A new computer is a joyous occasion for most families. You’re looking forward to using your new computer, surfing the web, and maybe playing those video games you’ve been putting off for a while. But you do need to consider what you’re going to do with your older computer. More importantly, how are you going to securely dispose of the data that was stored on the computer? Luckily, there are free tools out there that can securely erase your hard drive, and keep your data from prying eyes. Keep reading to learn how to securely erase your hard drive.
With a free program called DBAN ( Darik’s Boot And Nuke, ) you can erase data on your hard drive using a variety of methods. First things first, download DBAN and make sure you have a blank CD handy. You’re going to need to burn this file to a CD, then boot off the CD while starting up your old computer. Look for a menu option when starting the computer that says “boot menu.” Once you’ve found the boot menu, simply select CD-ROM to boot off of the CD and began the erasing process.
Once you’re at the DBAN prompt, hit ENTER to see the list of options for securely erasing your hard drive. Each of these options has a different level of thoroughness and takes a different amount of time to complete. Hit M to choose the data removal method – I like to use the DoD method depending on how sensitive the data is, but you can choose whichever one you like.
Once you’ve selected a wipe method, you’ll be back at the main screen. Select the hard drive that you want to securely erase by hitting SPACE.
Now you can start the hard drive erasing process by hitting F10. This will take a good amount of time, so you should plan on leaving the computer powered on for a few hours.
And there you have it – how to securely erase your hard drive!