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How to securely wipe a hard drive for disposal

If you’re upgrading your business storage to SSD or NVMe, or buying larger drives, ensuring no data is left on your old ones is paramount. After several incidences of big name companies accidentally letting go of confidential data, securely wiping hard drives is now one of the many security processes every business needs to embrace.

If you’re running a startup or new business, New Jersey Computer Help are your one-stop shop for onsite computer repair, support and expertise.

Wipe a hard drive

When you ask people to walk you through wiping a hard drive they will usually say, remove all your data, select Format and wait for it to finish. Doing that could be a mistake. The data is still present. All a format does is remove the index link telling Windows what data is stored where. Mac is more secure but it takes just minutes to recover data from a formatted drive with the right tools.

New Jersey Computer Help performs data recovery all the time from both Windows and Mac so we know only too well that data is definitely retrievable when you know how!

If you’re selling, giving away or trashing old hard drives, a format is not enough.

Use DBAN to securely wipe a hard drive

DBAN, Darik’s Boot And Nuke, is the most reliable way to securely wipe a hard drive for the home user. It has the same power as very expensive data security programs yet is free and open source. All you need to do is download DBAN and burn it to a DVD or USB drive. Then you boot your computer from that DVD or USB and follow the instructions.

  1. Back up any data you don’t want wiped.
  2. Download DBAN and burn it to a DVD or a USB drive.
  3. Disconnect any other hard drives that you don’t want to risk accidentally wiping.
  4. Boot your computer from the DBAN media.
  5. Press Enter at the blue DBAN screen to load into interactive mode.
  6. Select the drive you want to wipe from the list.
  7. Double check you have the right hard drive just to make sure.
  8. Select F10 to begin the wipe process.
  9. Wait for the black Pass screen to signify completion.

Once done, your drive will be safe to dispose of in any way you see fit. If you work in a secure industry and are trashing the drive, breaking it with a hammer may seem over the top but is an extra element of security that can make sense.

If this sounds too complicated or would take too much time, New Jersey Computer Help can do it for you. We visit your premises and perform secure data wipes on any system you use. All for a sensible price. Contact us today to learn more!

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