There are certain things you should not do if you decided to replace or sell your hard drive mainly because people might get a hand on your valuable information stored on your disk even if you formatted you hard disk.
- Don’t just delete all your data and empty the recycle bin
- Don’t just format your hard drive
- Don’t just format and reinstall your Windows or other operating system
Formatting your hard drive doesn’t mean that all the files inside your drive is gone. When a file or files is deleted, the FAT or MFT tells your computer that there is a available space on the hard drive, however the actual files is not really removed from your drive until it is overwritten with a new data. This is also the reason why it is still possible to recover your deleted files even if it is emptied on your recycle bin or even if your hard drive is formatted using a software recovery tool.
Below are the procedures that you can use to erase or destroy your data so the average individual won’t be able to recover anything from your computer hard drive.
Use Wipe Utilities
You can use wiping utilities to completely erase all your data on your hard drive and to prevent data from being recovered. I recommend the following free tools to sanitize or wipe your hard drive of information:
Use this tools if you plan on giving your computer away, selling it, or otherwise disposing of it, please destroy the data on it by using one of the above wiping utilities.
Degauss your Hard Drive
This is a very effective step but very expensive. The degaussing process uses a magnetic field device to scramble all the electronic data on your hard drive to make it unreadable. Unfortunately degaussing machines are very expensive, this is also a not realistic purchase for the average consumer. But you can send your hard drive to a company that provides degaussing services for only a few dollars. this is a wise step if your security is very important.
Physically Destroy your Hard Drive
This is bay far the most effective method. Anyone can do this even a the average person that wants to ensure full security on their data. However, this is a dangerous method that is not recommended to everyone. If you decided to use this method you must perform all the safety precautions, to safely do this please wear any protectective glasses and gears, also wrap the hard drive in a towel so parts will fly off and prevent to do anymore damages.
If someone tells you such as a computer store staff, consultant, technician that your hard drive is crashed, unusable and all the data are unrecoverable, ask them to return to you the original drive so you can physically dispose it to ensure your security.