I have a question regarding an Asus laptop of mine that suffered damage due to a spill and has not worked since.

I am wondering:

  1. if there is any chance the hard drive might still be viable so I could use it in my PC as extra space?
  2. if it is totally shot, how should I best destroy the information on it before discarding it in order to protect any important information which may have been saved therein?

This was not a high dollar laptop so I am not interested in spending a lot to repair it. I just want to be sure my private information is safe.

  • Yes and if it doesn't work use a hammer and nail on it. – Nifle Jan 3 '17 at 15:31
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    The hard drive more than likely does work. Rather than destroy it, you should just take it out and keep it. That way you can recover any data you may need, and you could reuse the HDD if a different laptop HDD fails on you in the future. – DrZoo Jan 3 '17 at 15:46

We can't know if the hard drive survived, you can though by taking it out and try slaving it to another computer (or taking it to an IT repair shop to do so).

As for destroying it, that is a duplicate or similar to:

  1. Dispose or Recycle Hard Drive
  2. Destroy a hard drive without proper equipment
  3. How can I physically destroy data from a failed HDD?
  4. Can you physically erase data on a mechanical HDD without destroying it?
  5. How can I wipe a broken hard disk drive before sending it back to the manufacturer for maintenance?
  6. How can I render an SSD permanently inoperable with no chance of data recovery?

Yes, there is totally a chance that your hard drive still works. If the liquid from the spill did not touch any of the rear sata connectors on the HDD or on the board, and no liquid actually got inside the HDD, then you could certainly try connecting it to your rig and seeing if you can get it to read in BIOS.

If indeed the HDD is completely wrecked, you can try hammering a nail through the HDD disk platter inside the HDD... there are several methods of going about that. You can drill through it, hammer through it, smash it, write all 0's(granted it turns on), the list goes on.

It is important to make sure the HDD platter disks are greatly damaged, this way there is a 99.99% chance no one can recover your data. Then you can properly dispose of it via recycling center or local re-purposing plant.

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