Commit 56e29049 authored by sajolida's avatar sajolida

Document how to securely delete an entire USB stick (#5323)

parent 98012097
......@@ -35,20 +35,9 @@ desc="Wikipedia: %s"]].</p>
Warning about USB sticks and solid-state disks
**The methods described below will not work as expected on USB sticks and
solid-state disks.**
- The existing hard disk-oriented techniques for secure deletion of
individual files are not effective.
- Overwriting twice the entire disk is usually, but not always,
sufficient to securely clean the disk.
<div class="caution">
<p>Unfortunately, Tails does not currently allow you to perform this task
with graphical tools. See [[!tails_ticket 5323]].</p>
The only way to securely delete any data, even a single file, from a USB
stick or an SSD (Solid-State Disk) is to [[securely erase the entire
For more details read the corresponding section of the Wikipedia article on
[[!wikipedia Data_erasure#Limitations desc="Data erasure"]].
......@@ -125,3 +114,47 @@ be deleted during the operation.
class="filename">tmp.7JwHAyBvA9</span> is created in the
folder. It is made as big as possible to use all the available diskspace and
then securely deleted.
<a id="erase-device"></a>
Securely erasing an entire device
<div class="note">
<p>This technique is the only way to securely delete any data, even a
single file, from a USB stick or an SSD (Solid-State Disk).</p>
1. Open the <span class="application">Disks</span> utility.
All the current storage devices are listed in the left pane.
1. Plug in the USB stick or SSD that you want to securely delete.
1. A new device appears in the list of storage devices. Click on it:
[[!img encrypted_volumes/storage_devices_after.png link="no" alt=""]]
1. Check that the description of the device on the right side of the screen
corresponds to your device: its brand, its size, etc.
1. Click on the <span class="guimenu">[[!img lib/open-menu.png alt="Menu" class="symbolic" link="no"]]</span> button
in the titlebar and choose <span class="guilabel">Format Disk…</span>
to erase all the existing partitions on the device.
1. In the <span class="guilabel">Format Disk</span> dialog:
- Choose to
<span class="guilabel">Overwrite existing data with zeroes</span> in the
<span class="guilabel">Erase</span> drop-down list.
- Choose <span class="guilabel">Compatible with all
systems and devices (MBR/DOS)</span> in the <span class="guilabel">Partitioning</span>
drop-down list.
1. Click <span class="button">Format…</span>.
1. In the confirmation dialog, make sure that the device
is correct. Click <span class="button">Format</span> to confirm.
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