Question How likely is it to access data on my old SSD that I threw out?

Oct 6, 2022
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A few months ago I replaced my SSD with a new one, the old one being a Samsung EVO 840. In an effort to make my old SSD unreadable, I slightly opened up the case of the SSD and ran it under tap water from my sink, so that the circuit board itself was exposed to the water. I then threw it out in a trash bag destined for the landfill.

I understand now that disposing of it this way was idiotic and stupid, so please spare me that lecture. What I am worried about is whether or not my SSD would still be in working condition, and that a person with malicious intentions can find the SSD and access my old data on it. I did some reading and learned that water damaged SSDs can still potentially work, and that if it was just clean water that it got wet with then it has a relatively good chance of being fine.

What I want to know is whether or not my old SSD would theoretically be in working condition after all that has happened to it, from running it under tap water to it’s trip on the garbage truck.
 
Well, tap water is not clean, not in the way that would leave electronics in a working order, corrosion will set in.
There is always a chance though that it would still work and if somebody with some amount of experience in the matter tries to restore it they will have a very good chance of getting data out of it.
 
Oct 6, 2022
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Well, tap water is not clean, not in the way that would leave electronics in a working order, corrosion will set in.
There is always a chance though that it would still work and if somebody with some amount of experience in the matter tries to restore it they will have a very good chance of getting data out of it.
Definitely understand that people with the right technology will most likely be able to obtain data. Do you think the average joe will be able to just plug it into their computer and have it work just fine? I just hope that i did enough to make it unusable for the average person, since im assuming a regular person wouldn’t spend hundreds of dollars trying to recover data on the SSD that isn’t guaranteed to even have any valuable data.
 
A few months ago I replaced my SSD with a new one, the old one being a Samsung EVO 840. In an effort to make my old SSD unreadable, I slightly opened up the case of the SSD and ran it under tap water from my sink, so that the circuit board itself was exposed to the water. I then threw it out in a trash bag destined for the landfill.

I understand now that disposing of it this way was idiotic and stupid, so please spare me that lecture. What I am worried about is whether or not my SSD would still be in working condition, and that a person with malicious intentions can find the SSD and access my old data on it. I did some reading and learned that water damaged SSDs can still potentially work, and that if it was just clean water that it got wet with then it has a relatively good chance of being fine.

What I want to know is whether or not my old SSD would theoretically be in working condition after all that has happened to it, from running it under tap water to it’s trip on the garbage truck.
Unless plugged in water is not going to damage anything except possibly cause some oxidation on bare metal. Cips and other elements are sealed tight. I even washed some motherboards and GPUs in a dishwasher. If all dried up before use it will still be usable but if it didn't someone could be in for a surprise.
 
I slightly opened up the case of the SSD and ran it under tap water from my sink, so that the circuit board itself was exposed to the water.
I then threw it out in a trash bag destined for the landfill.
I understand now that disposing of it this way was idiotic and stupid, so please spare me that lecture.
LOL. Exactly my thoughts.
What I want to know is whether or not my old SSD would theoretically be in working condition after all that has happened to it, from running it under tap water to it’s trip on the garbage truck.
Yes. Quite possible it is recoverable.

You just had to perform secure erase.
Then you could reuse it in some other pc or put it in a drawer or dispose according to regulations about disposal of electronic waste.
 

DSzymborski

Titan
Moderator
While it's probably readable by the motivated person and I would not recommend this is a way of getting rid of any kind of storage drive, unless someone is purposely rifling through your garbage, it's extremely unlikely that anyone will ever encounter this drive again.

Note that just running something like this under water doesn't really do much by itself. The danger of water -- or more precisely, the particles in unpure water -- is you have electricity traveling on a path that was unintended. Without it plugged in, it doesn't do much. You could have stored the drive in a bucket of ketchup for a week and then still used it after a good cleaning with alcohol.
 

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