Data Sanitization Resources

Data sanitization is the process of deliberately, permanently, irreversibly removing or destroying the data stored on a memory device. These memory devices include, but are not limited to, the following: computer hard drives, magnetic disks, flash memory devices, CDs and DVDs, PDAs (e.g., Palm Pilots, Pocket PCs, and Smart phones), Zip disks, and USB storage devices (e.g., flash drives, iPods, and portable hard drives). A device that has been sanitized has no usable residual data remaining and even advanced forensic tools should never be able to recover erased data.

All memory devices containing protected data must undergo data sanitization before relocating, reassigning, donating, or disposing of the device. Following are the currently recommended data sanitization tools.

Note The Web sites below are furnished with the intention of providing data sanitization resources only. Any links leading to external Web sites and resources are provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only. These external sites do not constitute an endorsement or any association with the University. Cal State L.A. bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of the external site.

Utility for Windows, Unix/Linux, and Mac Systems

Utilities for Internal and External Hard Drives

Utilities for Flash Drives and Flash Memory Sticks

The following hardware tool is recommended to securely sanitize flash drives.

The following software tool is recommended to securely sanitize flash drives.

Utility for External Hard Drives and Magnetic Disks


This Web page will be updated as new data sanitization tools become available.