How to Securely Erase Hard Drives (HDD) and Solid State Drives (SSDs) in 2016

Information security is top priority for most of us. Being the victim of a data breach or identity theft is a costly problem that can be avoided when using the right tools. The firm Blancco Technology Group did an interesting analysis of second hand hard drives and SSDs. In Balancco’s study “The Leftovers: A Data […]

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Information security is top priority for most of us. Being the victim of a data breach or identity theft is a costly problem that can be avoided when using the right tools. The firm Blancco Technology Group did an interesting analysis of second hand hard drives and SSDs. In Balancco’s study “The Leftovers: A Data Recovery Study,” they found that out of the 200 hundred second hand HDDs and SSDs, 67% contained pemaersonally identifiable information and another 11% contained sensitive company information.

These second hand drives were not purchases from arbritrary places, they could have been purchases from ordinary places like Amazon, eBay, Craigslist and the like.  To help you with this huge issue, we are going to explain the minimum level of security you should take when disposing or selling storage devices.

HDD

There are three effective ways of securely erasing your HDDs.

Software is often times the most used method for erasing hard disks. The process however is not fast and one needs to be very mindful not to accidently delete data on the computer operating the eraser. Darik’s Boot and Nuke is an excellent tool for erasing HDDs. Be aware that this software works specifically for hard disks and does not work as effectively for SSDs. This software is downloaded and installed on a bootable device such as a CD, DVD, or bootable USB. Once installed, the computer used to erase the HDDs will need to be booted from the bootable device.

The interface is relatively intuitive and there is an excellent array of wipe methods including DOD 5220.22-M and Gutmann Wipe. The one thing that you need to be very careful about is to only wipe the data from the targeted hard disk. If you are using your personal computer you will see in production hard disks along with the targeted one. To avoid this confusion it might be best to just unplug the non-target hard drive. Additionally, because the process is long, it might be best to use an old PC so that your current PC is not unusable.

Hard Drive Data Erase Software

Hardware is another method used to erase hard drives. This method is easier than the one previously mentioned. Users simply purchase a device that connects to your hard disk and run through the process. WiebeTech Drive eRazer Ultra is a very simple tool that is reliable and effective. This device costs you about 250. It has the added benefit of being faster than the previously mentioned software and is generally easier to use.

Hard Drive Data Erase Hardware

Destruction of disks is the most effective way of guaranteeing information is irretrievable. None of the previously mentioned methods guarantee that they will work on hard disks that are defective. Companies like WEBUYUSEDITEQUIPMENT.net will use equipment like shredders to streamline the process of destroying hard drives. However, for end users, another effective method is removing the platter from within the hard disk and puncturing/bending the platter with a nail and hammer. This guarantees that information is irretrievable. To be safe we recommend that you puncture the disk at least three times and bend the platter with a hammer.

Hammer Destruction Hard Drives Shred Destruction Hard Drives

SSDS

Wiping data on SSDs is significantly more complicated. One of the best ways to wipe data on SSDs is to head over to the manufactures website and use their recommend software for the task at hand. All major manufactures have their own propriety toolbox that works specifically with their SSDs.

Take a looks at the specific manufacturers documentation and once again be very mindful not to delete SSDs that are in production. Mess up and your relevant data will be lost forever. I am a heavy user of Samsung’s Magician software. The software is very intuitive, users just click through options much like installing software on a computer. We recommend that you read through the manufactures documentation and maybe watch a few YouTube videos until you feel comfortable with using the software. Here are a links to a few other manufacture software.

 

If your SSD is defective, once again the best method for securely eradicating your data is to destroy the SSD. This is a little trickier than a HDD because SSDs store information on a flash chip. Our company once again uses a specialized SSD shredder for this, but you can use a hammer and nail to puncture the storage chip on the SSD.

Let Us Help You

No matter what method you plan to use to secure your data, we highly recommend that you do the minimum requirement to securely erase your data. Many of you are looking to sell you hard drives and SSDs and the above options can be time consuming, sometimes costly, and very dangerous to your information if done incorrectly.

WEBUYUSEDITEQUIPMENT specialized in securing that your information is irretrievable. Depending on your need we will either securely wipe your data so that we can do the Eco-friendly approach to reuse your drives or we will completely shred your drive for a fee. We deal with Hard Drives and SSDs at high volume, this allows the process of securely eradicating data to be cost effect and easier.

If you are looking to sell your drives, we can pay for shipping and give you an excellent pay check based on current market value. When we are done we will give you a certificate of data destruction that shows you and your organization is completely compliant with regulatory agencies such as HIPPA and SOX. Fill out the form on the right to get a quick quote for your HDDs and SSDs.

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  1. Pingback: How to Sell Used Hard Drives - We Buy Used Hard Drives

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