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How to Destroy Floppy Disks
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Have a lot of floppy disks laying around and you're not sure whats on them, but to afraid to just throw them away? Here are a few steps you can take to securely destroy your disks, depending on the level of destruction you would like.

Things you'll need:

  • one of the following
  • Strong Magnet
  • Scissors
  • shredder
  • matches and a fireplace or solid metal trashcan and an accellerant (lighter fluid or gas)
Obtain a powerful magnet (something a little bit more powerful than your refrigerator variety) and rub the magnet all over both sides of your floppy. This will change all those 1s and 0s and make the data on the disk unusable.

Rip open the floppy and cut it up with a pair of scissors. The smaller and more numerous the pieces the better, as they can be taped back together. Also don't cut a neat design, random cuts will work best.

Pull the disk apart, rip out the metal center. and put the magnetic tape into a confetti-style shredder.

Burn them. This has been the U.S. Government way of destroying classified material for many years. Make sure you do it in a safe manner, such as a fireplace, or a solid metal trash bin outside in a clear area. (Make sure there is no wind if you do this out side, as you do not want lit embers to fly away and start a forest fire.)

Tips and Warnings:

  • Also understand that just because you cut up half the floppy really well, doesn't mean the data on the other half can't be retrieved.
  • It is recommended that if possible destroy as many disks at the same time as you can, since all magnetic pieces look the same, this will make it exponetionally harder to piece the correct pieces back together.
  • Floppy disks are written using a magnet, this is a big hint about how to destroy the data. Also, you need to understand what it would take to take a 'destroyed' floppy and make it readable.
  • ensure you don't need the data you are about to destroy.
Tagged as: Destroy Floppy Disks, , how to articles, how to instructions, DIY, tips, howto, learn, how do I
Article How to Destroy Floppy Disks provided by wikiHow. Content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons License.
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