How to dispose of floppy disks

Luna Aston / Thu, 21 Jul 2022 15:00 GMT
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Floppy disks were released and widely used in the 1970s. Due to their tiny capacity in the current data age, we don't commonly use them anymore. Most computers these days don't even have floppy disk drive. Rather than floppy disks nowadays people are storing things in the cloud, on their mobile or on external/internal hard drives.

Maybe you have stumbled across some old floppy disks you've been storing over the years. If you are looking to get rid of them, there are two things you will want to keep in mind. How to destroy data on a floppy disk and how to recycle a floppy disk. It's imperative, like with all data these days, to ensure that you are not exposing sensitive data. While also ensuring you are not harming the environment in the disposal process.

Wiping your floppy disk

There are multiple ways that you can format/wipe your floppy disk to ensure there is no recoverable or sensitive data left on it.

Programs - There are multiple downloadable programs online that you can get that are built to destroy data on multiple storage devices, such as floppy disks or CDs etc. Once you enter your floppy disk into your PC you will be able to wipe or write over the data. However, in some cases, these solutions won't fully wipe your hard drive and the data can still be recovered.

Magnet - Using magnets on the disk itself will erase all data on the disk, due to the way floppy disks store data. You will want to use a neodymium magnet which is strong enough to do the job.

You will want to run the magnet all over the floppy disk multiple times to scramble the data rendering it unusable.

Physically Destroy - The safest way to destroy data from a floppy disk is to physically destroy the disk inside. First remove the metal clip from the top of the floppy disk and then pop open the casing. You will see a plastic-looking disk inside, this is what you will want to cut up into pieces. If this is destroyed then the data will be completely untraceable.

wiping your floppy disk
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Floppy disk disposal

Recycling - There are plenty of places that accept floppy disks for recycling. There are specialist companies that only accept floppy disks and are built with the facilities to recycle them. If you're unable to find a company that will do this locally, or have too many floppy disks to send to them, you can look for your local recycling centre and see if they accept floppy disks.

Art - If you have a bit of an arty side why not try and use the floppy disks to create an art piece for your home. There are loads of different ideas and things you can create with floppy disks, have a look on Pinterest or YouTube.

Overall you need to ensure you have removed any valuable data before disposal. Once you have done so, make sure to appropriately recycle your floppy disks, rather than just throwing them in the bin.

floppy disk disposal
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