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If new hardware is installed, you might end up with huge amounts of remaining data on the old hard drives. Especially for companies, these contents might be highly sensitive and should not stay on these drives. With the necessary knowledge and enough time, most data could possibly be restored, if you merely delete it. We found an interesting article about cleaning hard drives before throwing them away. Of course this hard drive cleaning can also be done to re-use hard drives.


1. wiping software

There are several wiping software products. Some of them are freeware and save costs. The disadvantage: It is not possible to use such software on broken hardware and if you are able to use it, it takes time, because the hard drive will be overwritten with lots of “useless” data and information several times. Read the instruction carefully and make sure you have backups of everything you want to keep. If the software is running, the content on the drive can not be recovered.

2. Hardware

There are also hardware tools you could use. These products are more expensive than the software solutions, but they clean faster and need no extra computer which cleans the hard drive for hours.

3. Physical violence.

With a hammer, a long nail and eye protection a hard drive can also be destroyed. Especially if not only the disks but also the reading heads are physically destroyed.


1. The easiest way to erase solid-state drives is to use the products released by the manufacturers. SanDisk, Corsair, Intel and many more offer tools on their websites.

2. The second way is to use a strong encryption. Without the correct decrypting key no one will ever get the data back. After encrypting all data the drive can be just formatted.

3. Violence. Again. The “hammer trick” will also work on SSDs. Due to the physical characteristics of the SSD it is recommended to remove the drive cover. Only with an opened cover all flash storage chips of the SSD can be destroyed.

Please note: The “hammer trick” will successfully prevent the re-use of hard drives and is recommended for already broken devices only.

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