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How to Delete Hard Drive Data Permanently Before Selling It?

Data is one of the most important assets for a business or an individual which if stolen can be misused for vested interest. In order to overcome the risk of data theft, you might want to delete or erase data permanently before selling your hard drive. Typically, before we sell the hard drive, we format it or delete the data stored on it assuming that the data on it is permanently erased. But the fact is that formatting and deletion doesn’t erase the data permanently. Hence, deleting or formatting the hard drive and selling it; is not the secure way of handing over or disposing off your device.

If you’re interested to know why “formatting” and “deletion” couldn’t erase data, and what’s the correct and secure way to erase hard drive data permanently before selling it, stay-tuned!

Why “Formatting” And “Deletion” Couldn’t Erase Data Permanently?

When you delete files or other data from a data storage device such as hard drive, only the pointer that locates the data is removed while the data remains on the drive. Deleted data can be easily recovered by using a data recovery tool. Therefore simply deleting the critical data from hard drive and selling or disposing it exposes you to a risk of data breach/theft.

Data is not erased permanently even when you format the hard drive. Formatting the hard drive provide the drive with a file system (if no file system exist) or replaces the existing file system with another one. After formatting, you couldn’t access the data but it is still present on the drive. Anyone who gets a hold of formatted drive can use data recovery software to fetch the data and misuse it.

This indicates that you cannot erase data permanently from your hard drive or any other storage device by simply deleting or formatting it.

How To Delete Or Erase Data From Hard Drive Permanently?

Data is important and hence before you sell the drive you must make sure that you erase it in a way that data stored on it couldn’t be recovered by the use of data recovery software. Data wiping is a way by which you can destroy the data or erase it permanently. You can wipe data from hard drive or any other data storage device by using data erasure software like “BitRaser Drive Eraser”.

Use “BitRaser Drive Eraser” to Wipe Data from Hard Drive before Selling It

A hard drive contains data that we stored on it. Additionally, it also contains application data (if it’s an internal hard drive of a laptop/desktop) cached by the browser and other installed applications. This data could be the log files, saved passwords, saved credit/debit card details, etc. This data must be wiped out completely by the use of an effective data erasure software before you sell your hard drive. If you want to stay away from dire consequences of data theft, you must use a data erasure software which can wipe or destroy every bit of data including application data on the drive beyond the scope of recovery.

This software can erase all the data from your hard drive permanently. It implements International data erasure standards such as NIST, US DOD 5220.22-M (7 passes), etc. and wipes data by overwriting it with random binary values. The data wiped by using this software can never be recovered by using data recovery tools.

The software not only wipes data from hard drive or any other data storage device, but it also generates digitally signed data erasure report and a certificate of erasure. They can be used for audit-trails and confirm erasure of data beyond the scope of recovery.


If you’re planning to sell your hard drive and want your data to be permanently erased from it, you must know that formatting or deletion couldn’t erase the data permanently. Instead, you need to use effective data erasure software like “BitRaser Drive Eraser” which can permanently remove data including OS, application data, and every other piece of information on the hard drive.

The software implements International Standards for drive erasure and ensures destruction of data beyond the scope of recovery. It also generates audit-trail reports and certificate of erasure.

         This article Contributed by Sapna Trivedi.

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Harshvardhan Mishra

Hi, I'm Harshvardhan Mishra. Tech enthusiast and IT professional with a B.Tech in IT, PG Diploma in IoT from CDAC, and 6 years of industry experience. Founder of HVM Smart Solutions, blending technology for real-world solutions. As a passionate technical author, I simplify complex concepts for diverse audiences. Let's connect and explore the tech world together! If you want to help support me on my journey, consider sharing my articles, or Buy me a Coffee! Thank you for reading my blog! Happy learning! Linkedin

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