Gizmodo: How to Completely Erase Your Hard Drives, SSDs and Thumb Drives

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on April 4, 2010

Follow up to postings on security issues and erasing hard drive, from Gizmodoa detailed article with accompanying screen shots and product references: “With stories abounding of identity theft aided by information lifted from discarded storage devices, you want devices you no longer plan to use to have no usable information when they head out the door. Here’s how to wipe them clean…When you erase/delete a file from your computer, it’s not really gone until the areas of the disk it used are overwritten by new information. If you use the normal Windows delete function, the “deleted” file is sent to the Recycle Bin until the space it uses is required by other files. If you use Shift-Delete to bypass the Recycle Bin, the space occupied by the file is marked as available for other files. However, the file could be recovered days or even weeks later with third-party data recovery software. As long as the operating system does not reuse the space occupied by a file with another file, the “deleted” file can be recovered.”

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