How Do I Delete Hard Drive Data Permanently?
Why Delete Hard Drive Data?
When you tell Windows to "delete" a file, it does not actually remove the file from your computer. Instead, it deletes the file's "address" on the drive, meaning that the file is still on your hard drive and that someone could find it if they knew how to look. By sending something to the Recycle Bin, or even by emptying the Recycle Bin, Windows only removes the address to where the file itself is stored and will not actually delete hard drive data.
Now that the file's address is gone, Windows recognizes that location as available space to record your future data. Windows will then write over that location where the deleted file was saved. If Windows never gets to save to that location (Windows saves in an order starting with inside the disk to outside the disk), your data will still be there.
You may be thinking that people would still have a hard time finding your data when it is actually very easy. If you donated or got rid of your old computer in some way, the new owner just needs to remove the hard drive and place it as a secondary drive in his/her PC. Windows will reassign an address to the newly discovered hardware and display the data.
Formatting the hard drive does not remove the data. Most people do this to delete their hard drive data. The best way to delete hard drive data, without destroying the hard drive itself, is with WipeDrive. WipeDrive can read the hard drive and reset the magnetic strips to the original factory state and is the best tool with which to delete the hard drive data.
WipeDrive is the perfect tool for anyone who needs to:
- Wipe and erase hard drive data before selling or donating a computer.
- Wipe and erase the hard drive of all personal data before returning a computer to a company or employer.
- Wipe and erase the hard drive before discarding the computer to prevent identity theft.
- Completely wipe and erase a damaged operating system with possible hidden viruses.
If you are keeping your computer and operating system, but need to clean it up to improve performance, then check out SecureClean.
- Listed as an Approved Disk Sanitizing Tool by the U.S. Department of Defense.
- Wipe any size hard drive (IDE or SCSI).
- Contains optional command line parameters that enable the user to wipe hard drives from a DOS batch file.
- Permanently wipe out operating systems, program files, and all other file data on the drive.
- Wipe ALL data from your hard drive.
- Wipe all partition tables and drive formats, including FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, and Linux.
- Verify that your data has been wiped clean.
- View individual drive sectors.
- Option to create an audit log to capture verify and wipe hard drive events that can be imported into Microsoft Access® and Excel®.
WipeDrive is one of only five hard drive erasers in the world listed as approved by the US Department of Defense. Wipe hard drives at the DoD 5220.22-M standard featuring multiple overwrites with random characters. Major Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and users all over the world wipe hard drives with WipeDrive.
Simply insert the WipeDrive disk into the floppy or CD-ROM drive and restart your computer.
Answer "Yes" to the confirmation prompts to wipe your hard drive.
Verify that all data has been erased.