Selling your hard drive? Be aware your data may be recoverable

If you are going to sell your hard-drive, then you should permanently wipe out all the data from it. When you delete files from your computer, it still presents on your system’s hard disk and any data recovery software can easily recover it.

Deleting, Formatting, and reformatting are not enough:

Many people assume that pressing a delete button or ‘Shift+DEL’ will delete their data permanently but it’s not true. It is still present in your system’s hard disk. Even formatting is not the best option to delete the data but, better than a deleting process. Similarly, reformatting is better than formatting. In formatting process, the address table (contains data location in hard-drive) is formatted but data still presents on the hard disk. The reformatting process erases the address table of the data. In all the cases; a data recovery expert or a software can recover your data very easily. So, if you are thinking to sell your system or hard disk to any other organization or for charity then it can make you more vulnerable to data theft.

Why disk erasing?

Disk erasing is the most secure way to erase the data from hard disk permanently.

Disk erasing process overwrites the entire hard-drive with the binary data (0 or 1). This process typically overwrites MBR (Master Boot Record) partition table and sectors of the hard-drive. MBR is a small program that executes at the time of system booting. It presents in the first sector of the hard disk.

Disk erasing process:

As data erasing process works on an overwriting principle which removes the data permanently from hard disk. This is the best way to erase data unlike the physical destruction of the hard disk which makes it unusable.

Now, read the following case studies:

Case Study by UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO):

They purchased 200 hard drives from auction sites and fairs. Out of 200 hard disks, 11% has personal information like bank details, emails, personal photos and much more.

The information commissioner Christopher Graham said:

We live in a world where personal and company information is a highly valuable commodity, it is important that people do everything they can to stop their details from falling into the wrong hands.

Case study by Kessler International:

Kessler International conducted a study over 6 months. In this study, they buy the hard-drive from range 40GB to 300GB from USA and Canada. The total hard-drive was 100 and 40 hard-drive have data. The CEO of Kessler International said:

With size of the sample, I guess we were surprised with the percentage of disks that we found data on. We expected most of the drives to be wiped — to find one or two disks with data. But 40 drives out of 100 is a lot.

Kessler’s engineers found very important data like documents, photographs, E-mails and DNS server information because data was not overwritten. With this, lots of personal stuff by which anybody can blackmail them.

Kessler International divided this data into percentages and here it is:

  • Personal and financial information – 36%
  • Photos – 13%
  • E-mails – 21%
  • Corporate documents – 11%
  • Browsing history – 11%
  • DNS server information – 4%
  • Other data – 4%

 Visualization

From these two studies, it is clear that data erasing is must before selling the hard-drive. BitRaser for File from Stellar Data Recovery is file erasure software which will suit you best. It performs multiple overwrites or passes to erase data permanently from selected hard drive. User can also erase a specific file with the help of it. This also generates erasure certificate for erased file that have been erase after search.

Astonishing features of BitRaser for File:

  • Erases Data Permanently: This file eraser software erases file, folders permanently and leaves no scoop of data recovery using any software.

Erases Data Permanently

  • Erases Internet Activities: It is helpful for erasing internet activities such as cookies, temp files, history & saved passwords, and protect your private data from unauthorized access.

Erases Internet Activities

  • Erases Application Traces: It erases application traces such as Email and news, peer to peer applications, chat applications, Microsoft applications and, others.

Erases Application Traces

  • Erases System Traces: It is also able to remove system traces with lots of options such as Recycle bin, Memory dumps, Feed cache, Crytnet url cache, Windows error report, Map network drive MRU’s, Windows user assists MRU’s, Windows update information and much more.

Erases System Traces

  • Erased unused space: For optimized use of memory and secure privacy, it is a very important feature of this software. It supports FAT, exFAT and NTFS file system.

Erased unused space

  • Search File Option: With the help of this option, you can search file by its name. It also help you in searching the ‘exact match’ search.

Search File Option

  • Operating System compatibility: It is compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP, Windows server 2012, 2008 and, 2003.
  • Other Significant Features: Software generates log report for future use and set the password protection on application. It has an option to schedule and view erasing tasks. To schedule any task, go to Schedule tab and set the frequency of it as shown in the below:

Other Significant Features

  • Tools Section: In this section, you can choose the erasing algorithm, verification method, log file setting and, set the password for the application. Let’s see them one by one:

Tools Section

You can see the options to set Erasure Algorithm and Verification. Choose them according to requirement.

Erasure Algorithm

Check Enable Logging option and you can also change path of log report using Browse option.

Create password

Click on the Create password link and now you will be able to set password for the applications.

Conclusion: We recommend everyone not to sell your hard drive, until you are sure there is no data present on the drive. The best method to ensure it to try BitRaser, it will erase every bit of data from your hard drive and make it like a new one. Stellar data recovery always cares our customers and recommend what is best for him.

Do Post your query if you have any, we will try to solve it within 24 hours.

Comments(37)
  1. Andrew Cook December 28, 2017
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