Definition

hard drive overwriter

In e-cycling, a hard drive overwriter is a program or utility that repeatedly overwrites the data on a computer's hard drive with gibberish. Once data is saved to a hard drive, it's surprisingly persistent. Simply deleting files makes them more difficult to access, but doesn't actually get rid of them. The data remains in the hard drive until it is overwritten. By overwriting the entire hard drive with gibberish, the user ensures that their information remains inaccessible no matter where the computer might eventually wind up. There are a number of products that overwrite hard drive data, including Norton's WipeInfo, OnTrack's DataEraser and Jetico's BCWipe.

This was last updated in March 2007
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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