Destroying files from a Windows PC or an external storage device is not as easy as it seems. When you delete a file, it goes into the recycle bin, from where it can be restored in just a few clicks. Even when you empty recycle bin or use Shift+Delete to delete a file permanently, it is not wiped immediately and remains vulnerable to recovery.
The operating system only deletes the path to access that file from the File System. In other words, the OS deallocates the deleted file sectors for new data and only makes it hard to access. The deleted filed still remain on the hard drive and can be recovered with a data recovery tool unless overwritten by new data. Then again, there is no way to find out if the new data that you add to drive will overwrite those particular sectors (deleted files). Therefore, you need to wipe your WD portable external hard drive in order to ensure the file is permanently destroyed.
Delete Files from WD Portable External Hard Drive
To wipe any file from your WD portable external hard drive, you can use SDelete program from Microsoft or a third party Eraser tool. However, if the data that you want to wipe from your WD portable external hard drive is critical and confidential, consider using a reliable and trusted data erasure tool such as BitRaser for File. This tool uses 17 internal data erasure standards such as NATO, DOD 5220.22-M (3 pass/7 passes), etc. to erase & wipe your files & folders from your WD external drive volumes.
Additionally, the tool has an option to generate a Certificate of Erasure that guarantees the data is destroyed permanently beyond the scope of recovery. This certificate also gives you a sense of certainty and can be used by businesses to meet regulatory compliances and audits.
Follow these steps to Sanitize files from your WD Portable External Hard Drive:
Download and install BitRaser for File software
Connect the WD external portable hard drive (decrypt the storage if encryption is enabled)
Run the BitRaser for File software
Go to Tools and choose the desired Erasure Algorithm and Verification method from the respective dropdowns
Click Home tab and then click on Erase Now
In the right pane, expand your WD external hard drive to locate the files and folders that you want to destroy permanently
Click the checkbox of those files and then click ‘Erase Now’ button at the bottom right corner of the software window
After erasure, the software asks you to reboot the system. Click ‘No’ and disconnect your drive. Use it normally as earlier
Please Note: If you need Certificate of Erasure, please use the Search File option. Click ‘Create Certificate’ checkbox before clicking ‘Erase Now’ button. By default, the software saves the Certificate of erasure under C:\Program File\BitRaser for File\BitRaser for File Certificate directory in PDF format.
Always erase files from your WD portable hard drive especially if the file contains critical or confidential information, as deleted files are recoverable even from a formatted external or internal hard drive. Use a reliable and trusted data erasure software such as BitRaser for File that uses 17 international data erasure standards to sanitize files, folders, and empty space on your hard drive volumes to prevent recovery of deleted files. Additionally, you can encrypt your external drives to prevent any unauthorized access. Always decrypt your drive when you need to destroy files using BitRaser for File.
Aruna Attri is a Senior Data Recovery Expert at Stellar®. She is a technology blogger and Windows expert. She has experience in Windows data recovery domain. She loves to troubleshoot Windows issue and write technical tips and tutorials.