I am concerned that two of my posts have been removed from the thread entitled "The easy way to securely erase data on old hard disc". These two posts have now been moved to "The Jail" and, rudely IMO, my first post has been renamed by a moderator as "nonsense"!
The OP was requesting an "easy way to securely erase all data" on "40G hard drives which I'm prepared to dump". Although s(he) also implied that the drives may be given to friends, I doubt if a used 40G drive would actually be wanted. With the increasing threat of identity and data theft, the permanent removal of access to the data on the disks is, in my view, more important than the nominal financial value of a small (working) drive. On this basis, destruction of the drive is, IMO, a perfectly valid way of ensuring any remaining data can no longer be accessed.
I have researched this problem in the past for my own purposes and, having tried various methods, have come to the conclusion that the fastest, most cost-effective and reliable method of data destruction is by applying a hammer several times to the disk, its mechanism and the associated PCB.
While it may be true that some magnetic data could remain on the disk, I suggest that it is beyond the scope of all but a few very specialised governmental organisations and all criminals, to restore any useful data from the disk.
On this basis, my first post suggestion was perfectly valid and should not have been removed.
My second post regarding thermite was a more "tongue-in-cheek" pointer to methods of data destruction tried by others. Although I have not personally used this method, it did appear to give total data destruction and can therefore appear in the thread IMHO. As an aside, if it would give users a chuckle, as it did with me, then I don't believe it is that wrong to include it! Or do the Ubuntu Forum rules really prohibit humour?
While other posts in the thread did give worthy (but rather "geeky") suggestions they did carry some risk for inexperienced users. It would be very easy, with some of the tools used, to mistype a command and end up wiping the entire working OS. In addition, all these methods required a working HDD and are very slow to run.
OTOH, my suggestion is fast and foolproof in that the HDD has to first be disconnected and removed from the PC. One advantage of this is, of course, that it works equally well with both working and failed drives! The tools my method requires are generally available in every household. eg. a screwdriver, a lump hammer and a pair of safety goggles.
I trust you will now reinstate my posts. An apology is optional!