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How Do I Erase Data from My Hard Drive? - KB Article - 118933


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Article Summary: This article provides information on How Do I Erase Data from My Hard Drive?


Table of Contents:
  1. Overview-About Your Warranty




Item 1.


Overview-About Your Warranty









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.

About Your Data


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.

Note:

No data removal process leaves a hard drive or computer as free from residual data as a new product. Dell makes no recommendations regarding your security needs or representations regarding the effectiveness of one method of data removal over another.

Notice:
You are responsible for your data. Before you ship product(s) to us, back up the data on the hard drive(s) and any other storage device(s) in the product(s). Remove any confidential, proprietary or personal information. Remove any removable storage devices and media, such as floppy disks, CDs, PC cards, USB storage devices, and other removable storage. In the event Dell receives a tape drive (or other removable storage devices) inadvertently, while Dell has no obligation to remove the data, our practice is to use good faith efforts to either return the tape drive to the customer, or destroy the tape drive. We are not responsible for any of your confidential, proprietary or personal information; lost or corrupted data; or damaged or lost removable media.




Erasing Data From Your 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.
Note:
Dell has not independently qualified or tested these applications and neither endorses them nor assumes any responsibility in connection with their use. Dell provides links to them only as a convenience for its customers.


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.
Note:
No data removal process leaves a hard drive or computer as free from residual data as a new product. Dell makes no recommendations regarding the customer''s security needs or representations regarding the effectiveness of one method of data removal over another.




Visit the Dell Community Forum for More Information


Visit the Dell Community Forums to find out what others in the Dell user community are saying. The Dell Community Forums provide a place for Dell users to discuss support topics, to learn, and to help each other. Use the message boards to post questions and answers.


 


Quick Tips content is self-published by the Dell Support Professionals who resolve issues daily. In order to achieve a speedy publication, Quick Tips may represent only partial solutions or work-arounds that are still in development or pending further proof of successfully resolving an issue. As such Quick Tips have not been reviewed, validated or approved by Dell and should be used with appropriate caution. Dell shall not be liable for any loss, including but not limited to loss of data, loss of profit or loss of revenue, which customers may incur by following any procedure or advice set out in the Quick Tips.

Article ID: SLN124840

Last Date Modified: 09/24/2012 12:00 AM


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