My questions concern permanent deletion of files from both kinds of media.
I'm aware that in order to truly remove things from a hard disk drive you need to somehow overwrite the data as erasing it doesn’t actually get rid of it but just marks the space as free. I also know that even overwriting it once may nto be enough, depending on the grade of data recovery tool used.
Once upon a time I had a program run from a floppy (yeah that old) that would format and write zeroes over and over again for about 8 hours (on a 20 gig drive) but from what I see on Google there are programs that will basically do that without a full format, they'll just wipe the data for the file(s). So I’m wondering for one if this really works and if you have any recommendations. I'm hoping for something free and while doing the low-level format is an option, I'd rather not - I'd rather just clean it up and know that all the data I don’t' want in someone else's hands is gone.
Secondly, I have some solid state media (SD cards, USB drives and an SSD) that I want to erase as well. I haven't really found anything conclusive about SSDs and whether or not the data on them can be recovered or not. It seems like it's harder but still possible and I want to make it not possible. Since solid state media has a limited number of write cycles on it I wouldn’t think that the zero-writing process would be a good idea. Seems like it would burn out the drive faster but again, I don't want there to be data that someone savvy can pull off this gear.
In both cases I’d like it to be literally impossible by any mortal means (short of a Wish, Limited Wish or Miracle)to recover the data from these devices. I've got a bunch of stuff I’m getting rid of as I upgrade the office and I don't my company information, customer credit card information, personal information or anything else for that matter to be recoverable by whomever gets this equipment.