When you format your hard drive, files are usually not erased in any way but are just deleted from the directory listings. Means that your files are still in your hard disk after formatting. This is a big privacy issue if you want to sell your computer (hard disk) to someone who’re not your friend. If you are a Mac OS X or Linux user, you have a chance to securely erase your hard disk. Mac OS X’s “Disk Utility” gives this options when you are formatting your hard drive; secure deletion of free space or disk using a “zero out” data, a 7-pass DOD 5520-22 M standard, or a 35-pass Gutmann algorithm. Most of the Linux distributions also have this Gutmann algorithim for erasing data.
But what if you are using Windows. The free software called DBAN (Darik’s Boot And Nuke), comes to our help. DBAN (Darik’s Boot and Nuke) is a self-contained boot disk that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers. DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction. The usage of DBAN is really so simple. Just burn it to a CD/DVD and reboot your computer.
A few weeks ago, I gave my old iBook to a friend of mine who wants to use this iBook as a router. So I decided to format my Mac. If I had a Mac OS X installation DVD/Cd’s nearby, it would be easy to securely erase my data but I couldn’t find any. I started to search a program and found DBAN, tested and used it. Really great application to securely erase your hard disk.