All About Shredders

   Erasing CDs and Other Computer Media

    Securely erasing files without shredding the media

This article is about total erasure of the information on CD-Rs, DVDs, and other rewritable removable computer media, so that they can be re-used without danger of proprietary data being retrieved. If you're more interested in destroying removable computer media, see the article on shredding CDs and other computer media.

You may question the necessity for this. After all, shouldn't it be sufficient just to delete files? No; generally, all this does is to delete the index to the files on the CD-R etc. while leaving the file itself untouched. OK; usually there's an "quick erase" option which clears the file as well by over-writing it with a single character (binary zeros or blanks, for instance) or with random characters. Usually, this is enough. Beyond that, there is a "full erase" which verifies that the space is clear (and which takes longer) and the "format" option which clears the device, initializes all the track ID information, and does a surface analysis which clears the data completely as a byproduct (and takes MUCH longer).

No particular software is needed for this; that which comes with your device driver should give you all the options you need. If you feel that this isn't secure enough, you can check out other programs which can be found on the 'net.

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