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Old 1st April 2011, 02:22 AM   #1
rif is online now rif  United States
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Default How to destroy data CD-R?

First off, I admit to having done no research whatsoever.

Situation: I have lots of CD-Rs that contain sensitive data (old computer backups mainly). Whats the best way to destroy them so no one can get at the info?

For example, before recycling a computer I run dban on the hard drive. This uses some kind of military protocol to wipe it clean.

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Old 1st April 2011, 02:27 AM   #2
imix500 is offline imix500  United States
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I put them through the paper shredder.
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Old 1st April 2011, 02:28 AM   #3
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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I've done this a lot. The fun way is to nuke 'em in the microwave oven. But it makes quite a stink. Great lightening effect.

Mostly I just bend them or break them in half. That's all it takes. I killed a couple of paper shredders, so be careful.
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Old 1st April 2011, 03:04 AM   #4
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A quick temperature change might get the data layer to separate from the plastic. I'd bet even the CIA couldn't decipher those results.
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Old 1st April 2011, 03:21 AM   #5
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Most paper shredders have separate blades for credit cards & CD ROMS.

EDIT: If it's a one off job, there's always course sandpaper, a grinder or battery acid.

Last edited by pythonic; 1st April 2011 at 03:25 AM.
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Old 1st April 2011, 06:22 AM   #6
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CDR's use a phase change material for the recording. A bit of baking at 450F or so, may do the trick. (to melt and reset the phase of the data layer) -- edit: oh wait, that's just rewritables huh? CDR's just a use a dye... nevermind...

note that I've not tried this, and I cant recommend it. It's just a thought. I assume no liability for stinky masses of plastic or any other results good or bad

note that since the data's not part of the reflective layer itself, scrubbing away the shiny side may not render it un-recoverable but it would be unreadable in that state. But how paranoid are you? as others mention, simply breaking them in half should do the job

Last edited by eclectic2k; 1st April 2011 at 06:26 AM. Reason: forgetfulness?
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Old 1st April 2011, 06:44 AM   #7
T in AZ is offline T in AZ  United States
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a hot soldering iron wiped across the top side of the disk a few times does the trick.
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Old 1st April 2011, 07:08 AM   #8
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Apart from the possible toxic fumes, I'd say that burning them would do the trick But Pano's method is more fun (was never sure how good it was for the microwave though)!! However I haven't tried that on a CD-R before...

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Old 1st April 2011, 12:49 PM   #9
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I cut them into 4 pieces with tinsnips and than put the pieces into recycling, one piece a week.
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Old 1st April 2011, 01:19 PM   #10
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