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Returning dead hard drive?

by Becky M / March 27, 2007 4:27 AM PDT

Had a new hard drive installed by a tech from Dell today and was informed that the old one must be returned within 7 days...I refused to let her take it with her. That HD has all my financial info on it and I don't see my returning it anywhere happening at all. Maybe after I take a hammer to it. I don't have any software to make certain that everything is erased especially since it's dead. Am I wrong?

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Ask how much to keep it for destruction.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 27, 2007 4:30 AM PDT

It's going to cost a bit.


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No choice?
by Becky M / March 27, 2007 4:59 AM PDT

Not what I wanted to hear, but what I expected. Sad

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either disassemble it or look for a bulk tape eraser
by ramarc / March 27, 2007 5:01 AM PDT

take it apart and set a magnet on the drive platter for a few minutes. then put it back together.

you can also call local pc repair shops for a bulk tape eraser (aka degausser). they'll probably let you bring in the drive and they'll scramble it for free.

either technique will screw the drive up enough that only a professional recovery service in a clean room could recover anything from it.

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by Becky M / March 27, 2007 5:43 AM PDT

Now that's something I didn't think about! Thanks

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If you follow that advice you will...
by Edward ODaniel / March 27, 2007 7:16 AM PDT
In reply to: YES!

STILL have to pay Dell for the Drive.

If the data is that important you should IMMEDIATELY locate somwhere local that can degauss (magnetically destroy magnetic alignment) the hard drive. Effective and less expensive than paying for the bad drive.

Here is a link that explains it:

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(NT) Does it still spin up ??
by VAPCMD / March 27, 2007 12:51 PM PDT
In reply to: YES!
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One better
by jackson dougless / March 27, 2007 6:08 AM PDT

If you're going to take it apart, why not just shatter the drive platters, then put it back together and send it back to Dell. Or at least use a screwdriver to scratch the buggers up but good.

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by Becky M / March 27, 2007 10:42 PM PDT

Sounds like the best idea. Maybe erase it clean firsat, too, to at least try to get everything off.

I'm just concerned about all my tax information, SS numbers, etc. and passwords being left behind.

I was able to slave it and am in the process of making certain that I did indeed have a backup of everything I needed...looks like I did pretty good so far.

I appreciate all the help!

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I see you had the same problem with giving up the HDD.
by acoxon1274 / March 28, 2007 12:47 AM PDT
In reply to: ramarc

When my Gateways HDD went bad, I also did not want to send them the defective HDD for the same reason, I didn't want someone getting my personal data. I have on at least 3 different occasions found used HDD at yard sales/computer shows and with just a little work was able to get the drivers to work and yes there was personal data from previous owner on them. On 2 occasions I have managed to get defective/dead HDD to work, not at 100% but enough to get data off them.

I choose to purchase a new drive from Gateway and install it myself rather than send the old drive back even with the warranty still in effect. The new drive has a 3 year warranty and because I'm not putting my personal data on it (this time around), if it fails again within the 3 years Gateway should honor the warranty and I won't hesitate to send them the drive. I don't agreed with this policy that you must send the defective part back but until things change I can see no way around it.

Maybe someday (heard that before)this will end up in a court case where X company versus owner of defective HDD refuses to yield drive back on the grounds that it violates his or her right to privacy. I'm not sure how this has gotten passed the legal system, seems like a class action suit should be in the works.

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If you were able to slave the drive
by Ray Harinec / March 28, 2007 3:56 AM PDT
In reply to: ramarc

can you then simply download one of the file wipe programs to wipr your data well enough to satisfy the National Security Agency for Secret material?

Here's a link to read about them;

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