Strongly held opinions about the proper method to wipe data from hard drives reflect bygone eras. Learn about disk wiping for modern platter hard drives, and securing data on solid-state drives.
Decommissioning systems for disposal or resale requires the secure deletion of data originally stored on the drives; however, the process of doing this is often based more in superstition than in science. These methods may have had some utility 20 years ago, but are not valid for newer drive formats.
Before moving forward, there are a few considerations to be mindful of in this inquiry.
- From a data security standpoint, destroying hard drives is preferable to wiping them. This is not always possible, and — depending on your level of precaution — you may want to wipe the drives before handing them off to a third party for destruction.
- The data on the drive should be encrypted to begin with, particularly on solid-state drives. Data recovery is basically impossible in cases where the drive data is encrypted.