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 Post subject: Re-Selling Hard Drives
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:55 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:39 am
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Do any of you re-format and sell hard drives you come by in the e-waste you get? And if so what do you do to make the most money?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:36 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:53 pm
Posts: 467
i do not.

I made the decision when i stated doing this that I was not going to deal with the refurb aspect of things. I didn't want to have to learn about fixing and dealing with the technical aspects of the repair work, nor did i want to go through the hassle of storing (for who knows how long) items until i could find a buyer... and then selling and having to deal with customers, payments, support, etc. I decided I would deal with strictly scrapping and keep my operation streamlined for quick turnaround so I could keep my basement clean.

That is a question that every one should ask themselves and plan their business model accordingly. For me, it was not worth the hassle, time and space investment to go that route... so I focus on scrapping.

I am not saying it isn't possible to make money fixing things up though. I know a few guys that refurb computers and equipment and make good money. But they have the technical know how. And they are not focused on scrapping either :P


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:29 pm 
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I will go through the extensive testing and everything for SCSI and SAS drives which never really loose their premium price tag. As well as original TRUE IDE. But ATA and SATA aren’t worth the headache.
Keep in mind it’s not just a simple format and sell if you want real money.
You need to format, encrypt, reformat. To guarantee the data can’t be recovered.
Then surface scanning and testing. Board and actuator testing.
Then photos, posting, waiting for a buyer.
After all that a bad tumble for its box on the way to the buyer and they get a dead drive regardless.

Sas drives regularly pass $100 no mater the size.
SCSI some real small and real large ones will commonly get up there too.
Ide drives are single and double digit megabyte drives. They’re extremely rare and working can get into the thousands of dollar range. But don’t confuse them with original ATA spec drives! At the same sizes worth under $10.
But when you can go and pick up a 5tb brand new sata for $100 nobody is really fighting for them used.

I don’t really deal with flash at all. Without hardware level encryption that is only in enterprise drives, you can’t guarantee the data is totally secured and unrecoverable. And even there only if the encryption key is stored in an encrypted eeprom on the controller than can be rewritten.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:26 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:20 am
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lostinlodos wrote:
I will go through the extensive testing and everything for SCSI and SAS drives which never really loose their premium price tag. As found here well as original TRUE IDE. But ATA and SATA aren’t worth the headache.
Keep in mind it’s not just a simple format and sell if you want results after 1 month real money.
You need to format, encrypt, reformat. To guarantee the data can’t be recovered.


Oh man! Thank you SO much. I occasionally try to repair and sell hard disks but I just used to format it and sell it. Never went through format, encrypt, reformat route. Thank you so much for the tip. :)

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Last edited by AnthonyClements on Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:30 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:36 pm 
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There are dozens of devices on amazon for external total encryption wipes that start around $50 used. Most are in the $150-$300 range new.

However the easiest and least expensive route is an internal to external cable “dongle” for $10-$25. I use sabrent and Vantec devices myself to run my primary drives via USB hub on a Mac. 2.5” and SSD drives will self power off usb3. But Most of these devices come with a power adapter too for USB2.

There’s dozens of free drive encryption program on Git and Sourceforge.
My go to though is BestCrypt or BCWipe. Commercial. BC uses bizarre enough wipe patterns to make recovery impossible. Period.
As I’ve alluded to before; I’ll state here. Even the drive wiping format software from Microsoft on MSDN and from Apple: I can recover 90% of your data in under 30 minutes on a 2TB drive. With BC there is zero chance of recovery.
I’ve used BCWipe since it was first released as a replacement for Dead Vault, a DOS program.

You don’t really need to repartition after that either, these days: Windows 8 and 10, server, and MacOS 10.6+, and Linux K 3.x+ all will immediately recognise an unpartitioned raw drive on connection. Saving the buyer time in reformatting to a different partition table.

I don’t work for Jetico but if you read through my various posts there’s a tiny selection of software and hardware I’ll stand behind because they’ve never let me down. The BC programs are among them.

