Hard drive crash

>> Thursday, May 08, 2008

They're calling it the "Most amazing disk data recovery ever," and it probably isn't hyperbole: data from a physics experiment that flew--and crashed-- with the space shuttle Columbia in 2003 was recovered from a hard drive that was in an explosion and fell several miles. According to the story, some 90% of the data on a 400-meg drive was recoverable, and the results of the experiment were published in a physics journal last month.

When you contemplate the inherent fragility of a hard drive, the notion that a drive exposed to extreme temperatures and impact could survive with any data intact, nevermind nearly all of the data stored on it intact, it's a kind of stunning technical achievement. What that drive was exposed to should have scattered every ferrous particle attached to the spinning plates of the drive, randomizing the information on it and junking the drive. It didn't.

On a more practical note, security-conscious (or merely paranoid) folks who thought the only way to truly and permanently erase a drive was to take a hammer to it may need to rethink things....


Michelle K Thursday, May 8, 2008 at 8:22:00 AM EDT  

A hammer? No. You take the drive out and play Frisbee with it!

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