How To Securely Dispose Of Hard Drives

Securely disposing of hard drives is very important.  If you just toss your old drive in the trash, it could fall into the wrong hands and someone could access all of your sensitive data.

So, how do we deal with all of the old and failed hard drives that we acquire from repairing and replacing computers? First, we use software to securely erase them using the 3-pass Department of Defense standard. Then….we use our hard drive crusher to make sure that no sensitive data will ever be recovered from your drive.

Here are the tools we use:

To erase the drive, we use Active@ KillDisk software.

To physically destroy the drive we use the Pure Leverage Drive Crusher.


Configure Dell Optiplex models to use Wake-On-Lan

Wake-on-Lan is a very useful tool if you remotely manage workstations because it allows you to remotely power on a workstation when it’s shut down, for instance if you need to do after-hours maintenance or upgrades and no one is available onsite to power on the system for you. The newer Dell Optiplex models by default are configured to NOT allow Wake-on-LAN access. But with a few simple settings modifications, you will be able wake up your Dell Optiplex remotely using WOL.  (While this article talks specifically about Dell Optiplex models, the settings are similar in other brands of systems as well.)

Step 1:  Configure the settings in the BIOS

Reboot the system, and press F2 at startup to access the BIOS settings.  Once in the BIOS, you will need to change two settings.  The first is the “Deep Sleep Control”.  When this setting is active, it deactivates the NIC interface when the system is shut down and does not allow any data to pass through it.  Navigate to this setting and select “Disabled”.

The next BIOS setting you will need to change is the “Wake on LAN” setting.  Navigate to this setting and change it to “LAN Only”.

Save your changes and exit the BIOS and the system will reboot.

Step 2: Disable Fast Startup in Windows

This setting only applies to Windows 8 and 10.  Navigate to the power options and select the “Choose what the power button does” option in the left pane.  Towards the bottom of this window, un-check the option for “Turn on fast startup).

By changing these options, your Dell Optiplex will now be capable of being remotely powered up .

Step 3: Use your favorite Wake on LAN application to power it up

There are many WOL applications out there, including built-in support in TeamViewer.

With TeamViewer, however, you must have a second system on your LAN that is powered on and also running TeamViewer to “bounce” the WOL signal off of.  Simply go into the TeamViewer settings on the system you wish to be able to wake up, and click the Wake-on-LAN “Configure…” button.

In this window insert the TeamViewer ID of the other system on the network that you want to use to bounce the WOL signal off of.  A server is a good choice for this, since it will likely always be powered on and available for this.

Our favorite stand-alone WOL application is NirSoft’s WakeMeOnLan.  This is a free and very simple to use application.  You can automatically scan your network to collect the required MAC addresses required, and then save the list for future use.

We hoped you enjoyed this article and it has helped you configure your system for Wake-on-LAN!