Erase Data On CD Or DVD Permanently

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 18, 2008

Data CDs and DVDs that are no longer needed pose a few problems. Throwing them away could be a privacy risk because everyone who finds them could simply read them and discover what data has been stored on the disks. Destroying them by cutting, scratching or breaking on the other hand might release chemicals to the environment.

Lite-On developed the Smart Erase technique to give users a reliable way of erasing the data on CDs and DVDs without damaging the disk. To make it clearer, the technique is compatible to all CD-R and DVD-R disks, not only their rewritable counterparts.

Smart Erase overwrites the data contained on the disk with random characters much like the tools that can erase files or the free space of a hard drive so that the data is not recoverable afterwards. Nero 7 Essentials which ships with the retail versions of each DVD writer will have that feature build in which can be used in combination with one of the announced Lite-On DVD writers.

The first DVD writers are expected to hit shelves in September and October:

  • iHAP322 is a 22X DVD writer with PATA connection
  • iHAP422 is a 22X DVD writer with PATA connection and LightScribe
  • iHAS322 is a 22X DVD writer with SATA connection
  • iHAS422 is a 22X DVD writer with SATA connection and LightScribe

The new technique supports two modes: Quick Erase will only erase data in the lead in track and the first track of the CD / DVD while Full Erase will erase the full disk.


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  1. Peter Potrowl said on September 15, 2009 at 4:52 pm


    No, it is just for CD-R and DVD-R ; commercial CDs and DVDs use a very different technology and it is never possible to write on them.

  2. RTShaw said on May 17, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    So how do u use smart erase? i have the ihas422 sata drive the manual doesn’t say squat about how 2 use smart erase.

  3. Guy said on April 7, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    What is wrong with the old good microwave method? Never failed me yet.

    Put a cd or dvd into a microwave oven, set 10 seconds, start and keep your finger on cancel button or a door release. You will see light running like lighting bolts. Once there are red dots, turn it off, or you will create a burning odor.

    Non recoverable and fun.

  4. Shawn said on September 19, 2008 at 6:24 am

    Boy I am just waiting to see exploding DRM disks with this drive or a Virus to Scrap CD’s… I hope this device has a fail safe option…

  5. Dotan Cohen said on September 19, 2008 at 12:41 am

    Might I suggest simply shattering the discs? CD-ROMs are very easy to shatter by hand: just grab two opposing points on the circumference with your thumb and other fingers, aim towards the trash, and bend. It snaps into shards.

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