Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

What would you do? Wipe old hdd

  • Hard Drives
  • Formatting
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
August 13, 2008 7:12:33 PM

I have an old hdd that I am wanting to sell. I was wondering if anyone knew of some free programs I could use to wipe the hdd before I sell it? I thought about formatting, but didn't know how well that worked at getting rid of the old data.

Any thoughts?

More about : wipe hdd

August 13, 2008 7:47:23 PM

rozar said:
Formatting will not be enough to get rid of the data. You will want to use a DOD5220.22-M standard application to wipe the drive if possible. I do not know of a free one. If you are not that paranoid you could use this.

Rozar, have you used this yourself?
Related resources
August 13, 2008 7:49:57 PM

Seagate and WD have free utilities that will write zeros to the entire drive. These will wipe out all data.
August 13, 2008 7:56:21 PM

Unless you have been storing state secrets , FDISK and Format (not quick) will suffice
August 13, 2008 8:05:23 PM

bf2142-rules-ok said:
Unless you have been storing state secrets , FDISK will suffice

Well, I probably shouldn't say anything, but I am a Russian spy. The name's Vlad. :D 

Seriously though, I plan on selling it on eBay and didn't want someone with a means to pull off the old data to buy it in hopes of finding some personal non-public data on it. Sorry, for the paranoia, but I work in Information Security. I can't help it.
a c 84 G Storage
August 13, 2008 8:28:08 PM

If you really value your personal info, the only safe solution is to drill a hole through the platters and then trow the hard disk out. That way you are absolutely sure that the data can't be recovered. In secure environments, defective drives never are returned to the manufacturer. They are destroyed and so are drives that are no longer used.
August 13, 2008 8:43:36 PM

Acronis will do what you need and has a free trial. What I dont know is if the free version lets you use that function. I think it is only $26.99 or something like that at newegg.
August 13, 2008 9:14:07 PM


select the DoD method and give it to 5 rounds it should be ok
August 13, 2008 10:05:38 PM

Primus462 said:
Rozar, have you used this yourself?

I have used the Low Level Format tool many times, its essentially the same thing. It works well.
August 13, 2008 11:53:39 PM

bf2142-rules-ok said:
Unless you have been storing state secrets , FDISK and Format (not quick) will suffice
That is total crap. I would be able to pull all kinds of data off that with any half decent data recovery program.

Depending on the level of protection you want The free Active@ killdisk will write Zeros.

If you don't want your data to be recoverable by anyone with more money, time, expertise and equipment then you will need to pay for it and use the DoD 5220.22-M or Gutmann's data destruction method.

If they really want the data (read Government) they can still recover it but I don't think that is a problem.

The zero write will probably be sufficient for you. DBAN etc. will also work fine.

Yes I have personally used Active@ Killdisk to wipe any remnants of XP from my disk and it does work. As said, the manufacturers tools have a zero write ability as well.

August 14, 2008 12:06:13 AM

+1 for DBAN and A@K. I've used both and either will get the job done. I wouldn't recommend the Gutmann method however. It is one of the longest methods but doesn't provide better results than the DOD wipes. Many of the data patterns it uses in its 35 passes are for older drives and are therefore irrelevant and worthless for modern drives.