I have four PC’s that I would like to discard/recycle or donate, and want to make sure that the hard drives for each are sufficiently cleaned so that any information on them cannot be retrieved. Is there a relatively easy way to do this? -Dale Smith
Simply erasing files will NOT do the job. Even reformatting the drive will not provide protection.That’s because both actions actually leave the data from the files on the drive. Erasing files and reformatting simple remove tracking information so that the operating systems knows it is OK to overwrite those secretors on the hard drive. But until those sectors are actually overwritten, the data is still there to be retrieved by someone with the right tool. The answer is a disk wipe program, and there are quite a number of them available for free download on the internet. Just search for disk wipe. These applications actually write over the entire drive, displacing the data that had been there.