Completely Erase Storage Drives For Security

No matter how you're getting rid of a computer or external drive, you want all your data removed from it, because identity thieves love laziness. MaximumPC details the best ways to wipe down a hard drive, SSD or USB drive.

The editors at MaximumPC break down the reasoning, technical details and best practices for properly erasing everything from every nook and cranny of desktop, laptops, spare drives and anything else that runs on magnetic disks or solid-state memory. Jason has previously detailed the physical means of erasing media, but MaximumPC's guide, posted at our sister site Gizmodo, offers a lot of options for those of different technical savvy levels, and, more importantly, leaves the drives intact for future use.

When you're getting rid of a drive, how do you wipe it clean and prep it for new use? Let us know in the comments.

Leave No Trace: How to Completely Erase Your Hard Drives, SSDs and Thumb Drives [Gizmodo]


    I normally just use shred. The number of passes depends on the size of the HDD and the amount of patience I have on the day.

    Overwriting once with zeros is enough for HDDs.

    Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN)

    The only free ones I know are: Dban, [email protected] Killdisk and CopyWipe.
    There are plenty of non-free ones. My preference is BCWipe. I've listed a number of non-free ones, 14(!), here:

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