4 Steps to Completely Erase a Hard Drive

Aug 08, 2017 Technical Article

There are many ways to remove data from a hard drive—but only one way to completely erase one. Whether you choose physical destruction, degaussing, wiping, erasure or another method is up to you, but some methods are more effective than others. To completely erase a hard drive, there are four steps you must take, including: choosing a standard, overwriting the data, verifying the overwrite and obtaining a tamper-proof certificate to prove the erasure was successful.

4 Steps to Completely Erase a Hard Drive with Data Erasure Software:

  1. Choose a specific data erasure standard, based on your industry and organization’s unique needs.
  2. Follow the software’s directions to securely overwrite data from the device.
  3. The software will verify the overwriting methodology has been successful and removed data across the entire device, or target data (if specifically called).
  4. The software will create a tamper-proof certificate proving that the erasure has been successful and written to all sectors of the device, along with information about the device and standard used.

Once the erasure, verification and certification are complete, you have achieved data sanitization and completely erased your hard drive.

Data Erasure: Completely Erase a Hard Drive

Data erasure is defined as the software-based method of securely overwriting data from any data storage device using zeros and ones onto all sectors of the device. This process renders the data unrecoverable and achieves data sanitization.

Data erasure software is one of the ways to achieve data sanitization, due to the validation process to ensure the data was successfully overwritten and the auditable reporting it produces. As an added benefit organizations save money and protect the environment because they’re able to reuse or resale devices after secure erasure.

Think Reformatting is Effective?

Think again. Reformatting is one popular way to erase a hard drive, but unfortunately, it can leave data behind. Reformatting is performed on a working disk drive to eliminate its contents. Following a reformat, some or most of the data can be recoverable with forensics tools available online. Following the four steps above is the only way to ensure data sanitization.

To get started completely wiping your hard drives, sign up for a free data erasure trial for enterprise organizations.

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