Getting rid of an old IDE hard drive


Aside from deleting personal folders, documents, etc. are there additional steps to completely erase and wipe entire hard drive, before trashing it.

I have an old IDE hard drive with Windows XP installed. I don't want to use it anymore. Just want to get rid of it. But I've read where there are some software out there that can wipe a hard drive to the point it is not recoverable.

What is the best software (free, hopefully :D ) out there, and what would be the best way to go about this.

any thoughts, suggestions, tidbits, would be appreciated.


3 answers Last reply
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  1. It's more fun to open the drive and smash the platters with a hammer.

    But there are lots of utilities to do this. With SATA drives, which you don't have, there is a command named "Secure Erase". You just send this one SATA command to the drive and it wipes itself (no bathroom humor, please).

    But you will want something that writes multiple passes of various nonsense patterns, if you are really concerned about someone reading your data. I would download PartedMagic, build a bootable CD, boot to it, and use the free erase tool there. It's probably as good as any other and, did I mention, free.
  2. Thank you wyoming for your response.

    This sounds intriguing.

    Let give you some background:

    The ide-drive was pulled out of my desktop. So I was fortunate enough to pull off data from the old drive to my new computer using an IDE to USB adapter.

    If I want to wipe the data from that drive, It would have to be via an IDE to USB adapter/enclosure connected to my new setup.

    With PartedMagic, could I still erase the data via the USB connection? Would Parted Magic recognize the old drive as an external drive that way?


  3. I have an IDE to usb connector that i use to wipe out info on all drives, using Ccleaner. I don't see why yours wouldn't work (although sometimes it requires a system restart to show up) Anyway i wouldn't destroy an old drive that still works. Unless you know it's dying of course. Even if the drive was a bit too small i'd probably just get an external hdd enclosure or just use it as a usb drive to transfer files from one pc to another. Or just sell it/give it to someone who wants it. NOt sure if PartedMagic would recognize the external drive but i'm pretty sure CCleaner would.
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