Updated: Sep 04, 2019

How Much Data Is Left On A Computer Without A Wipe Tool?

Why Does Data Remain?
Data is stored on your hard drive in blocks. Each block has an address.

Files are an address to a particular block of data or sequence of blocks

When You Delete A File:

  • The address associated with the file is now freed
  • That means the file system is allowed to write new data to these addresses.
  • However, to save time, it doesn't actually remove the old data.
  • It may write over the old data later, but only if it needs to

How Much Data Is Left?

  • Until the data is overwritten, all of it remains on the hard drive at the same address.
  • To read that data again, all you need is software that accesses the residual blocks directly at that address.

How Long Does The Old Data Remain?

  • Size of the drive - If there is enough empty space available, most hard drives will write to that instead of overwriting old data.
  • Usage of the drive - Frequent use of smaller files makes overwriting the old data statistically more likely over time.

Sensitive Data That Can Remain:

  • Identifiying Information
  • Customer Databases
  • Passwords
  • Business Intelligence
  • Intellectual Property
  • Trade Secrets

How To Make Data Unrecoverable

WIPING
How it works: Old data is specifically overwritten with a random dymmy sequence or sequence of zeros.
Note: Several passes may be required to ensure no trace of data is left
Is hard drive usable again? Yes

SHREDDING
How it works: Hard drive is mechanically destroyed in a purpose-built shredding unit
Note: Without wiping first, some data could still be recoverable from drive fragments
Is hard drive usable again? Note

DEGAUSSING
How it works: Hard drive is run through a strong magnet field to destroy data
Note: Only works on magnetic drives and not newer technology like Solid-State Drives (SSDs).
Is hard drive usable again? No

If It's Not Wiped, It's Not Safe

Whether you're a personal user, small business, or vast multinational, the new information age means you can't afford to cut corners on data security. WipeDrive is fast, flexible, and the most highly certified secure wiping software on the market. Find a solution that works for you at www.WhiteCanyon.com