I am selling some hard drives but my question is. How can I be sure that the information is gone?

Is there a good way to wipe the drives? What are ways I use to attempt to recover the data to ensure that they are clean.

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    From top spy to selling refurbished hard drives, poor Jason. Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 15:36

2 Answers 2


The wiki page for this has surprising amount of useful information here Usually between 2 and 3 passes will almost guarantee the removal of data from the majority of the layers, but for some tools corrupted sectors can cause issues. Most companies will use shredding services there after to ensure there is nothing coming off of those disks, so as for re-selling them i'm not entirely sure how that will work ;).

Also to be sure you will be looking for digital forensics, there are degree programs surrounding this topic so don't expect to learn it in a day. The most common tool used is this one the sleuth kit, there are plenty of blogs around for tips and tricks when using it. Happy hunting edit dd the unix utility is also awesome for this sort of thing


Consider that selling storage devices comes with risk, and that risk can be avoided if you destroy the storage media.

Today you could sell the aluminum bodies to a scrap dealer for $0.80USD per pound, and sell the scrap magnets on eBay for about $3.00USD per pound. It may not be as much as you can get for the working drive, but it comes with zero risk of data loss.

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