Sunday, October 5, 2008

How to Zero Hard Drive Data: Wipe Your Drive

Leaving data on a computer is an extremely risky thing to do for a number of reasons. On a personal level it can help a criminal steal your identity which can lead to financial loss. Just because you delete something doesn't mean it's no longer there. Before you throw out an old hard drive or sell your old computer you will need to wipe your hard drive. Wiping your hard drive involves cleaning out or deleting personal files and applications.

A common assumption is that deleting or formatting a hard drive will be enough but in fact the data is still recoverable. There are a number of methods to “delete” data from a computer's hard drive (e.g., highlighting a file and pressing the Delete key, or emptying a recycle bin or trash folder, using system utilities to reformat the disk). These methods do not remove the data; they simply make space available for the system to use when next required. The data remains on the disk. Data Recovery tools can be used to restore the data.

Formatting your hard drive doesn’t mean complete removal of data. An ordinary hard drive reformat will not erase your data! Your hard drive is full of personal information that can be accessed by data recovery programs even after you reformat a hard drive. Reformatting the hard drive cleans out the Windows registry and removes any problem-causing files. Reformat the hard drive to return your computer to its original configuration.

The contents of file remain on the free space of your hard drive until overwritten by new data. On the Internet there are hundreds of data recovery programs that allow anyone with basic computer skills to recover these deleted files. There are disk wiping utilities and programs available that will erase data if correctly used. Some programs erase the entire disk, while others allow you to select which files or folders to erase.

These Hard drive wipe software erase your hard drive by over writing the data. The information on your hard disk is written in just zeros and ones, known as binary. A special type of file on the disk, called a directory, indicates which groupings of binary digits constitute files. If you erase a disk by doing a quick initialization, the disk's directory is emptied. Zeroing data takes the erasure process to the next level by converting all binary in the empty portion of the disk to zeros, a state that might be described as digitally blank. These types of utilities simply overwrite the existing data on the drive with random "0"s, "1"s, or both...binary gibberish.

You should select drive wipe software that can wipe entire hard drive at the same time rather than selecting the particular files for wiping using Zeroing the data. Stellar Drive Wipe is one of them and powerful, robust drive wipe software that completely wipes hard drive data using advanced data wiping algorithms. Stellar Disk Wipe erases the data beyond recovery. It comes in a bootable CD that erases all the data including system files without installing it.