Erasing U-M-Owned Devices

Sanitize Devices Before Disposal

University-owned devices must be sanitized before disposal or transfer. That means they must be erased, overwritten, or destroyed so that data cannot be recovered using normal system functions or software data recovery utilities.

U-M Property Disposition is responsible for the disposal, transfer, or resale of all university property, including all computers and storage media devices, designated as surplus by U-M schools, colleges, and units. All U-M-owned devices sent to Property Disposition must be accompanied by a certificate of sanitization/destruction, unless Property Disposition is doing the sanitization or destruction for you. 

How you sanitize or request sanitization of a device or storage media depends on the type of device/storage and who manages it.

Devices containing regulated data. Federal or state regulations or contractual agreements applying to specific data or devices may stipulate that additional actions are required for compliance purposes. 

Physical Destruction for Secure Disposal

When devices or drives are inoperable, it may be necessary to destroy them to ensure secure disposal. Destruction may also be required by some laws or regulations governing certain types of data.


Certificates of Destruction Required for U-M Devices Declared as Surplus

You are required to provide a Certificate of Destruction when taking U-M owned devices to Property Disposition if you have completed one of the secure disposal methods identified above or destroyed a device .  The Certificate of Destruction must accompany the U-M Property Disposition Declaration of Surplus Form which is also required for all U-M property that a department or unit no longer needs.

  • If you execute KillDisk to securely erase a device, the program will automatically generate a Certificate of Destruction at its conclusion.
  • If you use another method to securely erase or physically destroy a device, you must attach a completed copy of this Certificate of Destruction (PDF) to the equipment when you bring it to Property Disposition. You can download the form to your Google Drive or computer to fill out, or print it to fill out by hand.

If you do not attach a certificate matching the equipment you are dropping off, Property Disposition will process the equipment as if it was not erased or destroyed, and your department will be charged the standard fees for secure erasure or device destruction. If you would prefer, you can also take advantage of Property Disposition's secure erasure and disposal service. 

You are also responsible for destroying any printed or paper copies of sensitive U-M data or records that no longer need to be retained See Shred Sensitive Paper Documents for best practices.