Permanently Erase An Encrypted Drive And Make It Reusable

Ritu Roy | data wipe Forensics How to's mac os Software Technology Windows | 4 minutes read | Modified on: 23-03-2023

Summary: Data encryption is another safety precaution that guards against unauthorized access to private data kept on disks. But is it feasible to delete the media that contains encrypted data? This article will provide all the information you need to reuse drives after data sanitization and to remove drive encryption.

In order to prevent unauthorized access, encryption is the process of changing data from plaintext (unencrypted) to ciphertext (encrypted), an unintelligible code. Without an encryption key or password, encrypted data cannot be accessed. In the unlikely event that illegal access is somehow permitted to a computer network or storage device, encryption offers a strengthened layer of protection. In this situation, the hacker is unable to access the data.

Types of Encryption: Hardware and Software

On the disks, data can be encrypted using hardware-based encryption or software-based encryption. By generating a special key and storing it on the computer memory and the storage drive, a software encryption tool is used to encrypt data on a storage drive. To access the encrypted data, the user must enter a password that is encrypted using the software-generated key. Before being provided to the program or user, data is encrypted using the key when it is written to the drive and is decrypted using the same key. Software encryption is possible utilizing tools built into the operating system itself, such as Windows BitLocker, or third-party programs, such as LastPass, VeraCrypt, DiskCryptor, etc.

By using the utility that the drive manufacturer offers, the drive can sometimes be encrypted. Self-encrypting drives, or SEDs, are these types of drives. Hardware-based encryption is the term used to describe this. An HDD or SSD that automatically encrypts and decrypts data as it is written to or read by the user is known as a self-encrypting drive, or SED. Through an integrated AES encryption chip, which encrypts data when it is written and decrypts data when it is read, the SEDs generate random data encryption keys (DEK). SEDs automatically encrypt the data without the need for user input, in contrast to software-based encryption. Due to their independence from the operating system and defense against hacker access, SEDs are very safe. With hardware encryption, the operating system and the system BIOS are separated by encryption. Once the device has booted, a customized BIOS prompts the user for a passphrase to unlock the drive’s content.

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Delete Encrypted Drives to Make Them Reusable

While encryption is one of the most widely used methods of preventing data theft of business-critical information, it is advised to wipe an encrypted drive using data erasure software when the data is no longer needed in order to prevent data compromise and the negative effects of data breaches.

You can use a certified media sanitization tool like CubexSoft Data Wipe to completely erase encrypted devices that were protected using software or hardware-based encryption. With Data Wipe Software, the whole encrypted data on hard drives and SSDs with software-based encryption can be permanently deleted, making the disk usable as a brand-new storage device. CubexSoft Eraser Tool guarantees that all data, including the operating system, is successfully deleted. The process of data sanitization is then followed by a check to make sure that all addressable areas on the disk have been successfully erased.

If the hard drive has a password protecting it, you must first unlock the BIOS password in order to access the drive and perform an erasure.

Delete Self-Encrypting Drives

By erasing the cryptography or Disk Encryption Keys (DEK), the SEDs can be cleaned up without really wiping the data that is kept inside. Without the encryption key, the data is unavailable and unrecoverable. Thus, one of the quickest methods to sanitize encrypted data is cryptographic erasure. Although data can still be recovered through a variety of flaws and human error, cryptographic erasure has intrinsic limits. Therefore, protecting encrypted data on deleted drives is not a foolproof approach because the data is still present on the storage device and is still susceptible.

With its NIST 800-88 Purge erasing method, CubexSoft Drive Eraser software offers the advantage of combining cryptographic erase with data overwriting to erase SSDs and SEDs, adding an extra layer of protection to the entire data sanitization process. To remove any vulnerabilities, you can remove encrypted data and also simultaneously destroy the encryption keys. You can meet your compliance requirements by using the software’s digitally created reports and certificates of destruction as audit trails. Consequently, CubexSoft Disk Eraser satisfies all of your requirements for securely wiping encrypted hard drives, SSDs, and SEDs, enabling you to reuse the drives and achieve sustainability.


Businesses are coordinating their data protection and data security policies to protect their priceless data through the usage of encrypted devices at a time when data breaches are in the news everywhere. Data encryption and the development of SED technology add a layer of security that keeps hackers from gaining unauthorized access to sensitive information. Organizations should also make sure that these encrypted devices are properly destroyed—preferably by data erasure—when they are disposed of. Wipe Hard drives that are securely encrypted to encourage device recycling and repurposing.