HarddriveDo you have a pile of laptops or desktop computers gathering dust in your home that you want to throw out, but are worried about somebody accessing your confidential information?

Many of our clients have been asking us if there is an easy way to securely erase their old information, so they can dispose of their old computers safely. This is for more than just malware removal, this could be because your hard drive has failed, or a computer repair isn’t feasible, or you’ve just upgraded. No matter what the reason, getting rid of your private information safely is vital.

If you truly want to erase a hard drive completely, it is not as simple as deleting all your files into the recycle bin. To truly erase your hard drive you have to take some extra steps. This guide will show you the 3 best ways to erase your hard drives.

1. Erase Your Hard Drive with Software

SoftwareThe cheapest way to securely wipe your old hard drives is to use special software. My choice for wiping drives is Darik’s Boot and Nuke (also known as DBAN). It’s free and provides military grade levels of wiping.

To use DBAN you need to download it here: http://www.dban.org and burn it to a blank DVD.

The next step is to get the computer to boot from the DBAN DVD and select your wiping method. You can select a basic wipe or a full military grade wipe, which can take anywhere from 2-8 hours depending on the size of the hard drive. After the process is started, you will see a status bar that indicates how much time is remaining. You could even leave the computer overnight to wipe, as the entire process is automatic.

2. Erase Your Hard Drive with Hardware

Wiebetech’s Drive eRazor UltraIf the software approach isn’t right for you, there is a special tool called Wiebetech’s Drive eRazor Ultra that will do the job.

This is a much faster option, than using software for hard drive wiping, and great if you have numerous hard drives that require wiping.

What you will need to do is remove any old hard drives from inside your computer and plug them straight into the Drive eRazor. Then all you have to do is push a few buttons and the whole wiping process will be automatic. Status lights on the unit will show when it’s finished.

If you would like to purchase the Drive eRazor please give us a call, as we get them directly through the Australia distributor in Port Melbourne. You can read more about the unit here: Wiebetech’s Drive eRazor Ultra.

3. Erase Your Hard Drive with Physical Destruction

Physical DestructionSometimes an old hard drive has physical errors which prevent the above two methods from completing successfully. If this is the case, a more hands-on method is appropriate.

This is where you use a hammer, a thick nail and a block of wood (and some eye protection for safety). Your goal is to use four nails, and punch them right through the hard drive. This will damage the hard drives internals and make the ability to recovery data impossible.

Need Help?

If you would like to securely erase all your confidential information please give us a ring on 1300 553 166 or fill out the form on the right, we’d be more than happy to help. Also when you call please mention this article so we can give you a FREE DVD copy of DBAN hard drive wiping software when we book you in.

To ensure the security of your new system, have a look at our tips on computer setup, and if you’re wanting to avoid the destruction of onboard hard drives, check out how to set up nas storage.