Secure Erasing Disk Drives

When you perform a secure erase on a disk drive, all data on that disk drive is completely and irretrievably eradicated. Secure erase performs three distinct writing passes to the disk drive being erased—it does not just write zeros.

Performing a secure erase takes up to six times longer than clearing (or zeroing) a disk drive; on a 2TB or 3TB drive, often it takes hours, possibly as long as a day! You may want to perform a secure erase only on disk drives that contain confidential or classified information.

Note: To erase (or zero) a disk drive with non-classified information, you may choose to format it (see Formatting and Verifying Disk Drives) instead, or initialize it using maxView Storage Manager—both options take much less time than the secure erase option.

To begin a secure erase, select Secure Erase from the Logical Device Configuration menu, then select Y (yes). To return to the main Logical Device Configuration menu once the secure erase has begun, press Esc.

Note: For newer SATA drives, you can choose to perform a Secure ATA Erase, which implements the secure erase feature at the drive firmware level. To start a Secure ATA Erase, select a SATA drive, then type Ctrl-S to open the Secure ATA Erase dialog. You will see this dialog only if the drive supports Secure ATA Erase.

The selected disk drive(s) cannot be used until the erase is complete.

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