Yup...loosen it up a bit. Any time I take a pc to recycle I take a sledge hammer to the hard drive first. I guarantee no one will be recovering data from those drives. Doesn't take a lot to make it unrecoverable.
Because I have heard so much about "destroyed" HDDs still being recoverable, I never throw mine away. I keep the HDDs and discard the rest.
The hammer or screwdriver to damage isn’t the reason why I find the statement odd. It’s the police spokesman saying it was either a hammer or a screwdriver - not both, and not just one, but possibly either.
Odd construction of the sentence.
Personally, I favor a 12 gauge for dealing with old hard drives. :)
We used to shred hard drives to get rid of them. Toss them in an industrial shredder, chops them up into pieces about the size of your fingernail. They're completely unrecoverable, and the shredder can do several hundred in a morning. (the time spent is important, because we had to watch them all get fed into the shredder. Can't take the chance that one would get stuck in someone's pocket and the data be compromised.....)
Anyhoo, my genius boss changed the company policy. All drives needed to wiped to DoD standards - that's overwritten (7? 35? didn't do it, so I didn't care) times ....... BEFORE they were shredded. "We had to be sure they're unrecoverable", don't you know. The overwrite would take days per drive to do....a massive project, and a bigger waste of time.
My solution? I pointed at the huge bin of chipped up hard drive bits and said "Yep. I wiped 'em, just like you asked." Basically dared him to prove me wrong.
Then I found another job. Different boss, different issues. At least this one isn't a complete idiot. :-)
Long story short, it's not hard to make a hard drive un recoverable. But the ISP will have records, as would Facebook, MS, Yahoo, DU, or whatever other sites he was found to frequent.
I'd like to put on my conspiracy theory hat, but this is more likely just some idiot reporter, writing what he was told (or kust making stuff up out of whole cloth).
Scanning electron devices can do a lot with beat up platters, just depends on how bad they want the info.