Data Sanitization

Securely Erase Your Data!

We hear it from so many of you… data sanitization is simply a time-consuming task. Your team has projects stacking on top of each other and you can’t afford to pull resources away to work on the tedious task of sanitizing data from every hard drives pulled out of soon-to-be-retired assets.

And don’t even get us started on the insane circular argument we all know as HDD warranty replacement… Can’t send your defective drives out for replacement because they hold data, but you don’t have the resources to sanitize the data so that you can send them back – what’s the definition of insanity again?

Add to all of this, the growing concerns over the penalties of non-compliance combined with the vagueness of the regulatory bodies surrounding the issue of data retention and data erasure have put you in an tight spot.

Protect yourself!  Click here to view the latest penalties for data security.

So whether you call it Data Erasure, Data Sanitization, Data Wiping, or Data Purging, it all means the same thing: a major drain on your team’s time resources. We’re here to help. Our dual verification process ensures accuracy and provides a clear record of the serial number of each drive on which data erasure was performed.

Let’s start with the different options available:

  • External Overwrite (1-Pass, 3-Pass, n-Pass)

    This is the most common form of data sanitization and it’s what you’ll find in almost any commercial or free application. Indicate the number of overwrites you want and a series of 0’s and 1’s is written across the drive. More overwrites results in a more thorough data sanitization.

    Regardless of the number of passes required for your security needs, the key to a successful overwrite project is auditing and verification. Our team is well versed in auditing large projects of hundred or even thousands of drives, even across multiple sites. We will ensure that you have a thorough accounting of every drive’s successful data sanitization for compliance reporting.

    Equally important — our team will identify those drives that fail erasure and prepare a secondary compliance log for proper auditing of the degaussing and destruction processes. Not all drives will handle the overwrite process, likely due to physical damage. The ability to monitor the data erasure and identify failures is vital in the ability to ensure all data is properly sanitized and all compliance reporting is valid.
  • Degaussing

    Degaussing is a destructive process, meaning that the drives becomes “bricked” and can no longer operate. Degaussing is a quick and effective method of data eradication if there is no need to re-purpose the HDD assets.

    There is some concern that as the linear density of magnetic recording media increases, the resulting increase in magnetic coercivity requires ever stronger magnetic fields for proper degaussing. Simply put – you need to make sure that the degaussing equipment used is not much older than the drives they are to be used on or else you may not be getting the complete data eradication that you wanted!
  • Physical Destruction

    The ultimate destructive process – the physical shredding or incineration of the drives. We strongly recommend that this be performed ONLY after a data eradication option is performed — to ensure that all data is first destroyed and then the physical drive can be safely destroyed.

    Even physical destruction is not absolute if any remaining disk pieces are larger than a single 512-byte record block in size, about 1/125″ in modern drives. As linear and track densities increases, the maximum allowable size of disk fragments will continue to shrink even further. Destroyed fragments of this size can been imaged and restored using forensic techniques such as magnetic microscopy.


Archive Data can handle all of these Data Eradication options for you. We can even perform a blend of data eradication services if you need, such as sanitization and then physical destruction.

Whether you need the work performed on-site at a single location, on-site across multiple locations, or off-site at our facility, we follow stringent guidelines to ensure chain of custody throughout the process and a full certification that all data on every hard drive is thoroughly eradicated.

Just let us know what you’re dealing with and we’ll make that problem go away so that you get back to more important issues.