I have a dead hard drive that I’m supposed to send back to Dell, but it has my data on it. I want to make sure that no one can get at my data before I send this drive back.
Here’s the story. My original laptop HD was making annoying noises, and after some diagnostics Dell agreed to send me a replacement. I installed the replacement and loaded my stuff, and 2 days later it croaked completely. None of my boot floppies work – I get “Operating System Not Found” and/or messages to the effect that no hard drive is detected. (Yes, it’s seated properly.) I called Dell tech support and they tried fdisk and some other things, and still nothing.
Here’s my concern. They say I’m supposed to return this drive, or pay for it. But they also tell me it’s dead, and the data cannot be recovered or erased. So if it’s dead, (1) why are they so dang insistent on having it back, if it can’t be used, and (2) what do they care if I keep it and destroy it myself? Heck, I’ll send them the pieces if they want. No one at Dell has taken me up on that. They want the drive back in one piece, but I don’t really want to send them my passwords, credit card numbers, and SSN, on the offchance that they might somehow recover the data (or mistakenly send it out to someone else).
So . . . is there a do-it-yourself way to erase the data while keeping the disk physically intact so I can send it back and not have to pay $200? I’ve called around and can’t seem to find any place that can/will magnetize it for me. I read about heating it in the oven, but wouldn’t it melt (the plastic would for sure)? Granted, we’re not talking military secrets here, but I don’t see why Dell should be entitled to demand that I send them my data.
(Mods, I can see an argument for putting this in IMHO as well. Do as you see fit.)