How do I permanently remove data from hard disk so that it can not be recovered by any software?

Kashif Maqsood August 23, 2012
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I am planning to sell my old PC (Core 2 Duo) and buying a new one (Core i7). There is a lot of personal data stored on my hard disk. Even if I delete the data or format the hard disk, I know there are certain recovery softwares or other techniques which can recover the deleted data.

So I want to know if there is any way that I can permanently delete the data stored in the hard disk before selling the PC so that it can not be recovered later by any means?

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  1. maria
    January 23, 2013 at 2:38 am

    wipe the disk with 3rd party partition wizard.
    then no one,
    no software,
    can recover the data.

  2. Alex Perkins
    September 14, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Do a zero fill pass multiple times, I think the standard for the FBI and military is no fewer than 11 passes!

  3. TC Dixon
    September 8, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    The only tool I use is a hammer,I don't believe that there is any software that I would trust to permanently clean a drive.Why take a chance.

  4. rama moorthy
    September 3, 2012 at 1:48 pm
  5. cypherinfo
    September 2, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Help, talking about the best of the best (commercial) I'd suggest you: EST-tec eraser 2012; it is able to erase data beyond any hardware recovery! I mean that rely on wave shape.

    Thank you.

  6. Amit Sinha
    August 31, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    The best way is to use hard disk shredder software which deletes all the files and make it impossible to be recovered by any software.

    Search on Google for shredder software

  7. Tony Batty
    August 30, 2012 at 5:08 am

    Their is no fool proof way of doing this, best you just sell the system without HDD, their are too many softwares that will still recover the info from a drive, even after using these so-called zero formats or HDD erasers.

  8. Irshaad Abdool
    August 29, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Use CCleaner to permanently wipe data beyond recovery

  9. April Eum
    August 27, 2012 at 5:12 am

    you can try a hd shredder but like you said, they don't exactly wipe out everything, but my best guess is to do a complete factory restore on your computer. i guess it depends on which pc you're using, but most of the time, continuously pressing F8 when starting up will boot you up to a repair screen where you can manage to restore to factory (stock) state. it's safest and most secure way. it's like turning on a new computer, you have to set up wireless network, name your computer etc.

  10. sanjay_addya
    August 25, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Use a zero-fill software to erase the complete hard drive or use Darik's Boot and Nuke Software http://www.dban.org/ to permanently erase the hard drive

  11. Ben Mordecai
    August 25, 2012 at 2:33 am

    Agreed: use Darik's Boot and Nuke

  12. Abdallah Hodieb
    August 24, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Ubunu Has built in tools for shredding files / hard Disks
    http://www.ubuntugeek.com/tools-to-delete-files-securely-in-ubuntu-linux.html

  13. Frederick Doe
    August 23, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    I would recommend using the Ultimate Boot CD (http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/). It's free and doesn't require any special software to run. Just burn it to a CD, boot from the CD, and navigate to a wiping program.

  14. fatihamzah
    August 23, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Use File Shredder in IObit Advance Systemcare

    http://iobit.com

  15. Uncle Vasja
    August 23, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    In short, to guarantee reliable data erasure, it is necessary to overwrite the other (garbage) data, and sector by sector.
    This can be done with many different simple techniques. In severe paranoia, you can use any of a class of programs eraser / wiper, which will be overwritten by a special algorithm (US DoD 5220.22-M, Peter Gutmann alg, .. etc.)
    For example - free DBAN

  16. Mike
    August 23, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    First I would try to perform an ATA secure erase which not only deletes readable parts but also old sectors that have been reallocated.

    E.g. Parted Magic has a wipe program that can perform an ATA secure erase assuming it is supported by the hard disc.
    http://partedmagic.com

    Another secure way is to simple overwrite the entire drive with a single pass or better two single passes with random data.

    The chances of recovering data after an (successful) overwrite is close to none. At best they can read some data of old sectors that have been reallocated which on their own don't represent any usable data.

  17. GrrGrrr
    August 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Go through this MUO article-5 Tools To Permanently Delete Sensitive Data From Your Hard Drive [Windows]
    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/5-tools-permanently-delete-sensitive-data-hard-drive-windows/

  18. kutzcd
    August 23, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    WipeDrive is what my Enterprise corporation uses. We have to maintain certain security measures for legal and client reasons. It allows for DoD level wipes. I guess no service is perfect, but it's good enough for our purposes.

    http://www.whitecanyon.com/wipedrive-erase-hard-drive.php

  19. Sebastian Hadinata
    August 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Some more options for you: :3

    Secure Wipe
    File Shredder
    Free File Wiper

    • Sebastian Hadinata
      August 23, 2012 at 2:36 pm

      To erase your entire HDD you can use this: HDShredder

  20. Suman Acharya
    August 23, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    cleaning a drive completely is very difficult. (technically) a solid wipe of HDD writing zeroes to all the clusters still leaves a lot of recoverable data.

  21. Artur Wrona
    August 23, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    You can use one of many zero-fill application downloadable from the internet such as

    Killdisk
    http://killdisk.com/

    If you have Hirens Boot CD, it contains HDD Erase v.4.0
    http://cmrr.ucsd.edu/people/Hughes/SecureErase.shtml

    There's Hard Drive wipe utility in CCleaner for Windows as well.
    http://www.piriform.com/docs/ccleaner/using-ccleaner/wiping-free-disk-space

    And of course you can always boot Ubuntu and run HDD Shred
    http://computersight.com/communication-networks/security/how-to-zero-a-hard-drive-in-linux-using-shred/

    If you live nearby LHC/MagLev/Supertransistor use theirs magnetic field to wreck havoc on your drive ;)

  22. Dalsan
    August 23, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    You can use this: http://www.dban.org/ Darik's Boot and Nuke works well for complete data destruction before selling or recycling computers and storage devices.

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