Article Summary: This article provides information on How Do I Erase Data from My Hard Drive?
Subject to the terms of your warranty agreement, Dell will repair or replace hard drives purchased from Dell that prove to be defective in materials or workmanship. Visit Dell's Warranties site to view the terms and conditions of your warranty.
Dell does not have responsibility for any of the data you place on a hard drive you return to Dell; however, Dell endeavors to overwrite the data or, in some cases, destroy the hard drive.
To erase data, it must be overwritten. This is commonly called wiping or shredding. The method used to erase data securely must be measured against the sensitivity of the data and the likelihood of an attempt to recover the data.
Once you have decided how much protection you need, you are ready to select the application to perform the wipe. Many applications exist and are available as freeware, shareware or commercially available software. Dell does not endorse any one specifically or warrant any results. Some examples can be found on CNET's download.comsite. Be sure to compare the features with your requirements.
Levels of Erasure
The first level of removing data is to delete the file. This includes running fdisk or format on the drive. Deleting the file does not completely remove the data from the drive and the data may be retrievable using certain software programs. This is the most widely used technique for data erasure.
The next level of removing data is an overwrite, commonly called a Level 2 wipe. An application overwrites the part of the disk where the file previously existed. This level of data removal may provide a higher level of comfort for home and small office users where customer or financial data are concerns. A Level 2 wipe requires sophisticated tools to recover the data, and recovery is not certain.
In addition, some users may need to meet requirements such as former Department of Defense standard 5220.22-M. Commercial software is available that meets the requirements of this standard.
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Article ID: SLN124840
Last Date Modified: 04/13/2015 02:50 PM