What are three ways to wipe a hard drive?


Quick Answer

The three most effective ways to wipe a hard drive include erasing the hard drive with data-destruction software, using a degausser and using file-shredder software. Aside from these methods, a more cost-effective alternative involves physically destroying the hard drive. This is the only method that guarantees the data on a hard drive is absolutely unusable.

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Full Answer

Using data-destruction software is the easiest method of erasing data from the hard drive. This type of software is also known as hard-drive eraser software. Data-destruction software is designed to overwrite data on the hard drive using a specific method that makes extracting data nearly impossible.

Using a degausser to erase the hard drive is a method that permanently deletes the data on the hard drive by disrupting the hard drive���s magnetic domains. Disrupting these domains disrupts the way the hard drive physically stores data. Degaussers are available as wands and as individual pieces of equipment; however, both options are expensive.

File-shredder software is an effective way to guarantee that deleted files are actually unavailable. File-shredder software has the ability to destroy individual files on a hard drive on as-needed basis. Most shredder programs also perform a free-space wipe that is useful for wiping all the available free space on the hard drive after other specific files have been deleted.

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