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RandyTechFlag for Canada

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Low level format IDE / Sata USB Drives

I have a lot of hard drives that I cannot dispose off until the data is cleared.
Can anyone let me know of a good utility program that I can download to get the job done?
Thanks,
Randy
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JeremySBrown
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Thanks, but most of the drives are out of the computers.
I am using USB enclosures to access the drives.

Randy
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Avatar of Lee W, MVP
Darik's can do multiple disks at once, if memory serves.  So connecting them inside a computer temporarily would make it faster (USB is SLOW compared to SATA and EIDE).

and I concur - DBAN - Darik's Boot and Nuke.
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Dr. Klahn

I use MHDD.  It can zero, format and quality test drives, but only one at a time.
DBAN is good, however, it has no certifications. That said, I've used it frequently.

If you have a need for a certified product (i.e. you're handling drives that contain either legal or PHI data), I'd suggest www.killdisk.com .  The pro version ($45 / $55) handles DOD 5220.22m, OPS-II, Bruce Schneier, and a ton of others.  The free version doesn't have the certifications, but it's the same basic suite...
if you only want to wipe data - you can use BCwipe too : http://www.jetico.com/
what i do in such case is set up a pc for it, that i can connect drives too as i want, and  only use it for that - since it can take days...
I suggest that you don't use any application, if you are using windows, then let me introduce this command
CIPHER

lets assume that the USB HDD is drive f:
first
if you are using XP:

format f: /u
if Vista and later
format f: /p:2
2 is the number of passes that windows will take on every sector

then use CIPHER
so what we do is
f:\>cipher /w:f:\

this will let windows write 0's in all empty data, then write 1's then it will write some random data, and after all it will delete it. so its impossible to retrieve data back
If you don't want anyone to get your data, burn the drives in oven. That will clearly erase the data. Otherwise you have been suggested enough wipers already.
Well, if they're not too old and could be reused usefully by charity or reuse centre, then you want a wiper as suggested so you can be assured that the information is pretty much irretrievable even if the drive works.

But if you're making landfill, cooking is an idea I hadn't thought of.  A magnetic bulk tape eraser, from Radio shack, egghead, or the like, would probably be much much quicker than wiping, but it can damage the drive, so the drive being reformattable / reusable becomes a crapshoot unlike say reblanking videotape or reformatting mag tape, getting the data back near impossible, that being the objective.  Basically it is a large electromagnet with a trigger, hold it against the drive and pull, the head inside rattles and crashes like a SOB while the magnetic surface is randomly reoriented like those black filings on the end of a magnet in a grade 3 science experiment!  haha   Be careful of course, that you keep the bulk eraser away from all things computer the rest of the time.
I was going to say sledgehammer 'til the platters are broken, which we also sometimes do in addition to the bulk magnet, for the tuly serious guarantee of data being destroyed

... and then I remembered @DanCh99's answer and thought it might have you all laughing out loud as well LOL!!  https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/26708735/How-to-erase-drive-on-a-very-old-Dell-machine.html?cid=1578&anchorAnswerId=34453850#a34453850