Hard Drive Wiping

Secure hard drive wiping services

When you format a hard drive, the data isn’t really gone. Traces of your sensitive data can easily be recovered and used by cybercriminals and identity thieves. Secure hard drive wiping, on the other hand, repeatedly overwrites the data on the hard drive to ensure that it’s really gone. Unlike shredding or degaussing, secure hard drive wiping is non-destructive. The hard drive can be re-used or resold, without fear of your data being stolen or lost.

How does hard drive wiping work?

Data is stored on hard drives as bits — ones and zeroes. During the wiping process, the entire hard drive is overwritten several times with random patterns of ones and zeroes. This obliterates any trace of the data that was previously stored on the hard drive, making it unrecoverable even with advanced techniques.
Most importantly, the wipe must be verified. This involves reading back the entire disk to make sure it was completely overwritten. Otherwise, a software or hardware problem could mean that part of the data was left intact. This verification step is what distinguishes commercial hard drive wiping services from using free utilities like DBAN.

hard drive wiping
Is hard drive wiping the same as degaussing?

Degaussing involves using a powerful magnet to destroy the microscopic magnetic fields that store the data on hard drive platters. This can be done even if the drive’s interface no longer works. It can also be done more quickly than a multi-pass hard drive wipe.
The downside is that in most cases, degaussing renders the drive inoperable, meaning that it can’t be re-used or resold. So degaussing is used only for drives that have reached the end of their life and are destined for recycling.

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Does wiping work on all hard drives?

Hard drive wiping was originally designed for traditional magnetic hard drives, also known as “spinning platter” or “spinning disc” drives. Solid state drives store data using flash memory rather than magnetic platters. This kind of storage means that the random-overwrite method isn’t as reliable at destroying data. In fact, attempting to wipe a solid state drive with a free utility can leave most or all of the data intact and recoverable.
However, CyberCrunch has developed a proprietary system to both wipe solid state disks and verify that the data was destroyed. In fact, we are one of only 30 facilities in the country who are NAID AAA Certified to wipe solid state drives.
Our data destruction experts can help you to choose what destruction method is best for your particular needs. We offer a full suite of secure data disposal solutions, including secure hard drive wiping, shredding, and degaussing, as well as R2-certified responsible electronics recycling.

hard drive wiping

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