The default tool that most people who have the odd drive to erase turn to. I've used this tool to wipe thousands of drives and found it to be both thorough and very effective.
While DBAN is an awesome tool, it's important to understand its limitations. Here is what the new owners of DBAN, Blancco Technology, have to say:
"While DBAN is free to use, there's no guarantee of data removal. It cannot detect or erase SSDs and does not provide a certificate of data removal for auditing purposes or regulatory compliance. Hardware support (e.g. no RAID dismantling), customer support and software updates are not available using DBAN. Should you need to erase data from a SSD or require a certificate of data removal, request a free trial of Blancco Drive Eraser."
Price: Free | More info/download
The go-to tool for professional, certified, drive erasure.
Guarantee your data has been erased from any drives, including complex SSDs in desktop/laptop computers, servers and storage environments with the most certified and patented data erasure solution.
Includes advanced features such as:
Price: $18.46 per erasure | More info/download
Blancco mobile and phone wiping software allows organizations, mobile service providers and resellers to permanently erase all data from smartphones and tablets running on iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry operating systems.
Price: $13.52 per erasure | More info/download
iOS and Android devices both have built-in tools to erase the devices.
You can also securely wipe the devices remotely using Find My iPhone for iOS or the Google Account associated with the Android device.
The WiebeTech Drive eRazer Ultra is a stand-alone device that completely and quickly cleans hard drives. Simply connect a drive to the Drive eRazer Ultra and it will sanitize the drive faster than using software, and without tying up your computer.
The Drive eRazer Ultra leaves the drive ready for safe re-use, and comes with a dozen different preset erase procedures, including US Department of Defense graded methods for data wiping.
Price: $249 | More info/download
One of the easiest ways is to encrypt the entire drive with a complex passphrase. You can use built-in tools such as BitLocker on Windows or FileVault on macOS, of a third-party tool such as or third-party VeraCrypt. Encrypt the drive with a strong throw-away passphrase and you're done.
No passphrase, no data.
You can then format the drive, from which point it should be sterile and ready to accept a reload of the data.
This method also works great if you just want to destroy drives before you take them to the recycling plant. It's also a great stress reducer!
You will need:
Now you apply brute force. Ideally you want to put a nail through the platters of the drive, going all the way through (it's actually not as hard as it sounds). I aim for the spot marked by the red X on hard drives.
Alternatively you can use a power drill to make holes, but make sure that you have a way to securely hold the drive, for example, using a vice. Don't hold the drive in your hand because if the drill bit catches and the drive starts to spin - or helicopters - then there's a real risk of injury.
Another thing to bear in mind is that the data in SSDs is held on small flash storage chips rather than large platters, and to securely erase the data you need to smash the chips. Usually, this means taking the cover off the drive before you start swinging.
If you're not sure which are the flash storage chips, just drive a nail through all the large chips just to be on the safe side.