More importantly, what do you do with the hard drive from a de-commissioned machine? You'd be surprised at how many times hard drives with sensitive personal and business data ends up sitting on a curb or listed in an eBay auction.
Most people are comfortable simply clicking Empty Trash and being done with it. The problem is that the delete key only labels sections of the drive saying it can be over-written. On larger drives deleted data remains intact for a long time and recovering data is very easy for thieves and forensic firms. Even formatting drives will not irrevocably remove the data stored on them.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) issued a new guide, "Guidelines for Media Sanitization" which is intended to assist organizations and system owners in making practical sanitization decisions based on the level of sensitivity of their information.
WiebeTECH, LLC has come out with a brilliant solution for IT folks that de-commission a lot of drives. Drive Erazer (US$99) is an economical hardware solution to erase data from 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch IDE/PATA and SATA hard drives. It's simple, plug your drive into the Drive eRazer and slide the swith over to Erase. It is completely stand-alone solution and does not require a computer.
According to WiebeTech Drive eRazer is faster than software, writing data at a sustained rate of more than 35MB/s. A 250GB drive would be fully erased in under two hours. It's also very easy. Simply connect it to a drive and flip a switch. A standard single-pass mode writes one time across the whole disk, deleting blocks including partitions and Host Protected Areas. Verification is also performed.
A Pro model is also available which is capable of more than one pass with random characters. It deletes all blocks including partitions and Host Protected Areas, even ones normally invisible to operating systems. It automatically checks for and removes DCOs and writes to every sector of the disk using different data each pass. Verification is done after the last pass.
Three models are available:
- DRZR-1: Standard version for 3.5" IDE/PATA Drives, $99.95 MSRP
- DRZR-2: Pro version for 3.5" IDE/PATA Drives, $149.95 MSRP
- DRZR-3: Pro version for 2.5" IDE/PATA Drives, $149.95 MSRP
- DRZR-2VBD: Pro version for 3.5” or 2.5” SATA or IDE/PATA Drives, $199.95 MSRP