How to wipe an encrypted USB?
Superuser youcanclearanything shared his question about how to wipe an encrypted USB flash drive that belongs to the company and he happened to stored personal files in. He tried some wiping methods but still failed to make the USB clean. Here's the quote:
My company has issued an encrypted USB flash drive which I stored my personal data in it. I am resigning from the company and I wanted to wipe the data in the usb drive but I have forgotten the password.
I tried using dban and nuke to wipe the data but it is an unrecognised device shown in dban.
The USB flash drive comes with an EXE program which I need to enter a password before the drive can be mounted.
How do I remove my personal data in the encrypted USB flash drive?
I tried gpart and the disk couldnt be found
I tried diskpart and the disk was 0 bytes, neither can I find any partition or able to clean it.
I did a live ubuntu cd boot and the usb thumb drive was detected as a cd-rom
He tried Dban, Gparted, Diskpart and the Ubuntu CD, but no one worked.
Other users recommended destroying the USB physically. Just hit it with a hammer and buy a new USB for the company, which might be a solution but not the best option when you can wipe this thing with free software.
ByebyeData Eraser Free Edition is capable of wiping entire disk, drive and individual files and folders. The USB flash drive is the device Eraser supports, so just plug in the USB and Run ByebyeData Eraser as administrator, then do the followings:
1. Click Erase entire disk and ByebyeData Eraser will reload the list, if you don’t see the USB drive there, click the Reload button.
2. Select the USB Drive and choose a wiping method for it.
There're 4 types of overwrite: simple, advanced, complex and very complex. Normally it's enough for home users to use the simple overwrite methods, but since the USB is from your company, it's better to ask the IT guys which standards they required for cleaning data, FYI, DoD 3-pass or 7-pass is always used in business and campus. Apart from the DoD wiping methods, there're many other government standards built-in ByebyeData Eraser, just send a screenshot to the IT dept, and they will give you the answers.
3. Click Erase Now and confirm. There's no need to decrypt the encrypted USB drive first, when the storage media is loaded, it can be erased.
The USB flash drive is now in RAW status, it's unalloacted space and it cannot be recognized by Windows Explorer, it has nothing in it either, sysadmin won't be able to recover anything from it, so you can just return the USB drive now or you can initialize it in Disk management and format this drive so it can be reused by others as a new drive again.