Destroying old CDRs

  widdy 08:40 10 Jan 2011

I have a large (100+) collection of CD-rs which I used to back up a database of some where near 5000 members. I no longer use this database and want to be sure that they are all destroyed properly.
I remember going to a lecture once by a guy called Dave the Disc Doctor and he was able to recover data from a really badly, physically damaged, floppy disc from an Amstrad 9512.

I am certain that this could be a problem for quite a few people since almost every user backed up important personal data and now no longer requires to keep it.
Any advice would be helpfull
I could drill holes in them, smash them or burn them, not environmentally friendly i know.

  Nontek 08:54 10 Jan 2011

Try physically wiping them with a very strong Magnet.

You could try this with just one or two discs, then check to see if they can still be read.

  mooly 08:59 10 Jan 2011

Loads of ways, you could put them in a vice and saw them in half.
You could gash the data, and it's the label side you have to damage as that is where the info layer is, not the shiny side.

If you have a hundred stick a soldering iron through them... quick and easy.

If they go to landfill it's not friendly whatever you do to them, so unless you plan on keeping the remains just destroy them.

  mooly 09:01 10 Jan 2011

All optical media is not affected by magnetic fields.
Even with magnetic media it takes some doing to render them unreadable/unplayable using normal magnets.

  Peter 09:01 10 Jan 2011


It's a bit confusing whether you are dealing with floppy disks or CDRs.

If it is the former then Nontek's suggestion is worth a try. An old TV magnet would be good.

If it is CDRs you want to destroy Lidl have been advertising a shredder that can deal with CDs. That would certainly stop anyone reading the data on them!


  widdy 09:07 10 Jan 2011

Its Cd-rs that i have in mind. Thanks for your advice think i will check out Lidl unless any one has any better ideas.

  jimv7 09:12 10 Jan 2011

Burn them.

  widdy 09:28 10 Jan 2011


  Ford Prefect 01 10:02 10 Jan 2011

The shredder is a good idea, as you can also use it to destroy old credit/debit cards.

  canarieslover 10:31 10 Jan 2011

Don't bother with the Lidl shredder. They are O.K. for the occasional CD but for the amount that you have to destroy it will overheat and probably end up like my one, lacking enough power to shred any more CD's. The gears inside are plastic and not up to continuous heavy duty work. With the amount that you have I would use a cutter or blowlamp because it will certainly be a lot quicker.

  uk-wizard 11:07 10 Jan 2011

Put them through a hot wash in a washing machine or dish washer then use them in the garden as bird scarers.

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