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Information Technology Services

Sanitizing removable storage media

Removable storage media can be separated into three categories with similar sanitation procedures:

Optical storage media

CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Ray Disks.

  • Contact Facilities Recycling (532-6446) to arrange a time to transport the media to the recycling center where it can be destroyed with the shredder and recycled properly.

Solid state storage media

USB flash drives, solid state and hybrid hard drives, Secure Digital cards (SD/SDHC/microSD/MiniSD), memory sticks (used by Sony cameras), Compact Flash cards.

  • Overwrite the data for working devices: the entire media/device must be overwritten with a minimum of three passes. Some suggested software for completing this overwrite is:
  • Physically destroy the device.

Removable magnetic storage

Floppy disks, tape drive media, zip disks.

  • Contact Facilities Recycling (532-6446) to arrange a time to transport the media to the recycling center where it can be degaussed.

    If the device contains confidential data, you may disassemble the floppy by removing the media from the housing and removing the center ring (if the disk contains one) and facilities can shred the media after degaussing.