My Grandfathers External Hard Drive broke and he want's to erase the data how can he do it, would i

My Grandfathers External Hard Drive broke and he want's to erase the data how can he do it, would it be possible if he could put it in Microwave for a few seconds


Noob Whisperer
I would say no and absolutely not as a qualifier, unless he doesn't care about the Microwave either.
Are you absolutely sure that the drive is irreparably broken? Often times if the drive is in an enclosure the electronics that crossover the ide or sata connection to usb can fail and all you know is that the drive does not appear to work, but removing it from the enclousure and connecting it normally or with another adapter to a computer will prove differently.
Normally I just use a portable 12V drill with a 3/8 inch bit and put several strategic holes in the drives after removing them from the enclosure. Additionally if you have suitable tools they can be disassembled, the platters shattered (the are pretty fragile) read write heads removed as well as the interface board from the bottom. All depends on how serious you are about protecting the contents.

Thanks for the answer :)

The External's HDD Enclosure cannot be changed, the HDD Already has built in Enclosure cannot be changed, the electronics in the HDD broke, the HDD is on warranty but my Grandfather want's to erase it, he can't cause the electronics are broken

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Noob Whisperer
There are many software solutions for wiping hard drives DBAN is one of my favorites but unfortunately if the drive does not work and or is not recognized by the computer than your options are limited and limited even further if he wants to claim the warranty since any opening or physical damage of the drive and enclosure will likely void it.
The only other option that I can think of right now would be degaussing, you might check on line to see if there is anyone in your local area offering degaussing services, in can be expensive and you may need to check concerning any actual physical impact the process might have to the drives cache chips and other components as even this process may likely void the warranty.

Thanks again TROUBLE, yeah unscrewing the HDD can void the warrant darn flab it, my Grandfather found the services, to expensive


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
In my opinion your Grandfather needs to RMA the drive back to the manufacturer. I'd go the RMA route as only the manfacturer is involved and not some retail outlet who could open the drive and possibly gain access to the data. The Manufacturer on the other hand will bin the drive recycling what ever they can.

I've sent many drives back on RMA, to get a new drive, and never worried about what was on the drive.
If the contents are critical, TOP SECRET, etc, then the drive should be totally destroyed. Otherwise, RMA it.

There is nothing super scientific or Rocket Science about destroying a drive. A hammer does a great job! Just beat the heck out of it and then bury it in the back yard. No yard?.... then put it in your household garbage.

Cheers Mates!
Old Timer :cool:

PS: I've been given External hard drives because they would NOT work. When I took the drive out of the external enclosure and slaved it off of my desktop PC, the drives came right up and were totally readable in windows. I still have an use every one of those drives. So why not take the drive to a Computer Tech who can find out if it's really bad or not. ???

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Well-Known Member
I dont think anything TOP SECRET would be on a hard drive that somebody is asking to microwave; even the CIA retired or not are not that ignorant about basic science are they?

Did somebody really ask about microwaving a metal hard-drive?

I would suggest putting it in a vary large magnetic ring for an hour. And spinning it around.

It might not work; but it will be fun to try. And less chance of an explosion than microwaving it.


Senior Member
yh i looked on my harddrive , Unfortunately you cant microwave these ,oven cook only.... i had to put it on gass mark 6 for 20-25 mins depending on how cripsy i liked my platters.............................. (this is a joke and doesnt condone putting a harddrive in the oven))

my personal view is that , if he is that cautious about data on the hard drive then driving a few nails threw it and smashing it with a hammer is perfect. Data gone, new harddrive is the best option .ITS 1000 TIMES cheaper for new harddrive, You can get 1tb for next to nothing compared to pro wiping.

(dont ask where that random rhyme came from) :O


Extraordinary Member
I would suggest putting it in a vary large magnetic ring for an hour. And spinning it around.
How large a very large magnetic ring? There's one approx 5.4 miles in diameter in Switzerland.

he will get a new hard drive and kick the old one out... thanks for the help

I wish he'd kick it out in my direction.:panda:

In every External drive that I've seen 'shoot craps' the controller or the PSU is bad and not the actual hard drive.
Take the drive out of that external enclosure, put it on a desktop computer and they work just fine.
Even the little 2.5" drives can be put on a desktop PC, with the proper adapter.

I use several drives that came out of External Enclosures. Most all were WD brand.

I'll pay the shipping if Grandpa will send that drive to me! Eh?


he said if he does that the warrenty will be broken, still on warrenty

Warranty is only good if he's going to send the drive back for an RMA. Eh?

Or did something get lost in the translation?



Senior Member
personally i wouldnt send the drive to any one you dont know, data thats deleted may still be there regardless if you deleted from recycle bin etc, Drive a nail therw it , personal deetais may still be on there and your giving them to some one you dont know

this is not aimed directly at any member but as a cross wide estate to anyone who is getting rid of a hard drivE

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