How to erase data on an external hard drive

Discussion in 'Computer Memory and Hard Drives' started by lostsoul62, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. lostsoul62

    lostsoul62 Member

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    667
    I have Drive Erase and it won't erase data on an external hard drive so does anyone know how I can erase or zero my external hard drive?
     
  2. johnb35

    johnb35 Administrator Staff Member

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    41,667
    Just reformat it.
     
  3. lostsoul62

    lostsoul62 Member

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    667
    That does not delete to data on the drive
     
  4. Darren

    Darren Moderator Staff Member

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    12,054
    Erm. Yes it does. You might be able to recover the data but for usual intents and purposes it's "deleted". If you're talking about "shredding" the drive which usually involves software that will continuously write to the sectors actual zero'd out data points rather than just deleting the file system (which is what just formatting it does).
     
  5. lostsoul62

    lostsoul62 Member

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    667
    I was a tech in Silicon Valley for 20 years and I can tell you for a fact that formatting does not delete anything. I could tell you what formatting does but it doesn't matter. I posted to see if anyone know about any software that would zero my drive.
     
  6. beers

    beers Moderator Staff Member

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    8,345
    Quick format dumps the file table.

    Full format physically rewrites the drive.

    On Linux you can do something like overwrite the drive with random data similar to
    dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sda

    On Windows you can probably use something like eraser
    Http://eraser.heidi.ie

    Alternatively you could just dump your own random data on the drive.
     
    Intel_man likes this.
  7. lostsoul62

    lostsoul62 Member

    Messages:
    667
    On Windows you can probably use something like eraser
    Http://eraser.heidi.ie

    Thank you I will look into this. I really want to do this for the future in case I need to because my software just won't clean my external drive.
     
  8. JaredDM

    JaredDM Active Member

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    109
    A free program that can zero fill a HDD for you is [email protected] Killdisk. There is a paid version which includes the multi-pass wiping, but it's free for just zero fill. And we all know that a zero fill is all you really need. Everything beyond that is just a waste of electricity.
     

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