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data erasure

Although today’s topic revolves around data erasure, we will first clarify differences between data deletion and erasure.

Both data deletion and data erasure may appear to be the same thing since they both "delete data."

In layman's terms, "data deletion" may be thought of as emptying the Recycle Bin or Trash (on a Mac) or using the SHIFT+DEL command to relocate a file from a visible position on your system or external drive to an unknown location. Similarly, "data erasure" can refer to the act of erasing (or wiping) data from a storage medium such that it vanishes to an unknown location, similar to how a piece of information is wiped from paper.

Data deletion and erasure are radically different in every way, from their aim and technique to the end-results.

Data erasure explained

Data erasure is a software-based technique for securely overwriting digitally stored information with random binary data according to a given standard, then validating and certifying that the erasure was successful. It is one of three authorized ways for accomplishing data filtration.

Secure data erasure may take place in both active and inactive contexts, on servers, PCs/laptops, mobile devices, portable media, and loose drives, as well as in big, virtualized data centers and cloud environments.

  • Erasing data on a digital storage device implies that all regions of the disk are probably replaced with 0s and 1s. While the device's capability is preserved, all data is permanently unrecoverable.
  • Data erasure in targeted sanitization refers to the verifiable overwriting of a defined file, folder, or place, such as a LUN, while keeping non-targeted regions intact and functioning.

Permanent data erasure goes beyond simple file deletion instructions, which just delete direct links to data disk sectors and allow data retrieval using popular software tools. Data erasure, unlike degaussing and physical destruction, which leave storage media useless, wipes all data while keeping the disk operational. Data erasure methods may fail with new flash memory-based media implementations, such as solid-state drives or USB flash drives, allowing leftover data to be recovered.

Software-based overwriting writes a torrent of zeros, ones, or nonsensical permutation data over all sectors of a hard disk drive using a software package.

Some data erasure apps use remote data destruction to protect data on lost or stolen media if the password is erroneously input. Data erasure tools may also be used to target specific data on a drive for routine erasure, which is a faster way of hacker protection than software encryption. A typical approach with minimal performance reduction is hardware/firmware encryption incorporated into the disk itself or integrated drivers.


Large amounts of private data are frequently stored in information technology assets. On computer hard drives or servers, social security numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, medical records, and classified information are frequently kept. These can end up on other media such as printers, USB, flash, Zip, Jaz, and REV drives, either accidentally or on purpose. True erasure is required so that public and private sector organizations can defend against data breaches, comply with a plethora of data security rules, make optimal use of resources, and implement environmentally friendly practices—all while managing a complex portfolio of IT assets.

Typical file-deletion instructions just remove references to the disk sectors where the data is stored, not the data itself. Data that has been "removed" can be simply retrieved using simple software tools. Data and device lifecycle management, such as device returns and data migration, require adequate data recompilation. Because businesses often utilize a variety of disk and gadget capabilities, it's critical to apply the correct procedures on the right equipment to get the best results, especially when doing remote erasure when data storage assets are thousands of miles away from experts.


Erasing data offers enterprises with tamper-proof certifications of erasure to enable compliance with an expanding number of data protection standards, such as those requiring data reduction, "right to erasure," or "right to deletion."

It also aids firms in moving away from less ecologically friendly data and gadget disposal processes and toward more sustainable circular business models. With data erasure, businesses may resale or reuse devices without fear of sensitive data being compromised, resulting in considerable reductions in electronic waste.

Data Erasure Software

If you want an easy way to perform data erasure on your hard drive, data erasure software is a good choice. DoYourData Super Eraser is a powerful, safe and easy-to-use data erasure program which offers certified data erasure methods to permanently erase data from PC, Mac, memory card, HDD, SSD, USB drive, digital camera, etc.

DoYourData Super Eraser

  • Certified data erasure algorithms: HMG Infosec Standard 5 (1 pass), Peter Gutmann's algorithm 2 (2 passes), U.S. Army AR380-19 (3 passes), DoD 5220.22-M ECE (7 passes), Peter Gutmann's algorithm 35 (35 passes).
  • Permanently erase data from computer & external device.
  • 100% safe, no physical damage.
  • Support SSD data erasure.

Please note that once your data is erased by DoYourData Super Eraser, the data will be lost forever, can’t be recovered by any data recovery software. Before you sell, donate or dispose of your old computer, you can use this software to securely wipe all sensitive data.

data erasure software


Data erasure is the process of overwriting existing data on a storage sector with binary patterns such as '1s' and '0s,' or meaningless pseudo-random patterns, with the goal of destroying or sanitizing the data.

Data erasure is the process of erasing or sanitizing data in order to make it utterly useless. Simply put, when data is deleted or rewritten with binary patterns, it becomes unintelligible.

In terms of the patterns and passes employed (i.e. the number of times a pattern is written), as well as how the outcome of a specific overwriting technique on a drive is validated, the overwriting methods used for achieving data erasure on a storage media varies. For data erasure, the DoD 5220.22-M approach, for example, employs three runs of 0s, 1s, and random characters with 100 percent verification.

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Written & Updated by Justin Kenny

Justin Kenny is a writer & editor of DoYourData. He joined DoYourData in 2016 and focuses on writing articles about Windows data recovery, Mac data recovery, external device data recovery, hard drive clone, data erasure, Mac cleanup, computer issue fixes, etc. He is a super fan of Apple devices and is big on testing new digital device and system utility software.

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