How can I thoroughly wipe a HDD with bad sectors before throwing it out?

Gog January 1, 2013

My HDD has quite a lot of bad sectors. I’d like to dump it. But before doing that, I want to wipe it thoroughly.

I tried some disk wipers, but they are just too slow and hang on the bad sectors. Is there some tool that can wipe HDD with bad sectors quickly and reliably?

  1. Luca Vignando
    February 4, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    Try unstoppable copyer. Use it to fill the disk with fake data (maybe word files filled with lorem ipsum or excel files filled with random numbers). So you should overwrite data on "good" sectors. Bad are already unreadable.

    Or use a powerful magnet on the disk. Or an hammer.
    Or open the disk, scratch the platters, fold the arms that keep the heads in position and so on. Maybe a good bath in water with the cover removed could help :-)

  2. Gog
    January 4, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    I got a tool called WBD(Wipe Bad Disk) that can deal with the bad sectors. I will try it. If that does not work, I'd like to buy a big hammer.

  3. rlr
    January 3, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Have it shredded

  4. Jeff Taylor
    January 3, 2013 at 3:03 am

    I use Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN) &, for any drive that's not SATA, I drill holes in the platter. When I throw them in the recycle bin, I never throw all of the platter from one drive in the same bin.

  5. Anonymous
    January 3, 2013 at 12:05 am

    Physical destruction of the magnetic media is the only sure way. I recommend several hard blows with a 3-lb mini sledge. Be sure to use goggles. Railroad tracks make a good anvil. Depending on your level of paranoia, a good roasting in a white-hot campfire works well to finish the job.

  6. Bob Russell
    January 2, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    My preferred method is to drill about six or seven holes through it with my electric drill. This only works if you want to dump it.

  7. Joey Tombazzi
    January 2, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Use a good size magnet on the hard drive that will wipe data off it without working too much on trying to figure how to wipe it lol

  8. Scott
    January 2, 2013 at 9:40 pm
  9. Steve
    January 2, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Dismantle the drive remove the disk platters and fold them in half and bash them with a big hammer

  10. Anonymous
    January 2, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    I was really happy with WipeDrive when I sold my netbook a year or so ago. If you haven't tried it out, check it out, It wasn't super fast but didn't take too long. I don't remember exactly. But I would use it again if need be.

  11. Alan Wade
    January 2, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Take the hard disk apart.
    Seperate the platters and wipe each of them with a strong magnet.
    Now, just for good measure, drill holes in each of the platters then dispose of one at a time.

    • ha14
      January 2, 2013 at 7:06 pm

      thats very technical:)

      • Alan Wade
        January 2, 2013 at 8:09 pm

        @ ha14
        Yep and it works although you can subsitute the drilling holes and sisposing one platter at a time if you use a good epoxy glue to stick all the platters together.

  12. Junil Maharjan
    January 2, 2013 at 5:33 am

    Use a tool that has been used for generation by human beings without which we could not have survived so long and gain the ultimate spot on evolution - FIRE

  13. Jan Fritsch
    January 2, 2013 at 12:59 am

    Next to physical destruction the best thing to do is running an ATA secure erase as it will fully wipe all the data present on the drive.

    If secure erase doesn't work for whatever reason you can use a tool like DBAN or any other secure wipe option that performs at least a single overwrite.

    Unlike secure erase which is performed by the drives controller these tools are software based. That means they will not be able to wipe blocks already marked as bad - but don't really worry about this data as a single block doesn't really contain anything.
    Since you are aware of bad blocks it might be a good idea to perform a second overwrite just in case the first one aborted or "jumped" duo to newly detected bad blocks.

    Another suggestion I can make is to find a trustworthy and responsible recovery service provider and ask them to properly dispose the hard drive.

  14. Rajaa Chowdhury
    January 2, 2013 at 12:53 am

    Completely low format it. Then use ccleaner to wipe MFT space. Then physically damage the HDD. :)

  15. Jim Chambers
    January 2, 2013 at 12:19 am

    Use a heavy hammer and bash it flat.

    • Paul Pruitt
      January 2, 2013 at 12:28 am

      You can drill holes int it too. But still to be totally sure just don't throw them out.

      • Jim Chambers
        January 2, 2013 at 12:38 am

        If you use a hammer, you can send it for recycling all in one piece.

  16. Paul Pruitt
    January 1, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    I don't throw out old hard drives. They are kind of a super emergency backup too.

  17. ha14
    January 1, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    boot on windows dvd choose the hard drive that you want to format and use Windows to format it.

    Darik's Boot and Nuke

    HOWTO: Use DBAN on UBCD to Wipe a Hard Drive

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