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Erasing HDD (Hard Disk Drives) with Nwipe

The old conventional electro mechanical data storage disks did a good job for ages. In the last decade they where replaced by Solid State Disks (SSD) and recently by the even faster Nvme and m.2 storage devices.

The problem with the conventional HDDs is that erased, even formatted data can be easily restored with special software and even open source software.

The European data privacy laws (GDPR/DSGVO) are there to protect peoples data.

If companies dispose old servers which have HDDs installed they need to make sure that the data is not recoverable. This can be reached by physically destroying the HDDs. This is the most secure way and more secure than to erase data with software.

Another way for me personally is to erase my HDDs with the open source software Nwipe.
Please note that I cannot guarantee that this procedure will 100 percent delete the data. It is just my personal way of how to erase data on HDDs.

Here is an instruction and how I do it:

Install Nwipe

First of all you need to install Nwipe in Linux. Here done with apt in Ubuntu Linux.

install nwipe in bash as root with apt install nwipe

Start Nwipe as Root

Start Nwipe as Root by executing:

execute nwipe in bash as root

Select the Disk in Nwipe

Select the right disk for deletion in the list:

nwipe select disk screen

Select the Method in Nwipe

Press “m ” and then select “DoD 5220.22-M”. This should be one of the most secure methods:

nwipe method dod 5220.22-m

Set Round Count in Nwipe

More rounds should be more secure:

nwipe round count screen

Start to Erase and Verify Progress

Start the procedure with “s” and verify the progress:

nwipe progress secreen


For the most cases this procedure could be sufficient. There are different results based on the selected method, the count of the rounds and other adjustable details in Nwipe. In high secure environments with highly confidential data a physical destruction of the disk could be necessary instead of using Nwipe.

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