According to a report by Backblaze, known for recording and saving hard drive statistics at its data centers, Toshiba is one of the most reliable hard drive manufacturers. They build a high-quality hard drive that has much lesser chance of failure compared to others. This means, when you own a Toshiba external drive, it’s probably going to last for many more years.
But sometimes we need to delete some data that is not required or is sensitive/confidential, and you can’t risk it getting into someone else’s hands.
To make sure your sensitive and private data is deleted permanently, you must erase it. Deletion of a file on Toshiba external hard drive does not actually remove the file; instead, it removes the file index from the File System. Therefore, the file remains on the Toshiba external drive and can be easily recovered via a data recovery tool unless overwritten by some other data or program.
In a similar manner, formatting (quick) Toshiba hard drives only replace the existing File System.
How to securely delete data from a Toshiba External Hard Drive?
The answer is “Don’t delete, Erase it!” Erasing deletes the data and overwrites the hard drive blocks (or sectors), where the file was stored, with a pattern of 0’s and 1’s. This ensures that the file is completely destroyed beyond the scope of recovery. Below we have listed some erasure methods that can help you erase your sensitive and confidential data from your Toshiba External hard drive on Windows.
SDelete is secure¬-delete utility that helps Windows users to erase data from a connected storage media (NTFS or FAT32 only). By default, the utility uses DOD 5220.22-M standard to erase a file or folder (& subdirectories) with one pass. You can choose as many passes as you want, but there is no option to choose the erasure algorithm.
To use SDelete for deleting files from Toshiba external drive, follow these steps:
- Download SDelete.exe from Microsoft’s official site
- Copy ‘SDelete.exe’ and paste it into the root folder of Toshiba external drive (for example, if Toshiba drive is assigned letter E: then paste the SDelete at E:\SDelete)
- Press & hold the Shift key and right-click in the root directory of Toshiba external drive
- Choose ‘Open command window here’ from the context menu
- To delete a file, at the command prompt type sdelete –p 2 ‘FilePath’(replace FilePath with the file location such as “E:\PrivateFiles\MySecretFile.txt”)
- To delete a folder containing subfolders and files, type sdelete –s –r –p 2 ‘.\FolderPATH’(here –s and –r are used to erase folder and subfolders recursively along with contained files with 2 passes)
That’s how you can securely delete files from Toshiba external hard disk using SDelete.
WinHex is another tool that helps you destroy your confidential data but in a different way. The tool is a hexadecimal editor for Windows that lets you edit the hex code of a file, thereby mutilating the file. It also follows the DoD 5220.22-M standard for wiping the files or disks.
To erase a file or disk on Toshiba hard drive with WinHex,
- Download the WinHex software and unzip to any location on your system
- Open the extracted folder and double-click on the WinHex application icon to launch it
- Grant permission if prompted and then go to Tools > Open Disk (or simply press F9)
- Select the Toshiba disk and go to Edit > Fill Disk Sectors
For example, fill with zeroes or random bytes.
Caution: The above step wipes the entire Toshiba external drive, so use appropriately
- If you want to delete a file, go to Tools > File Tools
- Select ‘Wipe Securely’ to browse and wipe one file at a time from the Toshiba external drive or choose ‘Delete Recursively’ to select the directory on the Toshiba drive containing subfolders and files and delete them recursively
- BitRaser for File
Using a powerful data erasure software BitRaser for File is one of the most secure ways of erasing data from a Toshiba external hard drive and other memory devices. The tool generates a certificate of erasure after destroying the files, which gives you more confidence about your data destruction procedure. The certificate of erasure guarantees that the files erased using this erasure software can’t be recovered via any recovery tool or service including forensics. This certificate also helps to maintain regulatory and audit compliances including ISO 27001.
BitRaser for File uses 17 international data erasure standards such as U.S. Department of Defense (DoD 5222.22-M 3passes/7 passes), NATO, etc. to destroy information from the drive beyond the scope of recovery. Most importantly, this tool is much secure & safe to use as it doesn’t let you erase any system or program files.
The software also verifies deleted data using Random or Total Verification method, which ensures complete data sanitization from the Toshiba external hard drive. You also have an option to wipe entire Toshiba drive volume(s) using any erasure algorithms of your choice or multiple algorithms that must be executed one at a time. You can even choose to wipe the empty spaces of the hard drive that may contain previously deleted sensitive information.
There are several ways to delete data from an external Toshiba hard drive, but data deleted through these ways can be recovered using a professional data recovery software. Instead, erasing data using BitRaser for File is highly recommended. The blog also described SDelete and WinHex tool to erase data; however, these tools are neither easy nor safe to use. SDelete can lead to accidental eraser of the important files if you mistype the drive letter or command. Whereas, WinHex requires technical knowledge and is difficult to use by a non-technical person. BitRaser for File is the only tool that is easier to use due to its user-friendly interface. Not only that, the software uses 17 international erasure algorithms, verifies deleted data, generates certificates and reports for audit trails and is safer to use.