Three Methods for Destroying Data on a Hard Disk Drive

There are three main methods used for destroying the data stored on a hard disk drive.  These are:

  1. Overwriting the data stored on the drive
  2. Physical destruction of the drive
  3. Degaussing of the drive


It is important to note the of the three methods, only overwriting allows for reuse of the drive.  Both physical destruction and degaussing destroy the drive beyond repair or reuse.

Each of these three methods has value and the determination of  when to use each is based on the circumstance.  Here is some scenarios as to when each should be used:


  • When the drive can be reused within an organization
  • When the drive can be re-marketed
  • When the drive needs to be returned to the OEM in functional order for warranty credit
  • When the drive is part of system that is planning to be reused or repurposed


Physical destruction

  • When the drive has no resale value
  • When the drive does not need to be returned for warranty credit



  • When physical destruction is not available or is cost prohibitive at a certain location
  • When data needs to be destroyed quickly


For more details on any of these methods, please contact Revert.