Microwaves for simple bulk data wipe

BrunoNoMedals

LE
Kit Reviewer
#1
Just started cleaning out the loft and it is evident that I am a hoarder of all things, digital and otherwise. The shredder has recently been going overtime destroying five-year-old payslips and Sixth Form letters from the late '90s, but the array of unmarked CDs and ancient hard drives pose a problem. I don't intend to throw all this stuff away without giving the proper "data protection" routine, but equally I don't plan on interfacing my latest rig with a 50MB HDD from 1992 just to do a format. I need a solution.

My questions to the collective knowledge of ARRSE are thus:

Will sticking CDs and HDDs in my microwave knacker said household appliance?
Will this process be enough to deter any potential identity thieves, or the men in black helicopters?
What is a suitable time under the nuke to prevent the first point while ensuring the second?
Have I been watching too much Die Hard 4.0?

Alternative solutions will also be considered.

Thanks guys!
 

BrunoNoMedals

LE
Kit Reviewer
#4
Well that was a small part of the reasoning, admittedly, but when I'm trying to look all technical and intelligent in front of the missus I can't say "and it's well shiny too!" or she'll rumble me for dicking about!
 

BrunoNoMedals

LE
Kit Reviewer
#9
Then buy a shredder which can take CDs :)

msr
Good point. Given the reams of paper shite we also have to securely dispose of (probably with a couple of classified bits in there as well, that found their way home with me many moons ago...) I could do with a shredder of my own rather than kicking the snot out of my mum's!

Hammer and microwave combinations shall be videos and YouTubed once complete.
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
#11
Large shears are better than a lump hammer for writing off old CDs...

Surely though it's way better to see what's on all the discs first.
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
you might miss out on some class porn.

cdr's have a terrible failure rate so chances are your data would be unreadable anyway - something to do with the dye the data is cooked onto being made from carrots. I recently went through 200+ cdrs with movies on and probably 2/3s were unreadable.
 
#13
Large shears are better than a lump hammer for writing off old CDs...

Surely though it's way better to see what's on all the discs first.
Just snap them inside the bin, or you will be treading on shards of CD for a long time. If you haven't used them for over 10 years, chances are there's nothing of interest there...

msr
 
#15
Microwave the cds....as has been said, they put on a great show. Use a big hammer thingy on the hard drives....then burn the remains of the cds and hdds in the shed.
 
#18
I have a pretty strong magnet, which totally screwed up some old cd's couple of swipes each and job done.
Doesn't this only work if the magnet is attached to the face of a hammer?

Scotchbrite or wire wool are very good for cleaning CDs and DVDs. Doubtless, if you're into recycling, you could also turn them into plant pots, just like we used to do with old vinyl records.
 
#19
Doesn't this only work if the magnet is attached to the face of a hammer?

Scotchbrite or wire wool are very good for cleaning CDs and DVDs. Doubtless, if you're into recycling, you could also turn them into plant pots, just like we used to do with old vinyl records.
I am at a bit of loss....how do you turn a cd into a plant pot? Must be for small plants only.
 
#20
I am at a bit of loss....how do you turn a cd into a plant pot? Must be for small plants only.
Well, with vinyls, we'd put the record on an upturned plant pot then bung them in the oven on a low heat. Presumably you could do the same with a CD, though probably at a higher temperature. If it works, they'd be handy for window sill herb growing.
 

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