Hard Drive Sanitizing

The level of security required to comply with strict laws and regulations varies by business. At SE, we understand the laws, but most importantly we understand the liability and exposure to your company. Depending on your business, you may choose the level of sanitization your company needs.

SE recommends every hard drive be sanitized by Secure Erase. Secure Erase is the process of permanently removing information from a computer by activating a preexisting protocol hard-wired by the manufacturer into the hard drive.

As this process is not accessible directly through the BIOS functions of any computer, it cannot be inadvertently activated. It can only be activated by physically accessing the hard drive with the proper equipment and software.

When executed, Secure Erase causes the drive to internally erase all possible data, including data in reallocated disk sectors (sectors that the drive no longer uses because they have hard errors). To use this process, the hard drive must be newer than 2001 and have a capacity of at least 15 GB.

If Secure Erase is not supported by the hardware, SE uses the German Ferderal Office for Information Security (BSI) Verschlusssachen-IT-Richtlinien (VSITR) Standard, which overwrites the drive with seven passes.

Increasing the number of passes over the drive will increase the security of the erase process. The cost of this security, of course, is time.

All types of hard drives can be sanitized by SE, including IDE, SATA, SAS, 1 and SCSI drives. A detailed log file is generated identifying whether the sanitizing was 100% successful, after which certification of sanitization is provided for the unique serial number of each hard drive. If the process is not successful, our policy is to destroy the hard drive by shredding.