Wiping old hard disks
Question : I have an
old hard disk which I've not used for a long time but before I send it to be
recycled I want to make sure all the data is wiped out. Any idea where I can
get this done ?
You certainly have reason to be cautious. In a 2005 study, a
British research team bought 100 hard disks off eBay and found
half of them still contained sensitive information, including
insurance records, biographical information about children, and
even "blackmail material" such as details of sex sites visited
Assuming you still have a floppy drive, or a computer that supports
booting from USB Flash drives, a good solution would be Darik's Boot and
Nuke ( DBAN ) -- an open-source program which securely wipes the hard
disks of most computers.
It can be found at
http://dban.sourceforge.net. The program creates a bootable floppy disk
or USB Flash drive which will then load a wipe program which can be used on
any hard disk connected to the computer.
Of course, you'd want to lock up or erase the DBAN floppy disk
after you're done because this is a powerful utility.
The author also provides steps for creating a bootable CD. Be sure to
read the FAQ at