How do you dispose of an old desktop?

United States
August 13, 2007 10:35pm CST
I have an old Dell desktop that doesn't work any longer. I was told that you can't just throw it out because someone can remove your personal information from the hard drive so you should smash up the tower and dispose of separately. Does anyone know how to dispose of the tower so that nobody can access personal information?
1 person likes this
6 responses
• United States
14 Aug 07
ACTUALLY, there are in fact two ways to do it, one is the disposal centers. however smashing the harddrive isn't required. if you know about computers, you can just format the harddrive which wipes it clean of ALL information and there is nothing about you on it after that. if you don't know about computers and how to format the harddrive, then you can smash it if you want. that's up to you. if the harddrive won't boot up or anything like that, then most likely there is already a problem with it and your personal information is no longer on it anyway. :D
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
17 Aug 07
This is completely inaccurate. Information can be recovered from any hard drive so long as the platters are intact. Formatting does not erase the hard drive. It's like putting whiteout over words so you can write something new. Hard drives that don't boot up can still be in perfect physical condition. Anyone with a screwdriver can take the platters out and place them into a functional hard drive to recover the data.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
14 Aug 07
If you want to be safe there are two ways to do it. One is to go to a proper computer disposal location in your area. I believe Dell has disposal locations throughout the US. If you want to be quick about it, you should remove the hard drive from your computer tower, and promptly smash it to bits with a sledge hammer before throwing it out.
1 person likes this
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
27 Aug 07
As far as disposal it's agauinst the law to burn it or put it in regular trash just like paints oil etc. It contains toxic materials that aren't good for the enviroment. Call your local recycling center and find out the cost. They trash the items and it's safe as far as anything being stolen. They care less as you have to pay a small fee. Here in Minnesota I think it's $10 to have it recycled etc. The hard drive can be removed but thats part that has toxic itmes as well. Call your city hall and or local recycling center and ask about the hard drive and safety of any info. Can always erase the hard drive as some mentioned as well. HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB !!~
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
27 Aug 07
Here's a site that may answer some questions about recycling and personal safety eyc. It's for your area as well. Good luck. http://www.thegreenpc.com/
@Sutocu (65)
14 Aug 07
Just take it directly to a place where they recycle the metals from it. They're professional enough not to look at your hard drive contents.
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
17 Aug 07
I just want to give a big heads up to you guys. Formatting your hard drive will not protect your data. It can still be recovered and there are businesses that specialize in recovering data from hard drives whether they are formatted, soaked in water, or whatever. There are also many people that scour garbage cans and dumpsters near computer shops looking for hard drives that they can steal personal information from. The only sure way to keep people from recovering the data is to smash the platters inside your hard drive. If you're worried about shrapnel, put it in a pillowcase or something when you smash it.
@drmusic (173)
• Mexico
16 Aug 07
well i dont know the reason of trowing or even destroy a hard drive when you can use it on your new pc as a backup drive X_X i have 4 hd on my pc 2 are from my old PC i have more that 500 Gb on space an growing and its very usefull when i have to backup and carry the info so i recomend keep the HD