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How to Securely Erase Data

This page outlines options for securely and appropriately erasing data.

How to: Data Erasure/Disposal

Hard Disk Drives (HHDs)



Solid State Drives (SSDs)

The best method to use for any (Windows, Mac, *nix) SSD is full-disk encryption.  This means that the entire disk will need to be securely erased and reformatted to securely remove all remnants of data if it is to be reused or securely destroy the encryption key.

  1. Full disk encryption and complete erasure of the disk:
    • FileVault is Apple's full-disk encryption.
    • BitLocker is Microsoft’s full-disk encryption.
    • ShredWipedd, and scrub are Linux commands or applications that will work for SSDs. (This will not clear deleted files and may limit the life of the SSD.)
  2. For systems with SSD where you would like to partially encrypt and securely delete only files and folders (not the entire disk) on Mac, Linux and Windows, there is an open source solution. 

Keywordserase data disposal hard-drive   Doc ID105670
OwnerJoAnna P.GroupRice U
Created2020-09-08 11:00 CSTUpdated2023-05-04 07:07 CST
SitesRice University
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