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Data Destruction
Data Destruction Removal




There are basically 3 ways to eliminate information from a hard drive (sanitizing a hard drive):

For the non-techie, the basic file deletion provided by the O/S does not actually remove the data from the hard drive. Data pointers and file locations are the only information deleted. There are several methods and software programs available that can "un-delete" these types of files. So the only really secure method is to completely remove the data from the hard drive.

1) Overwriting a hard drive is probably the solution that this particular user is interested in, since they wish someone to re-use the hard drive. There are several free, shareware, commercial products, and even services that can provide this option. The basic concept is that the entire hard drive is re-written with useless or random information over every track and sector. This is not absolutely reliable, as I understand there is now even methods that allow a forensic search of a hard drive allowing information that has been overwritten several times to still be recovered.

2)De-gaussing (de-magnetizing) is also a way to magnetically destroy data on hard drives. This takes a De-gaussing machine, which the general public does not usually have immediate access to. There are service companies that can perform this function for you, and are often used by commercial enterprises when they have multiple hard drives to purge. Unfortunately, degaussing can often render a hard drive unusable, if the demagnetizing affects the spindle motor or eliminates the timing tracks on the hard drive.

3)Destruction is fairly obvious. The hard drive is physically destroyed (smashing the platters or rendering them magnetically useless, which eliminates all data, but also eliminates the hard drive from any future use!

The only absolutely safe method is physical destruction. If the user has ANY reservations about someone finding their data on a hard drive and considering the reasonably inexpensive replacement cost of a hard drive. (information found at cnet)

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Last modified: 11/08/15