Office Closet Clean Out

hey MPU,

I decided to take the task of cleaning out my office closet. Big mistake.
All of these are items not in use.

  • 8 WD Passport Drives (varying sizes)

  • 4 WD MyBooks (varying sizes)

  • 1 Drobo (4 Bay model) (contains 4 drives each of them 2TB WD Green Drives)
    ** Drobo is USB 2.0 and Firewire 800, actually I think everything listed is 2.0, most of the drives are a decade or more old.

  • 1 very old Dell PowerEdge Tower Server with 2 Drives in the Garage (out of use since my college days)

caveat - back in 2013 - I had transitioned to a Synology NAS (DS1513+ 5 bay model). My plan is to upgrade that, but just waiting for the right price for the drives I want. Currently eyeing either the DS1821+ (8 bay model) or the RS1221+ (rack model). The 5 Bay will eventually become an additional backup.

Knowing all that…MPUers…What Would You Do With All This Stuff !?

The ideas presented to me so far by my non-techie social circle

  1. Take the device to a gun range and use for target practice
  2. Power drill through them and then toss in the garbage
  3. Hammer / nail / microwave - take apart into pieces and then garbage
  4. Wipe and sell them (assuming I can make more than $10 on these things)

We’ve discussed the issue of disposing of old drives before, the short version is “Physically destroy 'em however you choose (note, some methods create a bigger mess than others).”

As to the hardware itself (sans the drives), take it to Goodwill.

In my younger days the drives would have definitely ended up as target practice, but in recent years the odd drive was dispatched by the drill press in our maintenance department.

As far as the rest, I wouldn’t feel right selling any tech that old.

I like to disassemble them and get the head positioning magnets out. They are very strong and endlessly useful. I have a pair from a very old 300mb 5.25” drive that will hold items through my hand.

Drives used for Time Machine get archived when they get full. I label when they were in use and put them in my fireproof safe.

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Western Digital will recycle drives from any manufacturer. They will pay UPS shipping and send you a coupon for 15% off in their online store which you could use for drives for the new synology. For the other stuff, donation or check for a local recycler.


The last rack mount anything I had sounded like a small jet engine, so it was relegated to the garage with long cables.

That’s my only worry about noise level.
Before having the Unifi system, just the DS was in there. Noise wasn’t too bad unless I was doing major file transfers. After putting in Unifi…the noise is a bit louder, not enough to annoy me. But enough to know its ‘present’ in the room with me (even with the closet door closed). Eventually, when we remodel the house (maybe in the next year or so), I will turn the single car garage into an office space, insulate it properly, and put all the equipment in there, but then…I would be there in there also.

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