How to Recycle Your Old Hard Drive

Freja Meza
6 min readMay 6, 2021


If you have an old hard drive that’s just sitting in a box, you might be wondering what you should do with it. You don’t want to throw it in the garbage, but you also don’t know what to do with it. Check out this article to learn about recycling your old hard drive and other tips for disposing of computer equipment responsibly.

Recycle Old Hard Drives for Cash

Computer hard drives are manufactured to last for many years. That is why manufacturers usually re-use the same part to make new drives. When you buy a new hard drive, you do not get the benefit of shrinking and improving features over time like solid-state memory is doing. Additionally, new memory is cheaper to manufacture than a hard drive. Unfortunately, components such a hard drives can be difficult to recycle. Manufacturers often use recycled materials such as glass, plastic, and paper to produce their drives. However, there are certain materials that cannot be recycled such as aluminum, plastic, copper, and even gold. At best, recycling these materials can get complicated and expensive, whereas simply swapping out the hard drive may be possible with simple materials.

To determine what can go into what sort of recycling program, we must understand exactly what can be recycled. Below are some items that can be recycled according to the American Chemistry Society (ACS): You can choose between getting cash for your old hard drive or sending it to the manufacturer for recycling. You should identify what components go in your recycling program and which can be sent back out for use. Before you choose your equipment or send it to the recycling company, there are several things to consider. The next logical question you should ask yourself is, “Why should I recycle this particular item?” Just because something was made in the past, does not mean it cannot be recycled or reused today. E-waste includes products from electronics, computers, and other technology that have outlived their expected lifespan. There are strict recycling processes, rules for where items go and a number of rules and regulations that must be followed.

If you decide to recycle your computer hard drive, it is vital to know how to properly recycle these hard drives. After you recycle your old hard drive, you should ensure that it will not infect other computers or spread any viruses. You can also ensure that the items will not cause further harm to the environment. Recycling can be a rewarding way to help reduce your environmental impact. The organization E-Stewards is a resource for all types of recycling information. Before using any recycling system, it is important to know how to safely dispose of any hazardous materials, including hazardous liquid byproducts. For you and other recyclers, there are cords that you can use to safely transport hazardous liquids along with the materials that you are trying to recycle. You can also reuse your beverage container, paint, and even your newspaper.

How to Destroy a Hard Drive with a Drill

Drive with a Drill

How to delete data from a hard drive. Before you begin, make sure your hard drive is turned off and unplugged from your computer. This can be done safely by holding down the power switch until the computer restarts. After you have set your disk erasure software, finish by disconnect the hard drive from the computer. You don’t need special tools to get data off the hard drive, but there are special tools available if you need to recover a deleted file. If you do, see the section below to learn how to recover deleted files from a CD or USB flash drive.

The hardest part about recovering deleted files from a hard drive is the effort required to find and find all of the deleted files. You can use data recovery software to help you find and recover deleted files. Using data recovery software is easier than trying to find the deleted files yourself. To find and use data recovery software, follow these steps: Remove the hard drive from the computer. Insert a blank CD or USB drive into your CD or USB drive reader. Turn on your computer and restart it until the computer begins loading.

This usually takes about 5–10 minutes. Select the USB drive on the Startup Items page. If you have an external drive, open the Control Panel, select Disk Management, and click the Empty Disk button. Then, in Disk Recovery, click more than one device to filter the list. Note: You can find your hard drive’s device name by right-clicking on the drive and selecting Properties. If you can’t find a specific device, you usually have to search for it using the manufacturer’s file recovery program.

Follow these steps to find your hard drive. Open the Programs and Features Control Panel page. Select Disk Management from the dropdown and then go down to your hard drive’s folder. Select your hard drive and details such as manufacturer, model, drive letter, and so forth will appear. Click the checkmark next to each entry and then click Uninstall. When you uninstitute a driver, the system reinstalls the original software that came with the hardware. However, when you install a brand new driver, the original software that came with the computer isn’t available.

You need the operating system’s original software to reinstall software on your system. Follow these steps to find the software you need. Insert your hard drive into your computer, and turn on your computer. Add the CD or USB drive that you just inserted into your computer and restart the computer. Once the computer starts loading, the Software tab will display.

Free Hard Drive Recycling

Right behind clothing and paper, hard disk drives are among the most popular electronic waste. Hard drives, also called super-fast storage devices, are cartridges used to store and transfer data. Computer hard drives come in many shapes and sizes, but they all work in the same way: a hard drive stores one or more copies of the user’s data and a “swap-out point,” which is a computer memory area, which is used to store parity copies of the original hard drive. — Wikipedia Hard drives are categorized into three main categories: Linear Hard Disks (also called Magnetic); Solid State Drives (SSD); and RAID Drives (Parasitic).

There are two main types of hard drives: a linear drive stores one or more copies of your data (files) in a storage area while a mechanical hard drive stores more copies of your files parallel to the physical one. A hard drive is composed of two parts, one in charge of storing the data and another for moving it to another part of the hard drive when the data is requested. The data is stored in the magnetic part of the hard drive and there are multiple ways the data can be written into the memory part of the hard drive. You can think of the magnetic and the memory as two separate parts of a computer. All modern hard drives use mechanical procedure for access, which means that parts of the drive must move to access or write to the data. Right before this article was created it turns out that USB-A and USB-C is not the universal interface for all hard drive standards. Readers looking for information about USB Fast Charging compatibility can check this article.

Depending on which drive you choose, you’ll either need to physically remove the old hard drive from the computer, consume a method of energy consumption (e.g., an adapter) to program the hard drive to a different device, or use critical software that cannot be easily replaced. Hard drive recycling is challenging because many different drive manufacturers make different types of storage devices. Once you get the hang of recycling your personal drive, it can be hard to tell which drive you can recycle and for how long. To recycle hard drives, you should check whether the manufacturer is requiring recycling, the packaging has a recycling symbol, and the drive is recognizable by its capacity, whether it can be identified by capacity, power consumption or the model name. Most manufacturers give you a recycling code that you can scan with a smartphone app, so look for this code and look for a recycling symbol.



Freja Meza

Euro-Recycling is the UK’s leading provider of Secure On-Site Data Media Destruction Services. Website: