How to Permanently Erase Data from External Hard Drive?

author

Anna

updated on 2020-07-17 to Data Erasure

Why you need to permanently erase data from a external hard drive? Here is an example from CNET Forum:

“I have this external hard drive that I plan on passing on to someone else but I want to make sure all data is gone and that no recovery tool can get it back. So what is the best way to permanently remove the data from my external hard drive? Do i need special software? Do I reformat? When i right click on it, it gives me a "format" option. Format to NTFS and then it gives me several allocation unit size option. So would that do it? Again, do I need special software? Is there any kind of freeware out there that will do it?”

Actually, after you reformat the external hard drive, the lost data in the reformatted external hard drive still can be recovered by data recovery software. For example, Magoshare data recovery software is able to completely recover lost data from a reformatted external hard drive. If you want to permanently erase data from an external hard drive, you need special data erasure tool. Data recovery tool is able to securely and permanently erase your data on external hard drive, leaving no trace for data recovery.

Download best external hard drive data erasure tool

AweEraser is a powerful yet easy-to-use data erasure program. It can help you securely and permanently erase data from external hard drive with advanced data erasure algorithms including HMG Infosec Standard 5 (1 pass), German FOFIS (2 passes), DOD 5220.22-M (3 passes), U.S. Army AR380-19 (7 passes), Peter Gutmann's algorithm (35 passes).

  • Once the data on the external hard drive is erased by AweEraser, the data is gone forever, can’t be recovered by any data recovery software.
  • AweEraser is 100% data erasure tool. It will not cause any damage to the external hard drive/portable SSD.
  • It is recommended to make a backup before wiping all data on your external hard drive.

AweEraser supports to permanently erase data from local hard drive, portable hard drive, memory card, USB flash drive, digital camera, etc. It is very easy-to-use, and can be installed on both PC and Mac. Download it here:

Three modes to permanently erase data from external hard drive

To meed different data erasure needs, AweEraser offers three modes to help you permanently erase data. Here, we will show you the three modes to erase data from your external hard drive. (First of all, run AweEraser on your computer and connect the external hard drive to your computer via USB cable.)

Mode 1. Selectively shred files from external hard drive.

Just choose mode - Erase Files. And select files from external hard drive to the erasure list, click on Erase button. All the selected files will be permanently erased.

permanently erase data from external hard drive

Mode 2. Wipe all data on external hard drive.

Just choose mode - Erase Hard Drive. Just select the external hard drive and then click on Erase button to wipe all data on the external hard drive. All existing files, deleted data and traces on the external hard drive will be permanently erased.

permanently erase data from external hard drive

Mode 3. Wipe deleted data on external hard drive.

Wipe free disk space of external hard drive. It will permanently erase all deleted data on the external hard drive without affecting the existing files.

permanently erase data from external hard drive

Before you sell, donate or trade in your external hard drive, you can choose the mode 2 to permanently erase all data on the external hard drive. It will not cause any damage to your external hard drive. Once the data is erased by AweEraser, there is no way to get the data back. AweEraser also can help you format external hard drive, repair crashed external hard drive. Download this powerful data erasure software.

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AweEraser for Windows

Securely shred files and wipe hard drive with military data erasure standards.

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AweEraser for Mac

Securely and permanently erase data from Mac hard drive or storage media.

Download for Mac