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Hardware Canucks June 1, 2008 09:12 AM

Wiping your disk drive clean
Everybody who owns a computer will someday need to dispose of a disk drive. Before you do, it is a good idea to cleanse the drive, so no one can read your sensitive information. Deleting files and reformatting is not sufficient; determined effort can still reveal data from a drive even after it appears to be gone. To do a more thorough job, I suggest using wipe. You need to take special pains because files that are "deleted" are not really gone. Most operating systems, including Linux and its ext2 filesystem, just delete the pointer to a deleted file; the data still exists on the drive. It is not effectively removed until every bit of the space it was occupying on the drive has been overwritten. Even then there are ways, albeit difficult, to analyze the drive and extract data. The only way, short of melting the drive, to ensure the data is gone for good is to overwrite the drive several times with random data. http://www.linux.com/feature/135944


DK2 June 1, 2008 06:51 PM

NSA requires drives to be completely overwritten 8 times with random data before disposal.
Because they themselves are capable of recovering residual data from a drive with less than that.

Robscix June 2, 2008 10:36 AM

Just go through and Zero all the data. This returns every bit on the drive to a zero state. Takes time but works..

Moneyless June 2, 2008 11:39 AM

You could also use Darik's Boot 'n' Nuke

lcdguy June 2, 2008 01:40 PM

Dban works pretty good. I would also recommend acroni disk director as it has a cleansing tool which has several profiles for different levels and a custom mode which allows you to specify up to 100 write passes and customize each pass such as 00's, 11', or a randomly generated number up to 512bytes. I used it today and it works pretty good but is not free. Also some thermite works rather well or turning those platters into a mirror :)

Pawtucket June 2, 2008 02:27 PM

How valuable is retrieving 500gb of Pron anyway? :bleh:

lcdguy June 2, 2008 02:57 PM

thats what a mirrored pron array is for :) j/k

misterlarry February 2, 2009 10:01 PM

Question about DBAN
Is the drive still fully usable after using DBAN? I assume it is, but I want to be able to give these drives away for use so I want to make sure. Thanks in advance.


lcdguy February 2, 2009 10:10 PM

dban is basically just wiping the drive but it's not a low level format so things like heads and cynlinder locations should be fine. It just writing all 0's, all f's, random, anda verify. I recently used it on some 250GB HDD i am trying to get rid of along with my intel nas they took around 5hrs each on a dod wipe (3 pass)

death_hawk February 3, 2009 02:38 AM

I only retire HDDs when they die.
Otherwise they get recycled into machines.

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