Electronic Equipment Disposal
University electronic devices are used with an increased frequency for the storage and transfer of Confidential and Legally Restricted data, such as social security numbers, financial information, medical information, research results, and personnel evaluations. The University's Data Classification Policy is located within the IT Policy at http://www.rochester.edu/it/policy.
University IT offers easy and secure recycling for consumer electronics from all University departments. Hard drives in recycled equipment will be destroyed, and serial number tracking on hard drives will give you peace of mind. Information about the University IT equipment recovery program in located at http://www.rochester.edu/it/recycle/.
Multifunctional Devices and Copiers
Copiers, Scanners, Printers, Fax machines and other devices may contain hard drives or other media that store data such as copies of pages that have been copied, printed, or faxed. Further information about acquisition and disposal of multifunctional devices is contained in the Multifunctional Devices and Copiers policy.
Workstations and Servers
The disposal of old workstations and servers must be managed so that all of the information once stored there is completely eliminated. Simple hard disk(s) formats are insufficient, as someone with even a limited amount of technical knowledge can recover that data with the right tools.
You can get further information around workstation and server disposal at http://www.rochester.edu/it/recycle/
University IT recommends that all workstation and server hard disks be processed by specialized software that destroys the data according to the Department of Defense (DOD) specifications before they are recycled, given or sold to others. Any hard drives, especially drives that have or could have any Protected Health Information (PHI), or any other legally restricted or confidential information should be recycled through the University IT recycle program.
There is never any guarantee that the data will be completely unrecoverable, but the DOD specifications are quite thorough.
Some available products include:
Darik's Boot and Nuke
Communication Technologies (PC)
White Canyon Software (PC)
Mac OS 10.4 users: Click here to read about how to erase your hard disk using the Mac OS X installation disc.
It should be noted that U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) standard for sanitizing hard drives is significantly more stringent and primarily involves the destruction or significant magnetization of the hard drive.
- The DOD's standard for sanitizing hard drives is detailed in the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual, also called DOD 5220.22-M.
- The National Electronics Product Stewardship Initiative (NEPSI) is a multi-stakeholder initiative; it involves representatives from electronics manufacturers, government agencies and environmental groups.