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%
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 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 Application Traces: It erases application traces such as Email and news, peer to peer applications, chat applications, Microsoft applications and, others.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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:
You can see the options to set Erasure Algorithm and Verification. Choose them according to requirement.
Check Enable Logging option and you can also change path of log report using Browse option.
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.
It was a common myth that deleting, formatting, and reformatting are enough for permanent deletion of hard drive data. Some of my old computers/laptops are sold to local sellers after just formatting the drive, due to unawareness that data may be retrieved back. The blog is a good source for learning to me.
We as a company are quite happy with the working of this software. Also, it is well compliance under security laws of our country. Most of our old IT assets are easily disposed of after complete erasing of hard drive data by this software. Nice tool!!!
It is very important to completely erase all your hard drive data, before selling your old PC because by not doing so you can become a victim of online identity threat. We usually store all our personal information like bank details, passwords, personal images etc on internal or external storage medium. Any leakage of these secret information can harm us very badly. I always wipe all my disk drive with the help of powerful data erasing software like BitRaser and live a safe and secure life.
We usually just format or shift delete our vital data before selling or disposing of our old desktop or laptop with the total confidence that we have completely deleted all our data stored inside it. But, this is totally a ‘Myth’ in us. The data which we have deleted can easily be recovered with the help of a data recovery software which eventually leads to our identity theft. To overcome this problem, using a data erasing software is the best approach with no E-waste left.
Yes, you definitely need to wipe your old data, before you may suffer from any identity theft. Many important files and data are usually present in our computer, after taking proper backup on the separate hard drive, this data can be completely erased by any data erasing software. Also, after using this software, the space in the drive is free for future use.
Disk erasing is still not a very familiar technique across the globe. People are destroying storage devices and increasing electronic-waste. I successfully used BitRaser data wiping software to delete my data before selling my old desktop and saves myself from identity theft.
Yes, I agree with the author that cyber thieves are always keeping their close watch on the old desktop or hard drive. So, it is very important to completely destroy your old data with the help of third party data erasing software.
Recently, I used this software before disposing of my old hard drive, which contains sensitive information of mine. This product completely destroyed all my data and works in an effective manner. Satisfied with scanning and deletion duration as it was not so long.
I had a PC bought before 10 years and sold it out last year. I was unaware of this information. I just formatted it’s hard-drive before selling it. I shall definitely use this software when sell the hard-disk.
I am really impressed with this software specially multiple overwrite passes. I have downloaded it and checked it’s interface which is very interesting and user friendly. At present, I do not need any wiping software but, whenever I need; I will definitely buy.