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5000 enterprise hard drives erased in less than a week

5000 enterprise hard drives erased in less than a week

Posted in Case Studies

Brendan O’Byrne

The Client

Our customer, a leading, global ITAD, provides asset disposition, redeployment and remarketing services to one of the world’s largest data recovery and backup services. Guardian Data Destruction was engaged to securely erase and shred the end user’s hard drives on site.

Guardian Services

  • Audit
  • Enterprise Erasure
  • HDD Erasure
  • HDD Shred


  • SaaS
  • IT Technology
  • Co-location


  • Service Manager (ITAD)
  • CIO (end user)
  • Data Center Manager (end user)

The Challenge

The IT company needed 5,000 enterprise hard drives, some as large as 6 TB, erased in less than two weeks to meet their data center lease expiration deadline. They also had an additional 1,500 drives and peripherals to be shred. Before the work began, a complete comparison audit of the equipment was to be signed off on all 6,500 assets. 600 of the drives were loose; the remainder had to be removed from offline equipment. A complete site decommissioning was following the data destruction process and was included in the two-week timeline.

Almost 5,000 drives erased and 1,500 drives shredded in half the allotted time

With two experienced techs working 16-hour days, Guardian completed the job in less than a week giving the decom team a larger, much-needed window. With the larger 6 TB drives taking almost ten hours to wipe and more than a few, stubborn drives requiring multiple methods before completing a successful sanitization, the Guardian technicians staggered their workload so that long-running erasures were processed overnight Two onsite shred trucks destroyed miscellaneous IT equipment and the hard drives that failed the secure erasure process.

Value retained for remarketing

To retain maximum value for the ITAD’s remarketing plans, Guardian was careful to monitor the erasure process to ensure that the hard drives were not “bricked” (i.e., could power on and function normally after sanitization). For any drive that could not be erased, bricking was no longer a concern as the agreed-upon protocol with the ITAD was to securely shred.

The audit verification revealed large inventory gaps

Before starting the job, we compared the supplied list with the equipment at the site. Over 60 items were either missing or not on the list. The updated data destruction list was verified and signed off before any data destruction processes were begun to ensure accuracy and no opportunity for a missed drive.

Communication made long distance seem next door

With a California data center and a southern state-based client, Guardian’s NJ enterprise services management team and the onsite technicians were in constant communication. Process questions, project status and site challenges were resolved quickly with the ITAD so that the huge erasure and shred project was smooth for everyone, especially the onsite client point of contact.

The Bottom Line

Guardian was able to verify, then erase or shred over 6500 hard drives without a hiccup in less than a week. As a single source supplier, we offered our ITAD channel partner multiple services making the tight timing problem disappear while maintaining the highest level of security, communication and quality.

The Details

This enterprise erasure project was big. And the timing was very tight with a decom team waiting in the wings. And a lease close date two weeks away. By following our written enterprise erasure process, accurately auditing the assets upon arrival and planning for long days with an experienced data destruction technician crew, Guardian was able to complete the entire job in less than a week.

  • All assets verified for data destruction
  • About 5,000 hard drives ranging from 400 GB to 6 TB were erased
  • The enterprise hard drives consisted of servers, blade storage, mixed enterprise storage devices and miscellaneous office hard drives and USB drives
  • Blancco, EPS, and USB boot software were primarily used for sanitization
  • 600 drives were loose 
  • Almost 6,000 drives had to be removed from network equipment before data destruction 
  • 1,500 drives (failed and small drives) were shredded onsite

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