I have a corrupted Micro SD card of which I saved the data already on my PC. I want to throw the Micro SD into the waste because it is basically useless because my Windows phone gets nuts with it. However, I do not want anyone to read the data on it after coincidentally finding it in the waste since it contains my very personal photos.

Hence I have cut the Micro SD cards into segments as can be seen in the attached picture. The pin section of the SD cards is basically now cut into 4 parts and I want to throw one-half of the segments into another waste container than the other half.

Is this a preventive action that assures no one can ever read any data from this Micro SD card again?

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4 Answers 4


According to the SANDISK Micro SD datasheet you can see the architecture of a secure digital card. So if you break it in half it should not work as SD cards are made with NAND technology where every transistor is very very small [1-5nm long] which is totally impossible to repair. But I always follow Crash and Burn strategy to retire my old disks. If you want more explanation then there is a nice explanation in Electronics Stackexchange.

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Being unable to read data is very different to being unable to interface with data.

You can take a CD or DVD to understand this better:

  • Find a disc that has been written to.
  • Cut the disc into 4 slices (some shredders do this).
  • Examine the underside. The data is still there.

While the data may still reside there, it would not be practical for someone to attempt to read it with any kind of standard disc drive.

Many enterprises and home users find "data destruction" in this fashion to be sufficient partly due to the facts:

  • Your data isn't the "lowest hanging fruit on the tree".
  • The effort to piece the disc back together just isn't worth it for most individuals.
  • With the volume of other media being thrown out, yours effectively blends in.

If you require a high level of assurance, the following works quite well:

  • Write to the media with zeros, ones, then with a random pattern.
  • Ensure that you pass over the media several times.
  • Separate the storage (platters, flash, NAND) from the controller(s).
  • Throw the controller(s) out unless it/they has/have a non-volatile cache.
  • Physically "attack" the surface and internals of the storage/controller (hammer).
  • Place storage/controller into a high temperature furnace or lava flow.
  • Take the remnants and spread randomly over a public green space.
  • Water said locations.

I popped it in my mouth and chewed on it several times with my molars to make it all bent up. Then I spit the pieces out and they were in small pieces and the big part was crushed and all bent up. I spit out my spit because I don't know what this thing is made of and I rinsed out my mouth with water just to be safe.

  • This doesn't answer the question of whether cutting prevents data recovery.
    – Chenmunka
    Feb 4, 2023 at 10:11

Does cutting prevent data recovery - it all depends on how it gets damaged by the cutting action. Chopping the pins still leaves the circuit intact. So it will still be readable. To make it unreadable, you need to cut it into very tiny bits, scissors probably wont do it.

There are two sure ways to make it impossible to read - high temperature or high voltage and current.

One safe way to make it impossible to recover anything, is to pour a teaspoon cooking of oil (it's much safer than a few drops of kerosene, petrol, or methylated spirits) and set fire to it.

  • Please elaborate on what kind of oil you're referring to and how it would help. The accepted answer contradicts your first sentence - please elaborate on that too.. Feb 4, 2023 at 17:44
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    Feb 4, 2023 at 17:44
  • This doesn't answer the question.
    – Chenmunka
    Feb 5, 2023 at 9:11

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