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  • Category: Hardware

    What is the best way to dispose off old pen drives and floppies?

    Wondering how to dispose electronic scrap pertaining to computers? Searching for information about the various methods for disposal? Check out the page where are ISC experts shall suggestions for your queries.

    During spring cleaning, we were astonished to find a box of floppies! Of course, these are now redundant and cannot be used. However, they do have data on them. So how should we dispose of them without the data in them being leaked to third parties?

    Also, what is the best way to dispose a rusted pen drive which can no longer be used?
  • Answers

    6 Answers found.
  • E waste is one of the most harmful wastes because it takes a lot of time for degradation.
    There nothing much you can do with defective floppies and pendrives. Though in some countries the E-waste dumpyard is segregated from bio-waste, in India that is not the case. So if you feel to dispose them off, safely bury them. Else you can find ways to use them for decoration. CDs and vinyl discs can be hung by strings to decorate the room beautifully. Or you can smash them to pieces and give texture to your walls by sticking the glass and shiny plastic to them. Floppies too can be put into multiple uses. Rusty pendrives can be used as decor too.
    All of these if you are interested in recycling and reusing them. Else just bury them deep into the soil.

    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • This is very important to remove the information in the pen drive before it is disposed of. I am putting the details which may be useful for you.
    • if the USB device has not contained any sensitive information simply remove all files from it and throw it away in the solid waste and sell with old items.
    • if it contains any sensitive information, erase the information using a wiping software and throw into solid waste and sell it with old items.
    • if it contains confidential information, it should be made physically unreadable by breaking the device.
    • The first action is to remove the case using a tool that is suitable for the shape of the pen drive. In many cases a screwdriver or scissors will be useful.
    • Crack open the case and separate the parts of it away-- The importance is to be given to the circuit board and the chips. There will be a large chip which will be about half the size of a postal stamp size. There is no loss if you destroy the entire drive, but memory chip should be made worthless
    • Then finally gather the remnants and put them in a paper make it as a loose ball and put into a fire as a final strike to dispose of completely.

    always confident

  • Simply deleting the files using the delete command or dragging items into the trash folder does not go out from the memory. Data will be stored on hard disk of your computer. There are many programs available which a hacker get into it. The best way is to physically destroy the device. Sanitizing or through wiping the software can overwrite the information and can make it unreadable or unrecoverable.

    "Earning knowledge is by sharing it with ISC and we will rectify our mistakes."

  • People believe in deleting files from pen drives or hard disks, but it does not mean that data is permanently gone. The data can be recovered using simple software program by professionals. Dropping them at e-waste plants also carries a potential risk of elements trying to recover data.

    The old floppy drives, do not take up much space, you can store it in one corner. People have used these innovatively as small table mats for cups and office small decorative plants etc.

    If you remember the old floppy disks they are similar to a cassette player or a VCR tape. It has a thin disc that is coated with a ferromagnetic material which is in turn enclose in a plastic casing. It is easy to pry open this floppy with a sturdy sharp knife tip (caution while using sharps). Once we do this, the outer plastic and the non-vital metal parts can be disposed easily. The inner disc ( very small in volume/weight) can be shredded with a good scissors and then disposed either by burning/ soaking in acid with care.

    The same can be followed with the modern pen drives by taking put the memory board from the case and the USB connector end.

    The best ways to prevent data from being recovered or stolen is to physically destroy the inner mother board of a pen drive or a hard disk. Professional companies handling sensitive data use methods like breaking down the memory board and burning it or soaking it in acid solution. Both need to be done carefully so that we are not exposed to noxious fumes or risk acid burns.

  • The ideal solution will be to destroy them physically before disposing. So there will not be any risk of data retrieval and misuse by the hackers or other miscreants etc.

    It is easy to make the floppy disc unreadable by simply scratching them on the track side ( not on the back! ) diametrically with a sharp knife. However in case of pen drives such easy method is not feasible and they are to be detached from their bodies and after crashing the parts are to be separately disposed.

    Some creative people paint and design the floppy discs in various shapes and patterns which act as a wall hanging or decorative piece and can be kept in house for a longer time. Now a days there are some companies who claim to dispose the electronic waste in the names of some NGO but I do not know how reliable they are.

    Knowledge is power.

  • Vandana, This thread came to my notice now.
    Please visit my articleTips for converting old and scrapped 3" floppy disks as utility, gift items...
    Of course my wife had not intended to sell it and the items are being used in our home. She found a few of them last week and made a very nice container to keep the mobile phones .(See attachment pic) One can add with one's own creativity.

    Delete Attachment

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