Cleaning A Hard Drive - Really
Privacy has always been important, what with people storing important documents in safes and safety deposit boxes in the past and now digitally as well. But the idea of privacy has changed through the years and for many is centered around a computer — be it a desktop or laptop or a portable (commonly known these days as a smartphone). But because of physicall storage space and security protocols and software that has been in place for dozens of years, desktop/laptop computers have been the recipient of many of the “secrets” of their owners. So what happens when a person wants to sell off their computer? Some say to pull the hard drives and physically destroy them — taking a hammer to them. Others say it’s no big deal and running simple and conventional data erasing software can do the trick (just reformat the drive, it’s no big deal, some say). But in order to really know that there’s nothing hidden on the drive that an unscrupulous person can access — and because selling a computer without a hard drive/SSD drive in it sometimes isn’t practical (like when it’s embedded in a laptop) or too much trouble to have to deal with or just doesn’t make sense to sell a computer without a drive in it — you need to use a software program that will really “kill” all the data the drive has, but doesn’t physically destroy the drive’s ability to be used in the future. The software needs to make it so that the drive is truly “clean” and so as if it was never used. Which is even more true if the computer/hard drive is being recycled. Such is the basis behind REDKEY USB.
REDKEY USB Is Key
Let’s get REDKEY’s own physical construction of the way. It looks like a red key and so the name (duh) and even has a hole in the head area so it could be put on a keychain, not that you would do that but a lanyard maybe? Of course it’s a bit bigger than a standard house key since it has a standard full size USB plug at one end. That USB plug is USB 2.0 compliant (or higher) and so pretty much any computer/laptop can accept the plug. It comes in a sealed red card that details what it can do and notes it’s serial number. What you can’t see is the activation code because that’s hidden inside the packaging. Which means you have to go online to activate the key by downloading a PC program that interacts with the key and makes it functional. And that’s for as many times as you now want to use it, with online updates being part of it — has to use a PC for activism on and updating. Yeah it sounds a bit complex, but it’s not and mostly it points to this not being some toy software for wiping a disk. Military grade ain’t no joke so using it isn’t either. We should also note that while activation requires an online connection, use of the REDKEY does not — so that eliminates any chance that data could be transmitted through the Internet. The software is licensed but you own the key.
Let’s Take Out That Hard Drive
Now to use REDKEY USB, that’s all about militarily grade defense wiping standards and being able to view a report afterwards as to what it has accomplished. But for those who need to know every little detail, here’s how it goes: The PC (or Macintosh because it works fine, just not the activation because it’s a Linux OS on the key) is turned on, running Windows or MacOS and waiting and you for sure know what drive you are going to “kill” and have a backup done if you cared. REDKEY USB now goes into an open USB port and then the PC is powered on (pressing F12/F10 (or similar). The end result being to go into the root menu where REDKEY can now be selected and allowed to load and run. Then following the onscreen prompts takes care of it all since data — all data — is now erased (sure there are default settings that can be changed — use the advanced menu). When it’s all done, it’s done. And you can use it again and again if you want on as many computer as you want (just don’t go out looking for drives to erase…LOL).
Three Versions But One Objective - Erasure
Now let’s get a bit more specific about REDKEY because there’s actually 3 versions: Home, Professional and Ultimate Editions, with the Home having the basic and the other two adding to that. Home gives you the following: Certified data erasure, 25 data wipe standards and a Hex viewer. Professional added to that with customized wipe settings, PDF wipe reports, view system information and customize images and audio. Ultimate adds even more with Pre-fill optional report info and Automated scripting. To save on packaging waste, it’s a small sticker on the package that says what version the key has.
REDKEY USB is compatible with Windows compatible desktop/laptops in existence since 2001 and the majority of Intel-based Mac desktop/laptops made between 2006 - 2019. Prices vary for the different versions but all are less than $100.00. For more details and pricing go to https://redkeyusb.com/