DIY CD/DVD Destruction

Published: 2021-06-27
Last Updated: 2021-06-27 19:14:18 UTC
by Didier Stevens (Version: 1)
15 comment(s)

I have some personal CDs & DVDs to dispose of. And I don't want them to reamain (easily) readable.

There are paper shredders that also shred CDs & DVDs, but I don't own such a shredder.

So I ended up drilling a hole in my optical disks.

My recommendation: don't to this, it's difficult and hazardous.

Even though I used a drill press with a clamp to hold the optical disks, I had disks that came loose and started to spin, with risk of flying in all directions.

That's because I drilled with a speed (around 2500 rpm) that was too high: it made the plastic meld, and got the drill bit stuck in the stack of disks.

A lower drill speed (500 rpm) solved that problem, the plastic no longer melted, but I still had small pieces of plastic and metal film detaching from the disks.

I drilled the hole close to the center of the optical disk, because I remembered that CDs and DVDs are written from the center to the edge. Assuming that data structures that describe the layout of the disk are found at the beginning, drilling a hole there would make the complete disk unreadable.

I tested one disk with a hole, and indeed, my drive was not recognizing any disk:

It's a difficult and hazardous process, don't do it. Especially not with a handheld power drill.

Please post a comment if you have destroyed data supports like CDs and DVDs, especially if you have a safe and easy DIY solution.


Didier Stevens
Senior handler
Microsoft MVP

15 comment(s)
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