Difference Between Erasing, Formatting, and Wiping

Published: 22nd April 2010
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A normal computer user follows numerous ways to ensure that his/her data is permanently deleted and can not be accessed by anybody. Few common techniques followed by a user to erase all the data are, emptying the Recycle Bin, Shift+ delete operation, and hard disk formatting. These techniques are really helpful in case the user wants to donate or sell his computer system. However, the question here arises is that, are these techniques really helpful in permanently deleting the data? The answer for the question is 'No'. This is because, the data deleted using any of the above techniques can be easily recovered using an effective data recovery application. So, if the user wants to permanently erase the hard drive data, s/he needs to use an advanced Hard drive wipe application.

Erasing the hard drive data:

Most of the computer users perform Shift+Delete operation or empty the Recycle Bin to permanently erase data from their hard drive. These techniques, however, do not delete data, but merely hide the files from the user until they are overwritten. In reality, the files can be accessed with advanced data recovery software.

Formatting the hard drive:

Another misconception that most of the computer users have is that formatting deletes all the data permanently. That is the reason why most of the users dispose off their hard drive after just formatting. However, truth is that the process of formatting only deletes the file system entries from the hard drive, while the data remains recoverable using effective data recovery utilities.

To overcome the pitfalls of both the above techniques and to permanently erase the data, computer users should opt for an advanced Hard Drive Wipe application.

Wiping the hard drive:

Hard drive wipe is the process of permanently erasing data from the hard drive. The data deleted using these wipe methods can not be recovered by any data recovery application. The process not only deletes data, but also the operating systems, program files, and any kind of malicious software.

To effectively wipe hard drive, you need to search for a powerful Data Eraser Software. Such applications are readily available on the Internet and can be used by any computer user, irrespective of his/her level of technical knowledge.

Stellar Disk Wipe permanently deletes all the file systems, partition tables, files, and everything else from a hard drive. Compatible with Windows (Vista, XP, 2003, and 2000) and Mac OS X (10.4 and 10.5), the Data Eraser Software is easy to understand and can be used by anybody without any prior technical knowledge. The files deleted using these software can not be recovered using any data recovery application.


Pavan sharma a student of Mass Communication doing research on Drive wipe .He is also a freelancer for Hard drive wipe.


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