How to Erase a Hard Disk Drive Permanently
A hard disk drive also known as hard drive or hard disk is a non-volatile storage
device, which has the facility to stock up digitally encoded data on rapidly rotating
platters and magnetic surfaces. Its design consists of a spindle which can hold one or
more flat circular disks known as platters, onto which the data is recorded. It has the
ability to store data more than floppy disk drives and can also access and transmit data
at faster pace. Today, the boost in disk space and access speeds of hard disk drive have
further facilitated the marketable viability of clients products that need great storage
capacities, like digital audio players and video recorders.
However, the main problem that we are coming across is erasing data or files from hard
disk permanently. Most of us think that erasing files and emptying the Recycle Bin will
help in permanently get rid of those files. In fact, in most of the cases Recycle Bin
tells that emptying the Recycle Bin will permanently remove items. But this statement is
You have to understand even after emptying the Recycle Bin, the files can be easily
recovered by data recovery programs. Making the best use of delete key on actually removes
the shortcuts to the files and makes them undetectable to users. Deleted files still
reside on the hard drive and a rapid Google search will automatically show options for
system recovery software will further allow to restore that data.
Apart from erasing the files or data from hard drive, many people also consider that
the effective way to erase hard drive data is by formatting the hard drive. Though
formatting the hard drive is somewhat secure than just erasing the files, but you should
also note that formatting a disk does erase only the address tables. It makes it much more
difficult to recover the files. However a computer specialist would be able to recover
most or all the data that was on the disk before the reformat.
Disk Wiping is the next new technique that is gaining its popularity these days. Disk
wiping is a new secure method and ensure that data, including individually licensed
softwares on your computer and storage devices is irrecoverably deleted before recycling.
Disk wiping is better method in comparison to erasing files or formatting the hard drive,
because this method basically overwrites your entire hard drive with data, several times
and once you format your hard drive, you may find it impossible to get back the data which
was present on the drive before the overwrite.
Though disk wiping algorithms vary from product to product, they usually write the
entire disk with a number (zero or one) and then a reformat is required. Today, there are
many products available in the market that you can purchase or download to perform secure
disk wipes. Moreover, the two free programs that are gaining recognition for erasing
data from your hard drive are:
1. Darik's Boot and Nuke: This is an
application that you can install on a bootable floppy or CD Rom. Boot and Nuke uses
several methods to wipe the data on your drive to an unrecoverable state. With the
facility to delete the contents of any hard disk that it detects, makes this applicatio
a suitable utility for urgent situation data destruction.
2. Eraser: This
is next famous software and does a great work of cleaning your hard drive by removing
all magnetic and solid state memory. It is an advanced security tool, which further
allows you to entirely remove sensitive data by overwriting it several times with
carefully selected patterns.
Now once one of these procedures is completed the drive is ready to be given away
without fear of privacy invasion or fraud. These tools provide full confidence about your
deleted sensitive personal information that is unrecoverable. In addition to this it also
provide easy to comprehend and secure and affable graphical user interface GUI for
permanent data removal.
Finally if you are still uncertain or want to ensure that deleted files are permanently
gone, employ a file deletion management system. Today there are many file deletion
programs designed to spot and permanently purge your computer of previously deleted files.
These solutions initially scan a computer, find traces of previously erased data and
finally remove discarded data including e-mail messages.
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