one of them in someone else's garbage can on trash day. Good luck reconstructing that NSA.
 

Knight of the Rope

True & Honest Fan
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Destroyed an HDD a few years ago with a hammer because everything on it was backed up and nobody wanted it anymore.
Had a neighbor who was tossing out an old busted laptop who asked me how they could prevent anyone from stealing information off it.
Yeah I did the hammer thing with my old laptop's hard drive too when that thing finally died. Mostly for funsies though, because hitting things with a hammer is fun. The only stuff I was worried about was identity information (I think I had a scan of my passport on there because I'm a lazy fuck).

I'm pretty sure the hammer didn't even bust it up beyond recovery, either. But if some savvy identity thief went to the hilarious effort of salvaging and meticulously reconstructing the drive just to get to my documents, then I say they've pretty much earned the right to masquerade as me at that point.
 

Snigger

Resident Codemonkey
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Drive down to your local FBI office, ask them to wipe it for you. Make sure you stress how important it is to get rid of everything on there and maintain uncomfortable levels of eye contact throughout.
 

Pill Cosby

my pronouns are fag/faggot
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That the storage devices out and take it to your local police station. Tell them what’s on it and why you don’t want your friend finding out. The police a will take the device from you and even make you a coffee while they ask a few questions and sign some paper work.
 

eternal dog mongler

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Had a neighbor who was tossing out an old busted laptop who asked me how they could prevent anyone from stealing information off it. Pulled out the hard drive, smashed it with a 15 lb sledge a few times, then distributed the fragments of the platters into a few different garbage bags and tossed one of them in someone else's garbage can on trash day. Good luck reconstructing that NSA.
Honestly I feel like if your life is in a place where you're legitimately worried about glowies piecing your smashed hard drive back together then you're fucked in any case.

Zeroing out a drive with something like DBAN is going to be more than adequate for just about everyone. Unless you simply like smashing things then you can do that too I guess.