Zero-Fill Flash Drives: What does it mean to Zero-fill?

By · Friday, February 18th, 2011

What does it mean to Zero-fillWhen you delete a file from your hard drive or USB drive, what happens to it? Does it get permanently erased or is it just removed from view? You might be surprised to learn that when you delete a file from your storage device, the file can remain on your device for months depending on how often it is used. This poses a problem because it’s a potential security risk and it would be fairly easy for anyone to gain access to your deleted files if they get their hands on your devices.

So where does Zero-Fill come in? Well Zero-Fill is not a term you hear every day, in fact it is a term that almost no one has even heard of, but Zero-Fill is extremely important to ensuring your information remains private on your USB flash drive. Zero-Fill refers to a method used to completely erase your storage devices. This method comes in really handy when you want to sell or giveaway older storage devices, such as USB drive, but don’t want their new owners to have access to your information.

Due to how information is stored and deleted, simply deleting a file or folder from your device does not actually delete it. All it does is deletes your file from the registry stored on the storage device, but your file is still actually there. The only sure fire way to erase your files from the device entirely and make sure no one will ever be able to gain access to your deleted files is to Zero-fill them

Zero-fill as mentioned earlier is a method that completely erases files, and as the name suggests, there will literally be nothing left once it’s complete. So exactly what is Zero-Fill? Zero-fill refers to the process of turning everything all the way down to the bit level to a zero (0). All information is stored in either 1’s or 0’s (binary) and when you traditionally delete a file, the numbers are still there. However when a Zero-fill is performed, the process literally goes over every sector of information and turns everything to a (0). When everything reads (0) on your USB drive or other storage device, not even data recovery programs will be able to retrieve information.

Overall a Zero-fill is a much safer way to delete old storage equipment. The method prevents others from trying to gain access to your old deleted files as well as is just a thorough way of ensuring that the device is 100% clean for when you hand it off to anyone else.

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