Securely erasing an optical disc before disposal

Plextor has an optical disc eraser drive so that sensitive data can be removed from a disc before it is disposed of:

Is it possible to make erasing a standard functionality in all optical drives? It seems silly to have to buy a separate unit to erase discs.

In the past, I’ve considered purchasing a shredder, but now I’m concerned that using it will release toxic chemicals into the workplace.

I can’t answer your question directly, but the Plextor PX-760 and PX-755 DVD witers have a similar PlexEraser functionality for destroying the lead-in (Quick) or whole disc (Full). So you don’t need to buy a dedicated device.

The PlexEraser drive is faster however, and it also burns visible marks on the media, so that you can easily see if they have been destroyed.

I guess if you’re capable of writing your own firmware for a DVD burner, it would be possible to implement a similar capability.

A quick 1 or 2 second in a microwave oven set on its lowest setting should do the trick easily. I place the metal side up and immediately open the door when the top sparkles. I only do this with disks I have burned NOT with commercial produced CD and DVD’s. Up to at least 3 disks can be done at a time. I’ve never done more than that. I’ve used this procedure since hearing about it on a [I]Callforhelp[/I] show.

Placing any metal in a microwave is very dangerous - not only to YOU, but to the microwave as well. Simply scratching the LABEL side a few times with any sharp object will make any CD/DVD unreadable. I imagine that placing a +/-R/RW (data side up) under a strong black light for a few minutes would effectively erase/ruin the entire disk.

@Howperwil, that is a very bad advice and I think you shouldn’t encourage anyone else to do it. All microwave instructions [B]specifically[/B] say no metal is to be used inside and doing so is directly putting yourself (and others presently there) at a very dangerous risk!

I’ve tried this way once: if you have a barbecue, start it to a nice hot heat and then put your CD (label side) facing the heat to melt the data away. The disc was black and unreadable!

Mythbusters! - They completely failed to destroy a microwave, even with spoons, forks, sparking crumpled foil, and many other things.

Not a great idea to do it with the family microwave, and never leave it on for more than the initial flashover, any futher power applied will be going into creating a very hot spot (risk of fire) or reflecting back into the magnetron.

I wouldn’t bank on any kind of light, from IR to UV, erasing anything you wanted destroyed - things you wanted to keep, maybe.

The other possibilty, with suitable shrapnel protection, is snapping, or less violently, a hacksaw, drill or hole cutter. If I had a lot of discs to destroy, I’d try to make some kind of foot operated breaker.

Some steampowerred devices should make that easier…

I’ve actually had a microwave that RECOMMENDED using aluminum foil to wrap up areas of thinner area of food that you don’t want to overcook while the thick part is being cooked.

The warning? Don’t let the foil get close to any part of the wall.

Today, you can buy microwave boiled egg cooker. Do you know how it works?

It’s a plastic shell shaped like a huge egg, with space to put water into bottom, then an aluminum cage with holes for housing the eggs.

Water boils in the bottom, steam then cooks the eggs in aluminum cage, but the holes are small enough to keep microwave out, just like the holes on the microwave viewing window.

If you really want to destroy the data just feed it through a wood chipper.

Either that or put it into a lathe and run it at high speed while slowly using a tool to shave away at the edges until all thats left is the center hub and alot of plastic shavings.

I use a pair of cheap scissors and just cut the disc in half…takes a second or two…

It is a great idea to use a microwave, especially if you’d like to use it for food after “erasing” your disks. :doh:

Basically the microwave makes a good job erasing disks 100%, but the degasifying may be not good for your health. I’d never use this microwave for heating up any food anymore… :Z:Z:Z

There are special shredders available for shredding paper and CD/DVD media. I guess for private stuff it is enough to cut a CD/DVD into a few pieces. If this is not secure enough, the money for a CD/DVD capable shredder should be no problem. :cool:

12 bore shotgun works fine,better than birds

With CDs, you could use duct tape to remove the protective/reflective layer and then apply a solvent to the dye itself. Isopropyl alcohol seems to work well for this.

The process is similar for DVDs, but you’ll have to split the 2 polycarbonate layers to expose the dye.

You want simple?

The vulnerable side is the label side. Run that several times across some medium to coarse sandpaper, or hold the label side for second on the seriously active area of a belt sander.

Data gone, no hope of recovery.

[quote=R.G. ;2132852]The vulnerable side is the label side. Run that several times across some medium to coarse sandpaper, or hold the label side for second on the seriously active area of a belt sander.

Data gone, no hope of recovery.[/quote] That is only true for CD media.
For DVD media the data is in the middle of the disc and for Blu-ray the data is near the reading side of the disc.

Welcome to CDFreaks! :slight_smile:

I take a CD or DVD disk and place it between 4 sheets of folded newspaper, so that no part of the disk is exposed, and just bend it until it breaks (into quarters). Usually the plastic part breaks away from the metallic oxide.

MICROWAWA* works evry time

You are joking - Right?

Scissors. Cut the little bastard into 3 or 4 pieces :smiley:

Cheap too.

i used the microwave method just for fun a few years ago. i can not say if the toxic fumes has had any mental effect, only that i found cdfreaks shortly after. :slight_smile:

If you microwave the disc long enough to make fumes you already have brain dammage… and it had nothing to do with nuking discs.

Frankly when they contain sensitive information I toss them inside my Coal stove… there is nothing left.

In the sumertime I’ll microwave them 30seconds on high
Then break the disc onto pieces.

Why does anyone think UV light would have any effect?
The burning laser operates in the near infared spectrum…