So you’ve damaged your media card or other storage medium. Now what? Junk it? Is that the only option? You might be surprised to discover that a damaged storage device isn’t just worthy of the dump.
One Geek’s Trash Is Another’s Treasure.
It’s true! Just because a portable storage device—no matter what size—is nonfunctional, you don’t necessarily need to drop it in the trashcan and feel like you just lost a monetary investment due to poor handling or an unforeseen accident. Instead, you can try one of these five frugal ideas:
- Recycle: It’s the environmental friendly choice! Believe it or not, you can recycle an old or damaged storage medium. For example, a Network Assisted Storage device (or NAS) usually consists of a housing with several internal slots for hard drives. You could repurpose the housing to store drives that contain your backups. Your local computer repair shops might have other recycle ideas, too. Recycling flash memory products, a smart choice, eProvided flash drive recycle submission form.
- Sell them for parts: Yes, one geek’s trash is another geek’s treasure! Some people will buy parts from damaged storage drives for various reasons. You might inquire with local computer repair shops to gauge their interest. You can also post the parts online. Some people successfully auction storage drive parts via eBay. Selling parts can actually prove lucrative, particularly if the drive is older or no longer manufactured. People seeking to repair their device will pay well for the parts they need to execute repairs.
- Look into repairing them: If we’re talking about your all-time favorite media card or storage device, you might consider looking into repairing them. If the damage is not too extensive, an experienced hard drive repair service might be able to repair the device to working order. Sometimes it’s a long shot, but if you’re attached to the device, it’s worth a try.
- Donate them: If your local college, university, or technical school offers computer repair or data recovery classes, you might be able to donate you damaged device(s) and count the donation as a tax credit. This is really a win-win scenario. Just make sure that if anyone will be attempting to recovery information off the device that the information isn’t confidential or otherwise sensitive. You can even strip the device(s) down to spare parts and donate the parts. Hands-on academic classes will likely have use of such parts for training the next generation of device repair professionals.
- Use them for training purposes: It sounds a little odd, but some companies do it. If your company uses a lot of portable devices from flash drives, cell phones, to SD or MicroSD cards, you can use damaged ones to train employees regarding the dangers of improper handling. Some companies have found that visual demonstrations depicting how easy it is to damage a device can prevent common office and travel accidents from happening. It’s a good way to repurpose damaged devices while promoting better habits amongst employers. Some common scenarios include: forgetting to use a protective travel case, dropping a device, spilling water on a device, leaving a device in an extremely hot or cold climate for an extended period, and kicking, hitting, or otherwise impacting a storage device and causing both port and device damage. eProvided most commonly recovers files from broken USB flash drives with bent tips.
For information on CD/DVD recovery, click here!
The next time a media card or portable storage medium meets and untimely demise don’t look at it as mere trash. It can be a rare opportunity to recycle, make a little cash, conduct a repair, donate a needed medium, and even perform some very memorable office training designed to prevent bad handling habits from creeping in. That little piece of trash is really an invaluable treasure if you just get a little creative and try some new ideas.