You’ve just come across a huge cache of floppy disks and you’re not sure what to do with them. After doing some research, you’ve found out that there are a few reasons why people might want to destroy floppy disks. Maybe they contain sensitive information that they don’t want to get into the wrong hands, or maybe they’re just outdated and taking up space. Whatever the reason, you’re now faced with a task : you need to destroy floppy disks and ensure no one can access its data.
What’s the worst thing that could happen if you don’t destroy floppy disks?
The worst thing that could happen if you don’t destroy floppy disks is that someone could get their hands on them and use them to access sensitive information. If you have confidential information on your floppy disks, it is important to destroy them so that no one can get their hands on them and use them to their advantage.
How to destroy floppy disks
Physical destruction of the floppy disks is the best
This is the process of deliberately damaging the floppy disks so that they can’t be used again. This could involve breaking the disks, melting them, or even just scratching them up. This is the most sure-fire way to make sure the data on the floppy disks is completely unrecoverable. You can use a hammer, a saw, or even a drill to make holes in the disks. Or, if you’re feeling really destructive, you can throw them in a fire but that would pollute and it may even be forbiden by law where you live… So that would be of last resort.
To facilitate the destruction of floppy disks, you could first put them into the freezer. They will be more fragile when you’re going to try to smash them with a hammer!
Degaussing the floppy disks to get rid of data
This is a process that uses a strong magnetic field to erase the data on the floppy disks. It’s not as destructive as physical destruction, but it’s still pretty effective. This can be done using a commercial degaussing machine, or by using a strong magnet.
The type of magnet you’ll need will depend on the size of the floppy disks you’re trying to degauss. For 3.5″ disks, you’ll need a magnet that’s about the size of a softball. For 5.25″ disks, you’ll need a magnet that’s about the size of a grapefruit.
If you’re using a commercial degaussing machine, just follow the instructions that come with the machine.
If you’re using a magnet, you’ll need to place the magnet on top of the disk and move it in a circular motion. Be sure to cover the entire surface of the disk. After a few minutes, the data on the disk should be erased.
To make things certain, perform a physical destruction of the floppy disks just in case.
Formatting the floppy disks to destroy them
This will erase the data on the floppy disks, but there’s a chance that it could be recovered by someone with the right tools and knowledge. So it’s not the most secure method, but it’s still better than nothing.
To format a floppy disk, open My Computer and right-click on the proper drive. Select Format from the context menu and make sure that the “Quick Format” option is selected. Click Start to begin the format process. Once it’s finished, the disk will be erased and you can dispose of it relatively safely.
Of course, you’ll need a floppy drive. You should be able to find that online on ebay or in thrift stores. You may need to buy an adaptor to hook it up to your usb port though. You should be able to find that on amazon.
Overwriting the data on the floppy disks
This is the process of writing new data over the old data on the floppy disks. This will make it very difficult, if not impossible, to recover the old data.
There are a few different ways that you can overwrite the data on a floppy disk.
One way is to use a program that will write random data to the disk. This will make it very difficult to recover any of the old data.
Another way to overwrite the data on a floppy disk is to use a program that will write all zeros to the disk. This will also make it very difficult to recover any of the old data.
You could also format the floppy disk, save a random file like a photo you just took of your floor that would fit the allowed space and fill the disk with that photo. This should do the trick
Where to get rid of the destroyed floppy disks
Once you’ve destroyed the disks, you’ll need to dispose of them properly. The best way to do this is to take them to a recycling center. If they don’t process these items in your locality, destroy them and throw them in the trash.
While it’s a pretty old technology, floppy disks may contain lots of sensitive data that when in the wrong hands could be used to steal your identity or perform other types of frauds or bad actions. As such, is it better to just destroy the floppy disks before throwing them in the trash or bringing them to the recycling center.