Q: What is secure erase?
A: The ANSI T-13 committee which oversees the ATA (also known as IDE) interface specification and the ANSI T-10 committee which governs the SCSI interface specification have incorporated into their standards a command feature known as Secure Erase (SE). Secure erase is a positive easy-to-use data destroy command, amounting to “electronic data shredding.” It completely erases all possible user data areas by overwriting, including the so-called g-lists that contain data in reallocated disk sectors (sectors that the drive no longer uses because they have hard errors in them). SE is a simple addition to the existing “format drive” command present in computer operating systems and storage system software and adds no cost to hard disk drives. Since the Secure Erase command is carried out within a hard disk drive it doesn’t require any additional software to implement.