How long does it take to wipe a drive?

How long does it take to wipe a drive?

Arguably there are a variety of factors in this, the type of drive (IDE, S-ATA, SCSI, USB drive), the wiping method, e.g all “00”, or a random pattern, the efficiency of the wiping tool etc, but most of this is relatively small beer.

The real deciding factors in the time scales are:

1) The size of the drive

2) The number of wipes

Despite all of the myths, rumors and lies, a drive only need to be successfully wiped once, to delete all of the data, so point (2) should be a moot point.

Therefore the only factor of concern is the size. All things being equal a 1 TB drive will take four times longer to wipe than a 250 GB drive.  But, for those in operations, the actual time to wipe a drive probably is not important, the time taken to start the drive wiping is, because once its started it can be left to wipe without any supervision.

It should take around 5 minutes to set a drive wiping and it doesn’t matter if its a 80 GB IDE or a 1 TB S-ATA (as long as you have the right connections), setting a drive wiping will not take long at all.


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