Forensically Unrecoverable Hard Drive Data Destruction

Contributed by Daniel G. James

You have probably heard someone make the statement, “once it is has been deleted it is gone forever!” This statement is simply just not true. Deleted files can actually be recovered if effort to do so is made shortly after deletion. Another common misconception is that formatting a data storage device will erase all data beyond recovery. This scenario is also not true. It is possible to restore partition tables on a drive and recover the entire contents! So, how can anyone be sure their data has been destroyed beyond recovery? The solution is overwriting the data with random or consecutive patterns. This can be done with a number of freeware and retail products.

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