Introduction: Media Artist Contingency Plan

About: My name is Randy and I am a Community Manager in these here parts. In a previous life I had founded and run the Instructables Design Studio (RIP) @ Autodesk's Pier 9 Technology Center. I'm also the author of t…

Does the US Secret Police not approve of your art? Are you a media artist who has gotten on the bad side of a private multinational corporation? Perhaps your government does not approve of the open source co-working tool that you host? Or maybe, you are simply just a troublemaker? Any which way, when Big Brother comes a-knockin' on your door wanting to steal your computer, you need a contingency plan.

This informative little sticker will help guide you towards the quickest methodology of seriously damaging your laptop hard drive during that moment of urgency.

Step 1: Print

First of all, you will need to download one of these contingency plan sticker files. I recommend printing a full sheet and sharing them with friends and family:
single sticker
full sheet

Print out the file onto transparent adhesive full sheet labels.

Step 2: Cut

Cut your sticker to size.

Step 3: Research

Research the build of your laptop and locate the position of your hard drive. You can use iFixit teardowns to locate the position of your hard drive in most popular laptop makes and models. The hard drive should look like a rectangular box with a centered circle somewhere upon it. In this case, it is in the bottom left corner.

(above photo courtesy of

Step 4: Affix

Affix the sticker to your laptop such that the circular drill guide is positioned above your hard drive, but slightly off from the hard drive's center. If you center it above where the hard drive should be, you might accidentally drill through the drive's motor instead of the platters.

Step 5: Drill (last Resort)

If need be, and you are in a hurry, you can drill through the marked spot with a 1/4" drill bit. If you have a minute on your hands, you may want to consider drilling an 1/8" pilot hole and following up with a larger 3/8" hole. If you have a couple of minutes on your hand, you may want to drill multiple holes.

Possible, alternate methods include sawing through the center of the sticker with a Sawzall or angle grinder.

*** Republished with my own permission from F.A.T. ***