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Home » Resources » How to Wipe a Hard Drive Completely: Erase it!
There are many reasons why organizations need to wipe hard drives. Whether you want to repurpose the drives, resell them or completely remove the data before you physically destroy them, complete data removal is key to achieving data sanitization.
After following these steps, you can feel confident that the data is gone for good, and you’ve achieved data sanitization. Why is this the case?
You may already know that deleting data doesn’t completely remove that data; it only “hides” the data on a storage device. Until the data has been overwritten, it remains easily recoverable. So, if deleting isn’t how you completely remove data, you should wipe that data instead, right?
Wrong. Data wiping doesn’t achieve true data sanitization because it doesn’t include verification that the data is gone. To truly achieve data sanitization of drives, you must invest in software-based data erasure, physical destruction and/or verified cryptographic erasure.
The term data wiping is often used interchangeably with data erasure; however, there are core differences. Data wiping is the software-based method of overwriting data without verification that the software was successful in overwriting to all sectors of the storage device, and does not produce a certified report. Unlike data erasure, data wiping does not follow any erasure standards and does not offer any proof that the data is unrecoverable. Therefore, this method is not considered as an approved method for data sanitization.
Data erasure is the software-based method of securely overwriting data from any data storage device using zeros and ones onto all sectors of the device. By overwriting the data on the storage device, verifying the data has been erased and certifying that erasure with an erasure report, the data is rendered unrecoverable and achieves data sanitization.