Securely wipe a dead hard drive

How do you remove sensitive data from a hard drive that's busted

Hard drives almost always contain some potentially compromising information, such as credit card and social security numbers. You should always wipe a hard drive before turning it over to someone else. But that job is particularly difficult if the hard drive no longer works.

But why would you even need to secure a drive that doesn't work? If the drive's electronics are fried but the mechanical components are still working, someone could fix it without destroying your data, which could then fall into the wrong hands.

What you have to do is find someone who can degauss your drive. Translation: Someone who can erase it with a very powerful, very expensive magnet.

One thing you could do is talk to the people you're returning the drive to, whether that's the manufacturer or a recycling center. They may offer a policy of degaussing drives when they receive them.

If they don't, or if you don't trust them, you can find a company in your area that degausses drives.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags hard drives

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lincoln Spector

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?