driveRecycling Your Old Hard Drive: How to Avoid Data Leaks and Stay Safe Online
The hard drive in your computer is one of the most crucial pieces of hardware in the box. It’s a small disc that stores all of your data, including all your passwords, bank accounts, private information and even photos of you and your family. But with only a few years of life expectancy before they start to fail, it can be easy to forget about your old hard drive when upgrading to a new computer. In this article we’ll give you some tips for recycling your old hard drive.
1. Why recycle your old hard drive?
There are many reasons to recycle your old hard drive. First of all, many of us have old hard drives sitting in our drawers or closets. They may contain valuable data but we may not remember the passwords to open them. Secondly, hard drives are often used to store valuable information by companies, organisations and government agencies.
So what do you do then? Things get a little tricky and a little roundabout when it comes to recycling your old hard drive. First of all it is important that your hard drive is formatted correctly and that you don’t have any data on it that is too old. There are tools you can use to reconfigure your hard drive to work in a new way or format it to work in a completely different format but these are beyond the scope of this post. To simplify the recycling process you can take a disposable hard drive and label it with your company’s logo.
Once you have your old hard drive, all you have to do is plug it into your computer and open up the case with your old hard drive inside. Next, open up your drive and delete everything on it, including those small parts called sector stripes. Redefine your new hard drive to remove the sectors that your old hard drive was using. Your new hard drive is now called your new ‘SSD’ and should be stored on a flash drive, a USB key or CD. Once you have your new hard drive in place, plug it into your computer and power up. The next step is to format your drive as a MBR.
With your old hard drive in its new location, your hard drive is now a gigabyte (1GB) in size. Now put your new hard drive in its place and format it to boot. This may take a while, so you may want to schedule the rebuilding to happen at a point in the future when there is more traffic.
Next, we have to clean up the temporary files that were generated by the old hard drive.
2. How to recycle your hard drive
If you’re getting rid of your hard drive, you might be wondering how to dispose of it properly. There are three ways you can recycle your hard drive: donate it, sell it, or recycle it. The first thing you should do is make sure your hard drive is wiped clean.Make sure you have a good method of doing this, (for example using a CD-ROM, a portable drive, or wiping it completely with one strong punch). After your hard drive is completely wiped, you can place it in one of two different reutilization options. A CD-ROM or a portable hard disk are popular, affordable, and work well for all situations.
If you are interested in donating your drive,
Amazon’s Hard Drive recycling program is a great place to lookup details on the drive you would like to recycle. If you aren’t interested in selling your drive, the Kingston Interactive Hard Drives recycling center can recycle 3–5 years old hard drives for you that fit their specifications:
Kingston’s recycling center is located at 1640 Massachusetts Avenue, Northwest, Suite 200, in the Washington District of Columbia. Kingston sells hard drives at their price ($15), and the government takes your returned hard disk if they don’t like it. Because of this incentive, Kingston has an incentive for recycling because they will give the purchaser of the hard drive a dollar for every hard drive they recycle. So for every 10 hard drives they recycle, they make $15.
Depending on the scenario below, you should either provide your local recycling center information upon request or follow these simple steps to recycle your old hard drive:
CD-ROM Recycling: Place your old hard disk in the CD-ROM slot on your PC. A CD-ROM is an optical disc drive that works similarly to the hard drive in your computer. You’ll be prompted to insert the hard or CD-ROM drive into your computer upon boot up. A CD-ROM is similar to a portable hard drive, but it stores information off of one side and is compatible with PCs and Macs only.
3. How to remove the data from your hard drive before recycling it
Your hard drive is full of personal information, which is why it’s important to wipe it clean before recycling it or throwing it away. You can erase all of the data on your hard drive with a tool called Darik’s Boot and Nuke.When your hard drive breaks down, using Darik’s Boot and Nuke to re-construct how the specs of your drive work will let you start fresh on a brand new drive. In this article, we’ll walk you through how to do this effectively.
