How to Destroy a Hard Drive With a Magnet

By Art Corvelay

Removing all of the data on your hard drive can be extremely important, especially if you have confidential or personal data that you do not want to be accessible. Simply formatting a hard drive will not completely destroy it. To be sure that your data has been erased properly, you can destroy your hard drive with a magnet. A hard drive has three major components, including a magnetic platter that stores data on the hard drive. By compromising the magnetic platter with a strong magnet, you can destroy the data stored on the platter.

Step 1

Remove your hard drive from your computer. To do this, locate your hard drive and remove the screws from the hard drive plate. When you pull the hard drive out, simply disconnect the cords or wires that attach the hard drive to the rest of the computer.

Step 2

Purchase or obtain a magnet that is powerful enough to erase a disk drive. A normal magnet will not work, so you will need to gain access to extremely powerful magnet. It does not matter what type of magnet you use as long as it is strong enough. See Resources below for magnets that will work.

Step 3

Place the magnet on one side of the hard drive. Let the magnet sit on the drive for two to three minutes.

Step 4

Rub the magnet across the drive for a minute or so. After you have let the magnet sit on the drive, be sure to rub the magnet across the drive. You can do this in a circular motion or back and forth.

Step 5

Turn the hard drive over to the other side and place the magnet on it for two to three minutes.

Step 6

Rub the magnet across the opposite side of the drive for about one minute. Your hard drive should be completely destroyed at this point. To ensure that your data is secure, you may want to take a hammer to the drive.

References & Resources