Data Destruction

By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2010-09-21

We’re disposing of around 20 outdated PCs from the eWEEK Labs test center in San Francisco and the question of “what to do with the old hard drives?” has arisen.

We have an equipment recycle service, but they make no guarantees as to what actually happens to the systems we hand over. These systems never had regulated or proprietary information on them so I don’t need them chopped up or melted down. So while I want the drives wiped I do want them to be usable for the next person.

Our method of disposal has been to use Acronis to wipe the disks. This is a fairly tedious process, but it’s a nice, easy task to slot in between other lab maintenance jobs. But the process got me wondering about commercial grade providers of media destruction services. Since I got a pitch from Intelligent Decisions a couple of weeks ago so I did a little research to find out what they could do. It turns out, quite a bit.

The company handles paper and electronic media. They also offer sanitizing methods that allow the recycling and reuse of the equipment, if something less than near complete destruction is an option for your company. And Intelligent Decisions provides an asset tag/label removal service to make it much harder for equipment to be traced back to the original owner.

Not surprisingly, the company is based in Virginia. The Washington DC metro area is undoubtedly rich in agencies that want assured destruction and have the budget to pay for the service.

For those, like eWEEK Labs, for whom something less than near-nuclear annihilation is an option, software options are likely still a good bet for the foreseeable future.

Rocket Fuel