How do I retire a device?


Departments are responsible for properly handling the information on devices prior to relinquishing control of devices capable of storing information, such as computers, laptops, external hard drives, USB flash drives, cell phones, etc. Generally this means you should remove all recoverable sensitive information from the devices before you send them away.

These guidelines are approved to support ITS Standards and Policies, including:

This page provides some information regarding cleaning desktop computers, laptops and other devices.

For assistance with device disposal:

Technology Equipment Surplus


Sanitization and Disposal Decision

To choose the appropriate sanitization method for your device, please consult the chart below.

Methods to Sanitize Media

Clear involves overwriting storage space with non-sensitive data. The type of media also determines whether Clear is a feasible method. For example, a USB or solid-state drive may perform wear levelling, which arranges data so that re-writes are distributed evenly across the structure. This makes it difficult to ensure that data has been written over.

Purge involves any method (such as the DBAN target="blank"method below) used to make data recovery infeasible using forensic techniques. These are device specific, as in degaussing a magnetic hard disk or using cryptographic erase on a solid-state drive.

Destroy involves disintegrating, pulverizing, incinerating, melting, or shredding the data container. This might be using a shredder on a paper record, or pulverizing a hard drive with the hard drive crusher. The size of the media should be reduced enough to ensure that the data cannot be reconstructed. Devices which cannot be read or successfully connected for validation, must be destroyed.

Post-Sanitization Procedure

Validation involves the confirmation of action taken to sanitize or dispose of the device. Devices which cannot be validated must be destroyed.

Documentation takes the form of a Task on the Asset Ticket in Team Dynamix assigned to the person conducting the sanitization and verification. This task should include the method or tool used for sanitization and the pre-sanitization Security Category.


Sanitization and Disposal Decision



Purge Instructions


Article ID: 194
Tue 12/12/17 2:52 PM
Tue 10/27/20 9:19 AM