How do you dispose of a Petabyte of disks?

Data Retention and Storage

With the advent of massive inexpensive storage also comes the issue of the disposal of that storage when it inevitably fails on you, usually taking something valuable with each failure.  This issue only grows when you go from dozens to hundreds and eventually thousands of hard drives in your live running inventory.  Even the best of disks will fail eventually and at the end of the week you have a large steaming pile of disks that are no longer useful but cannot just be tossed into the rubbish bin.

Disposal Process

Since we are inherently frugal with the sponsorships and donations we receive the thought of paying for destruction seems like a poor use of money and purchasing some massive disk chewing monstrosity, while would excite us mightily, is equally a poor expenditure of our meager cash resources.

The Holey War of Disks

Yup, we’ll make holes in them all.  As large as feasible and enough to make our inner information security barbarian happy.  For less than $400 USD we have the drill, a stand, bits, and a broom with a bin.

Evidence of Mass Destruction

The starting pile of disks


The chosen tool of destructionIMG_3987

One hole to rule them allIMG_3993

Alternate poking locationsIMG_3996

Pushing all the way throughIMG_3997

Large recycling bin of dead and drilled drivesIMG_3999

And some moreIMG_4002

And moreIMG_4004


The drilled remains all stacked upIMG_4007  The remains of the dayIMG_4008


While perhaps not the best method of killing off several days and making holes in things it did solve our problem on how to take out a petabyte of disks.