Toshiba announces self wiping hard drive

Toshiba has come up with a hard drive feature that wipes data after the device has been switched off.

The Wipe feature, which is available in Toshiba’s Self-Encrypting Drives (SED), lets users delete private data before binning the drive or using it again. It said this stops data from getting lost or stolen.

The technology revolves around invalidating a hard-drive security key when a system’s power supply is turned off. This means that any sensitive data on the drive is effectively gone for good. It can be used to prevent private and secure data leaving a corporate building or department when a printer or copier does, as well as protecting laptop users.

The first SED hard drive was announced in July, with Toshiba now saying the new Wipe capability will go into future versions of the drives for laptops and desktops. Beyond PCs, Toshiba wants to put this feature on storage devices in copiers and printers, which handle secure documents in digital imaging environments.

The first drive to feature Toshiba’s automatic wiping technology is a 7,200 RPM 2.5″ mechanical drive, which was designed with the Trusted Computing Group “Opal” Specification in mind. Toshiba said it would extend the range but there is no time frame for this at the moment. Pricing and availability will be released later this year.