How to Erase and Rewrite a Hard Drive

hard drive degausser


Don’t just throw your hard drive away!

The hard drive in your computer has valuable personal and/or business data on it that can compromise your identity or the identity of other people. The last thing that you want is getting your bank account info or your social security number stolen.

We are going to discuss an easy way to protect yourself from personal data theft.

This method isn’t the end-all-be-all method, however, it is a great precautionary method for securing your personal data.

Preventing data recovery 

When it comes to data destruction, one should look into wiping information off a hard disk to the point where data recovery will be impossible. This is very useful if you’re looking to sell your computer or pass it on to somebody else. Take caution when it comes to top secret or confidential information. 

Now if you’re looking to dispose your hard drive, then you’d be much better off destroying it. The free program is known as Deep End, which stands for Derek’s Boot and Nuke. It is about 15MB in size, and you can boot it from a flash drive or from a CD. Just as the namesake, the program nukes the hard drive and gets rid of all the data, forever. 

Deleted hard drives can still be recovered. When you delete a file on your hard drive, the operating system deletes the pointer, which tells the operating system where the data begins and ends of the deleted data. From our point of view, the file is no longer there. And what space it used to occupy is now considered free space. However until the operating system actually writes new data on the sectors that the deleted data previously occupied, the file will still be recoverable. 

Degauss a hard drive 

DBAN uses various methods for data destruction. As for the length of the wiping, it depends on the size of the hard drive. For a 500 gigabyte hard drive, it takes about five hours to completely wipe the hard drive, using the DoD short auto nuke method. However, if you have a lot of hard drives to erase, this method would be too inefficient. 

An efficient way where one can erase a hard drive is by investing in a degaussing machine or data destruction equipment. Whitaker Brothers offer various types of degaussers that strip hard drives of their data so that you can ensure your sensitive information is completely erased. 

A portable degausser, such as our Proton 1100 Degaussing Wand would erase hard drives to a forensically irrecoverable state. It also falls under one of the NSA listed degaussers. The wand’s powerful magnetic circuit erases magnetic information stored on disk drives, disk packs, and any magnetic media with a flat surface. Additionally, our 105 Hard Drive Degausser is also NSA approved, with an erasure cycle time of 45-60 seconds. 




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