A close-up of a hard drive before you decide on how to proceed.
As an admin at Moz, I don’t wear a lot of hats. One is the account manager of over 800 customers at Moz, as well as the account manager for Technical.ly, another educational website. These two roles are super important to me because they keep our infrastructure running smoothly and I have full access to all of the Mozzers to troubleshoot and analyze problems as they arise.
One day when I was watching a tech TV show, they showed the life expectancy for a hard drive. According to them, the life expectancy of a hard drive is five to seven years, with the exception of external hard drive modules that can have a lifespan of around 20 years. While it’s different for everyone, I know that five to seven years from now I will still have a drive that is still functioning and functioning well.
The hard drive in my TV show teaser. Seven years from now I hope they’re still producing Moz software for me to use.
Also, five to seven years ago, the hard drive for my computer would have just spun down, as it was a 2011 model at the time. I wouldn’t have had the technology or skills to access it, and it’s likely my laptop would have crashed months ago.
4. When should you not recycle your hard drive?
Usually, you should always be recycling your hard drive. If you’re unsure whether or not you should, ask yourself: Did you ever do anything illegal on your computer? Did you download anything illegal? Did you ever do anything embarrassing on your computer? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then you should probably erase your hard drive and recycle it.Yes, it costs money, but it will save you money in the long run, and by doing so you’re also helping free up your money for something better. Windows XP users: Delete your hard drive and recycle it! Here’s how.
These are a few things you can do if you decided to recycle your hard drive that is three or more years old:
Disinfect the Outstanding copy holding your data by formatting it as a harddrive image. It doesn’t affect your original files.
Take the disc that contains all of your old data and burn it using one of the following methods: Press the Back button once the program is open. Open the My Documents folder. Select all of the files and press the Delete button. Select the external hard drive you want to burn.
If you have all of your data stored on a CD or DVD, simply insert the disc into one of your CD/DVD drives. Keep the existing copy of the CD/DVD and format it using the Format a Hard Drive Wizard.
For more information, check out the Microsoft article, How to Burn Old Data to CD or DVD.
Unplug the hard disk from your computer.
Carefully remove the hard drive from your computer.
Carefully place the hard drive in a recycling container with the end cut off.
Form the cap close to the end of the hard drive.
Place the container in the center of your computer’s power supply outlet.
Place your computer to be recycled in the center of the container.
Fastly place the hard drive in the recycle bin.
See how this article turned out in the main article.
Conclusion: If you’re thinking about upgrading to a new computer, consider recycling your old one first!
Before you run out and purchase a new computer, consider the benefits of recycling your old one first. You can donate your computer to charity, sell it online, or trade it for store credit. With some research, you can find organisations that are willing to accept your old computer, refurbish it, and either use it or sell it to someone else.
When it comes to donating your old computer, you want it to be as simple and hassle-free as possible. Every piece of technology will have its own unique set of precautions. You want to make sure that you carefully examine the computer before you donate it, to make sure it is in as good a condition as it could possibly be before you got it.
Disposing of your old hard drive is also an incredibly personal choice. Before I relocated from the UK to New Zealand, I sent all of my hard drives to a local recycling centre, and they happily reused them to the best of their ability. If you’re in the same situation, or have a similar experience, it may be worth talking to some computer recycling organisations. They will be happy to discuss the best way you would like your old hard drive to be disposed of, and they will make sure that it goes off as safely as possible.
It can be very easy to get bogged down by the data we store online. We tend to store so much of our lives online that it can sometimes seem like we can never find a page that we want to look at again. Hard drives hold this very important information, and as they continue to fail, there is a growing movement to recycle them. Software engineer David Smith has turned a passion for old hard drives into one of his main projects: hard drive optimisation.
While you could use professional software to analyse old drive mistakes, David’s solution is incredibly barebones. He maintains a GitHub repository with almost every step of his approach that you can follow.