How can I make sure data on old hard drives is erased before disposal?


I know that reformatting and deleting partitions doesn't really do the trick. Is there an straightforward way to make sure the data can't be recovered before I get rid of old hard drives?

Topic: Security
Answer this Question


3 total
Vote Up (15)

You didn't say which operating system you are running. There are applications and/or built-in tools that should help you securely erase data on hard disks. I suggest doing a bit of searching for how to securely delete data, securely erase hard disk, etc. Just tailor your search to whatever operating system you are using.

Vote Up (11)

Make is easy on yourself and just use DBAN or KillDisk, that should do the trick.  Or have more fun with it, and treat it like the printer in Office Space.  I personally like to remove the HDDs and smash them with a hammer, but most of that is because I think it's fun; unless you have sensitive data on your drives, I don't know that physical destruction is really necessary. Some agencies actually use industrial shredders to physically destroy the disks, so I like to claim that I'm doing everyone a favor by busting them up by hand. :)

donald minnaar
Vote Up (6)

Ask a question

Join Now or Sign In to ask a question.
Based on data gathered over the first six months of 2014, security researchers from IBM X-Force predict that the number of publicly reported vulnerabilities will drop to under 8,000 this year, a first since 2011.
Some visitors to several high-profile websites last week were redirected to browser exploits that installed malware on their computers because of malicious advertisements on those sites.
Netflix has released three internal tools it uses to catch hints on the Web that hackers might target its services.
This vendor-written tech primer has been edited by Network World to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favor the submitter's approach
McAfee, part of Intel Security, has made improvements to its Server Security Suites portfolio with the introduction of performance optimisation and additional management efficiency to increase security for servers in physical, virtualised and Cloud environments.
The cybercriminal gang behind the Kelihos botnet is tricking users into installing malware on their computers by appealing to pro-Russian sentiments stoked by recent international sanctions against the country.
Future versions of the Firefox OS mobile platform will allow users to control application-specific permissions, a feature with both privacy and security benefits that's missing on Android.
A line of routers from a China-based manufacturer has a serious flaw that could allow a hacker to monitor someone's Internet traffic, according to research from Trend Micro.
Smartphones sold in California will soon be required to have a kill switch that lets users remotely lock them and wipe them of data in the event they are lost or stolen.
The U.S. National Security Agency built a "Google-like" search engine to give domestic and international government agencies access to details of billions of calls, texts and instant messages sent by millions of people, according to The Intercept.
Join us: