4 steps to permanently erase sensitive files
How to permanently erase sensitive files from computer without recovery in Windows 7 or Windows 10? How to protect privacy and passwords on old hard drive before selling computer? Do you have a plan for erasing USB flash drive sensitive data, because I don't want anything to be recovered if my USB fell into the wrong hands.
Many users would suggest that the best solution to secure sensitive file is to use a hammer, that absolutely is the best option when you don't want the hard drive or the computer any more, but the fact is, I have no spare hard drives to replace the old one, besides, the current drive is still at service and doing well in every aspect, there is no reason for me to find a replacement, only data on the hard drive are of my concern, they need to be wiped clean. So I would like to try a more gentle way of erasing data, that's to overwrite them with meaningless characters.
After a complete backup of the sensitive files to external hard drive, you can use the following 4 steps to completely erase sensitive files:
1 Download the data sanitation program
ByebyeData Eraser is the software we're about to download for secure erasing sensitive files. Go to this page and choose the right edition for you to download. If the sensitive files you willing to erase are small sizes, you can try the Free edition, office documentations or txt files commonly will not take much space, but video files, images files or other types of files may take much capacity, by then, the Pro for Home edition shall be the best choice. Download it and Install, install it to C Drive or other drive is OK, the default path goes to C Drive, you can change it to other path when installing. After installed, run it.
2 Add files to erase
In the first window of ByebyeData Eraser click Erase files and folders and click the Add files button to add those files have meanings to you. it is better to put all the sensitive files to a folder and you can directly add the folder to erase use the button Add folders. After adding files to the list, check again to find out if you miss out some files. You can also use Windows + F (Windows 7) and type the keyword of the certain file name to locate file you don't sure which drive they are in. If you add the wrong file, you can uncheck the box in front of it to tell Eraser not to erase it.
3Choose an erasing standard
ByebyeData Eraser has 4 types of overwriting methods to erase data, they are:
Simple overwrite: write-zero, write-one, and Pseudo-random overwrite, they use 1 pass overwrite.
Advanced overwrite: Pseudo-random & Zeros, GOST-R-50739-95, DoD 5220.22-M, US Army AR 380-19 and US Air Force, AFSSI 5020. Five advanced overwrite standards; the first two use 2 passes while the rest of them adopt 3 passes overwrite methods.
Complex overwrite: Pseudo-random Zeros, RCMP TSSIT OPS-II, DoD 5220.22-M (ECE), German Standard, VSITR and Bruce Schneier's Algorithm. Five complex overwrite standards too, the first of which takes 6 passes while the rest of them use 7 passes to overwrite.
Very complex overwrite: Peter Gutmann's Algorithm, 35 passes, almost overkill to hard drive, take really long time to perform. If you don't have special needs on this algorithm, use the 7-pass or 3-pass plans.
4Click Erase Now
After selected a wiping method and re-checked the earing list of files, you can click Erase Now and ByebyeData Eraser will ask you again to confirm the operation, confirm it when you say the message popup and Eraser will start to erase files in the list, yes, Permanently erase.