A Copywriter’s Blog
Problem Solving.

Ever since I got my new Mac, I’ve been meaning to transfer all the files from my six-year-old, pre-pentium, 40-lb aluminum G5 desktop. This was important to me, as I didn’t feel like moving a 40-lb aluminum paperweight to the new apartment if I didn’t have to.


And so, in the midst of all the boxing, organizing, and throwing out, I backed up and transferred all my files. The final step was to reformat my hard drive. After all, there’s six years of tax information, embarrassing photos, and swedish-tentacle-dolphin-porn on there that I didn’t really want anyone to find.

And that’s when I discovered that formatting the hard drive required the original boot disks that came with the machine. I had those. They were in a box that looked like this:


I knew it looked like that because I’d just seen it two days before. When I threw it out.

But that’s ok, because I knew another way to format the hard drive. All I needed was to connect my old machine to my new machine using a cable I didn’t have, and then boot up the old machine in target-disk mode.

I really didn’t feel like doing that.

But that was ok too, because I had another idea about how to keep my old hard-drive from being a security risk. I called it Plan C:


And, as I explained to my father, the idea was to use his sledge hammer to break my hard drive into two separate pieces and dispose of each one on a different side of the Hudson river.

I was mildly surprised to discover the amount of punishment a hard drive can take. Those things are built tough. Like, Ford Tough. It was pretty impressive. Especially in light of the three separate warning labels foretelling doom if it came within 30 meters of the refrigerator magnet your mom has holding up your perfect spelling test from the fifth grade.*

In short, it actually took a whole five minutes to smash the drive to my satisfaction. Roughly four minutes and 58 seconds longer than I would have thought.

When you wipe a hard drive using the boot disk, it generally takes a few minutes for the progress bar to travel from 0 to 100 (or from 100 to 0 in this case). The Plan C method of formatting doesn’t have a progress bar. You start with this:


And you stop about 5 minutes later when it looks like this.



*Yes, I could have tried to wipe the drive with a magnet. I didn’t for two reasons. First, my father actually tried that experiment years ago, using a frighteningly powerful earth magnet. It had no discernable effect. And secondly: SLEDGEHAMMER VS HARD DRIVE. COME ON.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.