Please tell me if I'm wrong about this, but data can be recovered from disk because "delete" only removes the start of the address leaving the data largely intact until that section is written over. Therefore, filling the disk up with other files will have to overwrite all "deleted" data. So copy one large file over to the drive then multiple copies to same drive, select all and copy to same drive again will effectively replace overwrite any sensitive files. Is that right?
Gary Wood, If you just want to format it, and it`s still in your PC, and you`re OS is Windows XP (A lot of ifs) click on My Computer, Right click on the appropriate drive and click on Format. That`s the quick way, unless you`ve got dreadful secrets or indeed official secrets to hide.
Formatting the disk was not secure enough, since the drive will be reconditioned by the manufacturer and hence may end up in someone else's computer, and it contained personal information such as accounts etc.
As suggested by Monument, I deleted my files by formatting the drive and then ran Eraser 5.7. It's a very easy to use program which overwrites the drive to ensure that previous data cannot be recovered.
A word of warning to anyone thinking of using Eraser, though - it takes a fair while to process. My 250Gb drive took about 3 hours!
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