You think you deleted the information on your hard drive. But, without taking the proper steps, the information you thought was erased can easily be recovered. Wipe your hard drive clean so your secure information is truly destroyed and gone forever.
How to Wipe a Hard Drive Clean
A hard drive is about the size of a paperback book. But this small piece of hardware stores the bulk of the information on your computer, such as the operating systems, software titles, and a majority of files. While your computer is your computer, it is important for your hard drive to keep this information securely over a long period of time.
Although, when you need to transfer the computer to someone else, you want to wipe the hard drive clean. For instance, businesses keep many computers within the company. When employees leave and computers are passed to someone new, hard drives usually need to be wiped. The computer needs to appear as though no one else has ever used it.
For personal computers, it is important to wipe the hard drive clean before selling it. Sensitive information, if not completely wiped from the hard drive, can easily be recovered by whoever buys your computer.
3 Surefire Ways to Completely Erase a Hard Drive
1. Data Destruction Software
This is the easiest way to wipe your hard drive clean. The internet is full of inexpensive (or even free) software you can download on your computer. You’ll be able to follow simple prompts and feel confident the information is truly gone. Use this method if you want to keep the hard drive for the next user.
You can also erase a hard drive with a degausser. A degausser disrupts the magnetic domains on the drive, essentially reversing the process by which drives store information. Degaussing wands cost about $500. They are extremely effective but can introduce a higher possibility for human error than data destruction software.
3. Physical Destruction
If you want the information on a hard drive gone and are not concerned about the next user, you can simply destroy the drive itself. You cannot recover data from a hard drive that is no longer a hard drive. Nail or drill through the hard drive several times to make the drive unreadable and the information unrecoverable.
A Few Words of Warning
Once it is gone, it is gone for good. You want to wipe your hard drive clean because you want the information on it to be gone forever. If done correctly, the information on your hard drive will not be recoverable by anyone. This includes you.
Back it up! Look through your hard drive thoroughly. The hard drive holds a bulk of your computer’s information and it is likely you want to keep some of the information stored on another drive. Move personal files (including photos, music, and projects), software, and anything else you want to keep to a secure drive.
Again, once the information is wiped from your hard drive is gone forever and will no longer be able to be recovered.