Sabrent is one of the best rebrandings for I/O gear. You pay more than the generic base but it comes with 5 generations of driver support and a much longer warranty.
On the other end is the VanTec NexStar line. They’re more finicky and for newer systems in general. These are cases, docks, and hot swap bays that are truly unsurpassed in manufacturing. In nearly 20 years neither company’s products have failed me. I still have a working IDE/SCSI/ATA dock from VanTec that works. it’s from the early 90s and predates the NexStar branding. VanTec also sells replacement parts and even raw components to technicians as well. Showing they respect technicians more than most who will just sell you a whole new unit.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 4:10 pm 
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As long as I’m back here for cleaning I will reiterate my IDE (True IDE) is worth any trouble involved.
Drive burn just sold a Maxter T-IDE full height 2MB with “NOS Replacement” motor for $550.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2021 8:41 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:42 pm
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Location: Troy, NY
I agree on most points.
IDE, SCSI, MFM are always going to bring some money.
If you are getting the drives for free, it almost always makes sense to sell rather than scrap. For as involved as you have made the process out to be, in reality, the drive is sitting in a dock and the software is doing the rest to wipe, encrypt and reformat. It's involved, but realistically, you're sitting around and waiting for the process to finish, at least with the newer stuff (older, more involved, especially MFM stuff excluded)
Again, selling is a matter of checking what's out there and what has sold, and determining if the juice is worth the squeeze. Listing and selling is quite literally the easiest it has been in the 20 years I've been selling junk online. Storing hard drives, for that matter, is ridiculously easy, as they stack nicely in styrofoam hard drive holders.
Scrapping something is the least amount of money you can ever achieve. So if you can sell a drive for $10 bucks plus shipping, that beats the tens of cents you're getting in scrap, even after the absurd 13% fees.
If it's security you're worried about, most folks lack the equipment and the knowledge to recover data on the order Lost has described. If you know there's sensitive info on a drive, strip it down and move onto the next one and forget about selling it on.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2021 3:42 pm 
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TLDR:
Quote:
realistically, you're sitting around and waiting for the process to finish


Exactly. The actual doing aspect of a wiping a drive is super easy. By default BCWipe runs on a single core and uses less than a gigabyte of ram. So you can literally make it a background operation.
Start a wipe, minimise the window: and watch a movie.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 10:34 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:42 pm
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Location: Troy, NY
All the more reason to sell on.
BCWipe and a dock is a money generating operation.
Make money while watching paint dry.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 3:22 am 
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Exactly.
I’ve pointed out many times standard ATA drives tend to be more trouble than they’re worth from 500GB-4TB.
Everything else is free money when things work out.
VanTec shells (enclosures) start in the high teens.
But nothing beats sabrent’s adaptors. I tend to suggest using a:b single format ones. The controllers are less complicated. Translation is cleaner. They work better. When they’re on Amazon discount for <$10-$15 it’s worth the cost on any 2 drives.
Their external SATA to usb3 adaptors run my 29 drives via 2 hubs for me.

For my tech bench I use one sata, one sas, one UWSCSI, an IDE dock, and XA dock.
I use a $60 Intel atom tablet I reflashed with OpenBSD and Darwin as the host; plugging the drives into the 3.2-C connector. The MacOS version of BCWipe runs without issue on both OSs with QTNow installed. (Git QTN6).

I use BC for wiping.

The default in both OSs for disk management, DiskManager, for partitioning. And brn (burn) if a customer wanted (and paid for) a backup of their disk. (Git BRN)
BRN -get -{Drive ID—ex in my setup} -4096 -exf -bin
Makes a BIN/QUE of the drive
BRN -b -{file name} -{drive is—ex wife n my setup}
Puts the drive image on a usb stick using ext file system and 4K clusters. Readable on any 64-bit OS.

BSD/Linux/Unix all use CUPS for printing. So I use my Samsung Xpression laser printer via AirPrint, Part of the Bonjour package. Included in Darwin and available via alt repositories for BSDs and Linux, to print the drive test log (VDSK)

The whole setup is under $200. But… if you have regular access to pre PII/AMDK6 computers, it’s a printing press for cash.
True IDE drives fetch mid-double digit dollars on average. Apple SCSI drives from //, ///, and Early Macs trend in the near $100 range. At 10MB!!!!!!
Larger IDE disks can easily fetch hundreds as do most SCSI drives.

Pop them out of the shell and external “parallel” drives for early-to-mid 90s computers can fetch much much more. Usually XA, disks for Amiga and Atari systems can get well past the $500 mark when verified.

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