Recycling Your Old Hard Drive

The Data Rescue Center main building with logo.

Modern computer technology has boosted our quality of life. Electronics facilitate our entertainment, our style of communication, and how we access information. A music collection that occupied several shelves in your home now fits in the palm of your hand. Files on a single computer have replaced reams of paper stored in rows of filing cabinets. Laptops, netbooks, and smartphones have untethered us from the confines of brick-and-mortar offices. With computers in the internet age, people are more connected and can achieve more work, increasing the profitability of the human race.

But what happens when your computer gets old? What should you do with your hard drive when you are done with the old computer? Some people sell their computer to someone else and use the money for a new machine. Others will junk the old computer or have it hauled off, with the hard drive still intact.

Stop to think for a minute though. Is it wise to let your hard drive fall into someone else’s hands? The drive may contain sensitive data that could be used for identity theft. Can you trust that they will not use it to harm you?

The Data Rescue Center, a data recovery company in Livermore, California, has a solution. We offer a hard drive recycling program to safely and securely dispose of your old hard drive. Send your old drive to us, and we will electronically wipe the data. Our media clean-erase tools use Department of Defense specifications. When we are finished with the wiping process, no information can be retrieved. That is guaranteed.

The Data Rescue Center and our parent company, Prosoft Engineering, have been in the file recovery business for a long time. We have worked with government agencies and publicly traded corporations. We understand the importance of keeping data secure.

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It may be better to scrap old equipment. However, don’t just throw it in the trash. Many parts can be recycled locally. The Data Rescue Center offers free hard drive wiping for any hard drive donated for e-Waste. And the old drive components will not end up in the landfill, contaminating the environment.

According to a recent Environmental Protection Agency study, an estimated 30 to 40 million computers will reach the end of their life and will be scrapped in the following year. They also estimate that electronic waste accounts for 1% of all municipal waste. E-waste, as it is known, is a rising problem in the world.

The electronics industry produces a vast amount of toxic substances including plastics, glass, batteries, etc. The heavy elements in your computer such as lead, zinc, chromium, cadmium, mercury, and barium harm the environment. These toxic metals pollute water and food systems. Countries send e-waste abroad to be recycled at a cheaper cost, and also less reliably. But electronic waste is not biodegradable.

Recycling efforts have a positive environmental impact. Recycling and reusing old electronics is just one way of lessening the impact on our environment. At The Data Rescue Center, we believe in protecting both our clients’ data and our environment.

Showing a deconstructed hard drives with all major components spread out.

As a leading California data recovery service provider, we have taken the initiative to provide a free hard drive recycling service to the public. We will take your old hard drives, securely wipe the data electronically, and salvage the usable hard drive components. These used components become replaceable parts and tools as we perform hard drive recoveries.

The donated drives allow us to keep recovery costs down by recycling the useable components. For you, our clients, this permits us to keep data recovery costs down. For businesses, this means that the cost of RAID hard drive data recovery will not consume your entire budget.

Expense of Recycling

Computer prices have dropped significantly, but still remain costly. This might put you in a quandary when you have computer problems. Should you repair, reuse, or recycle your old or damaged computer equipment? The answer depends on the age of the equipment and the extent of the damage.

Hard drives are a different story. If the drive controller goes out, the drive can possibly be repaired. But if the drive is suffering from physical failure, by making grinding or clicking noises, the best option would be to shut it down, and have the Data Rescue Center recovery service retrieve your files onto a new drive. We have hard drive data recovery services for standard platter drives, and can perform SSD recovery as well.

Knowing what your hard drive contains is important for another reason. Many folks will sell or donate their old computers when they buy a new one. Most of these users will delete their files and personal data from the hard drive before they let it go. Even so, remember that files that are merely deleted are still present on the drive. This is why our recovery engineers are able to retrieve your lost data in the first place.

Secure Erase

Prosoft Engineering has a new software, MediaTools Wipe, for professional level data destruction. MediaTools Wipe allows companies, technicians, and individual users to permanently erase data from working older hard drives, and either reuse them or prepare them for recycling. There are four major benefits with using MediaTools Wipe:

MediaTools Wipe will work with most storage devices currently available. There are a number of government spec presets including: DOD5220.22M (C , D, E & H), Gutmann (35 pass), NCSC TG-025 and others. These NSA-approved algorithms can be used when sensitive and intellectual property data needs to be securely erased.

Now, when you choose to recover and recycle your old hard drive, consider donating it to the Data Rescue Center. The Data Rescue Center wipes the data from the hard drive, then reuses the internal components to rebuild other hard drives.

The old hard drives get taken out of your old computers and securely erased with MediaTools Wipe. Then they can be used for backup drives or turned into external drives for a variety of uses. If you don’t have a need for the drives, then you can donate or recycle them, knowing they have been securely erased and no longer contain any sensitive or personal data on them.

Where Is Your Data?

According to a recent study in the United Kingdom, 65 percent of the people surveyed sold or gave away their personal devices. This includes computers, smartphones, gaming consoles, camera media cards, and PDAs. The study also found that one in 10 of the hard drives sold or donated were not effectively wiped of all data. The original owners left personal and identifiable information on their donated hard drives.

The next time you consider throwing away an old PC, hard drive, or even your old Xbox or PS3, consider wiping the data from that device before disposal. There is almost always residual personal data found on these storage devices. By using MediaTools Wipe, you erase the personal data that can be stolen by identity thieves.

You already associate the Data Recovery Center with standard hard drive recovery service, but we also provide secure hard drive recycling. We securely erase your drive meeting Department of Defense standards, making sure your personal data can never be retrieved. There is no cost to you for this service, and your hard drive parts get to be recycled back into the recovery business.

The Data Rescue Center specializes in Windows and Mac data recovery, RAID recovery, and other digital media recovery. Contact us at 877-501-4949 for information on the hard drive recycling program and recovery services.

About the Author

Jeremy S.

My name is Jeremy, and I write for Prosoft Engineering. I am passionate about hard drive disaster prevention and recovery. In my free time, I like to read classic literature and explore the Bay Area.