That hard drive definitely didn’t come out of that MacBook air. (Not unless Apple have created Tardis technology where the internal dimensions of a Gadget can exceed its external dimensions.)
As MacBook Air uses solid state drives (basically memory chips) its a bit absurd of the security services to have asked the Guardian newspaper to smash Edward Snowdon’s MacBook Air as all they needed to do was to do was to format.
Its a bit like smashing an iPhone to get rid of all your …MP3’s.
Even to say format is misleading as solid state drives can not be formatted in the true sense of the word as there are no discs inside on which to reset the carpet of 1’s and 0’s.. Better to say delete everything and then revert to factory condition.
In the old days of conventional hard drives recovering lost data was very easy. But accidentally delete it or lose it on a solid date drive then it is unrecoverable… as far as I know.
This is why it is important these days to give thought to backing up. The advent of cloud computing such as Dropbox, ICloud and OneDrive helps in this regard as providing you have an internet connection they are backing up files as you save them even allowing us to go back to earlier incarnations of artwork or webpages.
Also all the incremental versions of word files or spread sheets are there for us to go back to years later if we need to do so.
Thinking about it, Cloud computing really does create problems for the security services though and makes smashing nice gadgets and Apple notebooks even more crazy as the data is probably on the cloud somewhere in an aliased account and they cant go smashing clouds.