Used Hard Drives

Written by Nicole Madison
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Many people decide to sell or give away their used computers systems and hard drives when they decide to upgrade. Others simply dump their unwanted hard drives in the trash. Be aware that you need to take care when you dispose of your used hard drives. Your personal information may still be stored on your old hard drive for anyone to see.

Disposing of Used Hard Drives

You may think you are protecting your personal files by deleting your sensitive information and even emptying your computer's recycle bin. Unfortunately, deleting your files is just not enough. Surprisingly, even reformatting your hard drive may not render your information unrecoverable. Even if you cannot find your deleted file on your system, the information contained in the file can remain there for someone to retrieve, until it is overwritten.

In a time when identity theft is running rampant, the thought of personal information remaining on your used hard drive may make you want to take drastic measures. Many people have come to believe the only effective way to safely dispose of used hard drives is to pound them into little pieces with a hammer. Fortunately, this is incorrect. You can thoroughly erase your hard drive and protect your vital information by writing over all your old data with new data at least once. Writing over it several times, however, is even better.

Unix system hard drives can be wiped clean of data by typing a simple, one line command. For Windows operating systems there are a number of quality programs that can be used to wipe your used hard drives clean. Sure, you could destroy your used hard drive to be completely sure your information is erased, but for most people, running a simple program is effective enough.

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