An actual effective method for Zip Disk destruction
My wife had about 40 Iomega Zip disks lying around in a bag from her grad school days, with labels like "Transfer disk" and "Backup of project XXX" and "Mac Formatted, blank" etc. Back in the mid 90's Zip disks were all the rage, 100 whole Megabytes in a disk you could easily fit in your backpack, and the drive could come along as well, smaller than a typical textbook! Kids these days with their 32Gig flash pen drives don't know what a pain it was before the Zip disk.
In any case, almost 20 years later we don't have the drive, and even if we did we don't have the SCSI connector to connect the drive to! But somebody might have one! So we can't just throw all this private data into the trash! At least that's why we still have these disks.
So here's how to destroy Zip disks securely, it took a while to figure this out, and there are a lot of stupid suggestions on the internet, so let's get this right:
- Put on some safety glasses, you probably won't need them, but they won't hurt you.
- Get yourself a needle-nose pliers.
- Grab a Zip disk, hold it by the end with the sliding metal door, and grab the rear corner with the needle nose pliers. Twist the corner towards the center of the disk, and you will be able to rip the corner off. The plastic is very ductile and doesn't shatter, but make sure you have those safety glasses anyway.
- Do the same with the other corner.
- Insert the needlenose pliers between the two halves of the case, and open it like a book with the metal door as the spine. Some disks have screws holding them together, you'll have to break the tabs enough to release the screws.
- Grab the magnetic coated mylar disk with the pliers and pull it out, put into a pile.
- Repeat until you have all the mylar disks.
- Cut the metal spindle off the mylar disks with regular scissors.
- Run the mylar disk sans metal through a normal office shredder.
- Throw away all the bits.
This method actually works, and is guaranteed to make your data too hard to retrieve for anyone but the NSA. Even they won't bother unless you happen to have the encryption keys to the entire Chinese military computer system stored on an old zip disk. If you do, follow the shredding procedure with a bulk magnetic eraser followed by disposal in an industrial incinerator.
Things that don't work but have been suggested stupidly on the internet:
- "Hit it with a hammer" (the cave-man approach).
- "Throw it in a lake" (that's called pollution, and isn't even going to come close to working).
- Drill a hole in it (well, this might work ok, but it's a pain and requires a drill press and clamps, and isn't going to be as effective anyway).
- Pretty much anything else... why bother when there's a simple safe way to do it (see above!).