How to Securely Erase (or wipe) your hard disk

The purpose of this blog entry is to show how easy it is to securely erase the sensitive information on an old computer.

I recently purchased a new desktop for my use at home and prior to disposing of my old computer wanted to be sure that the data on it was securely erased. I have done this multiple times in the past, mostly at previous employers but I don’t recall ever documenting how to do it.

For those of you that want to be sure that your data is completely gone before donating or throwing out your old PC, here are the simple steps you need to take, see below for more detail on each step:

  1. Boot from a Linux-based CDROM
  2. Figure out which devices you want to securely erase.
  3. Use the “shred” command to wipe the device clean.

In more detail, here’s what I did with my computer:

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