How do I permanently erase data from a drive?
Data is permanently erased by overwriting it with new data. Wiping and secure delete programs (available by searching with Google) permanently erase data by writing new data, usually the character “0”, over the old. Once this has taken place the only data that can be recovered is the 0’s.
To make sure a file is truly gone, a number of tools are available. Eraser is a free and easy-to-use solution that will overwrite your private information with random patterns until the data is no longer recoverable. It works with nearly every version of Windows and offers a number of methods of overwriting your data, including methods approved by the Department of Defense.
Once installed, Eraser integrates nicely into Windows. Whenever you want to securely erase your data, follow these steps.
1. Navigate to the files or folders that you want to securely erase.
2. Right-click on the files and/or folders and an Eraser menu will appear.
3. Highlight and click Erase in the Eraser menu.
Eraser will automatically create the securely erase task and execute it immediately. You will be notified in a popup window when the task is complete and the files are permanently erased.
Eraser has a number of settings and options that you can configure, including securely deleting recycle bin contents and scheduling and automating secure deletion tasks.