Should I keep my old, broken hard-drive?

Pretty straightforward: my laptop HD had a stroke, so I got it replaced at a repair shop, restored my computer with my (sadly 3-months-out-of-date) backup external drive, and went along my way. But they gave me back the other hard-drive. I understand why, on some levels, but there isn’t some reason I should keep it, is there? Really just a yes/no question.

Actually, second question: can I just throw it out? Or should I take it somewhere?

No, you don’t need it. Hard drives have small circuit boards that aren’t that environmentally friendly but most of the material is no worse than the stuff you throw away every day. I always just throw them away. If you are paranoid about someone else pulling it out of the trash and somehow getting data off of it, you can hammer a nail through the top of it until the platter breaks inside.

The above is just standard hard drive disposal advise. In your case, you can probably just throw it away.

There is a little device available that you plug in the wall, it has a y-cord adapter that one end goes in the hard drive and the other goes into a USB slot on your new computer. I was able to recover a lot of data from my old hard drive this way. The device I got was for a tower computer which has a different interface than a laptop harddrive, but I would think there is a laptop version available. It was only $7.95 at Micro Center.

I gave my old hard drive and my sledgehammer to my teenage son and his friends, and sent them to the backyard to “inactivate” it. They had a great time, and I had just as much fun watching them.:smiley:

They did pick up the pieces for proper disposal.

They’re quite cool to take apart - there are some extremely powerful magnets in there, plus some very finely engineered metal parts

This is what I do. The magnets are amazingly powerful! I once took apart an Ikea magnetic knife bar and inside were hard-drive magnet pieces.

it should be recycled at a place that takes electronic waste. stores that sell the product will often recycle.

if you take apart be careful with the magnets; they can pinch skin or break things with either the magnetism or the physical force they create.

Back when I worked at the bank, I was obliged to certify that I had completely erased the hard drive of any PC I retired. I had one that had suffered either a controller failure or some other kind of electronic disconnect that made the hard drive unrecognizable to the motherboard, making my software-driven erasure system useless.

So I pulled the drive, took it down stairs to the loading dock, dropped it onto the concrete floor from a height of 5 feet or so a few times, and signed the certification in good conscience, and went on about my day.

I always scavenge the magnets and platters out of mine. The magnets are all kinds of fun, and the platters are SHINY (oooooo…shiny)

My husband and I do keep the magnets (they make good fridge magnets, among other things), and DH is compulsive enough to want to render the drive unreadable before disposal.

they can make good places for hiding stuff if you can open them up and gut them