Erasing old hard drives

Jaguar57

New Member
I have a stack of old hard drives we pulled from retired computers we have gotten rid of. I am looking to dispose of those hard drives at a pc recycler location that takes back old hard drives for recycling (they are shredded and the metal sorted).

I would still like to wipe/erase the hard drives before I send them to be recycled as just another level of protection. Most of them had XP installed on them. I tried connecting one up to a computer just to erase however it ran into a bunch of files it could not access due to permissions. And then just browsing the drive it still had information on it.

Just curious what the best practice would be to erase/blank hard drives using this software. Would a quick drive format and then an erase of unused disk space be the best way or can I just do this directly from the program and avoid the permission errors.

Thanks.
 

DavidHB

Active Member
There are at least 2 options.

If the drives are still in computers, it is worth looking at the companion forum for Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN). Download and burn the ISO, boot from the disk in each computer, and nuke it before dismantling.

If the drives are lying loose, get one or more caddies (there are clever ones on the market these days, for SATA drives, where you just drop the drive in a slot), mount the drive, then, I agree, do a quick format before running Eraser to stop Windows getting the wrong idea. Normally, with secondary or external drives, the folders that cause trouble are System Volume information and Recycled. When you do the wipe, disable the option to erase cluster tips, as there shouldn't be any. After that, you can ignore any errors that still crop up; there shouldn't be any, but you never know ...

Hope that helps.

David
 

Jaguar57

New Member
Thanks David... Ill give that Boot and Nuke software a try too.
 

wright260

New Member
You could also look up a data destruction service to degauss your hard drives for you. The degausser uses powerful magnets to completely remove all data from being recovered. Some of these companies can also provide a legal certificate of destruction. Data Killers near Washington DC can also send you cases to ship your hard drives in for degaussing and destruction, or just google "hard drive destruction" and pick a company that offers degaussing.
 

DavidHB

Active Member
Degaussing will arguably destroy the data more effectively than any software, not least because it makes the drive unusable - not a problem for the OP, but perhaps for others reading this thread. Also, the Degaussing service costs; Eraser and DBAN are free.

David
 

Joel

Active Member
It all depends on your threat level and your paranoia level I guess.
 

David Eend

New Member
I have a stack of old hard drives we pulled from retired computers we have gotten rid of. I am looking to dispose of those hard drives at a pc recycler location that takes back old hard drives for recycling (they are shredded and the metal sorted).

I would still like to wipe/erase the hard drives before I send them to be recycled as just another level of protection. Most of them had XP installed on them. I tried connecting one up to a computer just to erase however it ran into a bunch of files it could not access due to permissions. And then just browsing the drive it still had information on it.

Just curious what the best practice would be to erase/blank hard drives using this software. Would a quick drive format and then an erase of unused disk space be the best way or can I just do this directly from the program and avoid the permission errors.

Thanks.
If you are taking it to a NAID certified company, they should be able to provide complete 100% data destruction services, to include wiping using software. Google your local electronics recycler and look for certifications like NAID & R2.
 

anthony34

Member
if the recycler totally shred it, then no worry just give them as it is, if you have some ambiguity about data protection use ghost ISO to flash your hard drives.
 
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