Hard drives

As hard drives get larger capacities people are upgrading them and they are either giving their old drives away, saving them as a second drive or throwing them out into the trash and think that since they have formatted or reinstalled a Operating system on the drive the data that was on there is gone for good and has no chance of being recovered. In a perfect world this would be true but the truth is that anyone with some patience and the right software can recover the data that you thought was gone.

Your hard drive is just like a CD once you have written data to it. The data will be there forever unless you physically destroy the CD by either snapping it into many pieces or shredding it with a machine that shreds CDís (donít know if a paper shredder will do the job) same goes for hard drives the only way to be 100% sure that the data that is on the drive is never going to be recovered is to damage the platters, some are made out of aluminium or glass. The glass ones shatter into a million pieces(One time thrill) and the aluminium ones you will have to bend it all out of shape these are great when you need to release some frustration or when you feel the need to be destructive. Muhahahaha

There is software that is available for wiping your hard drive clean of all data, cookies, cache, files Etc so that if you are giving it to a friend another family member Etc the data will be harder to recover if they decide to attempt it.

Free software
These programs are for the windows Operating System


PGP Freeware (MIT Version) works with Windows 95/98/NT/2000
This software not only encrypts files and hard drives it also has a feature that will wipe a file and freespace on your drive
Http://web.mit.edu/network/pgp.html

PGP Personal Freeware
www.pgp.com/products/freeware.html

Mutilate file wiper/free space
Http://home.att.net/~craigchr/mutilate.html

Shred
www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,273,00.asp

Eraser
www.tolvanen.com/eraser/

Absolute shield internet eraser
www.internet-track-eraser.com

Software that costs money

Cyberscrub
cost $39.95
Platform windows
Erases folders, cookies entire harddrives uses gutmann pattern
www.cyberscrub.com

Datagone
cost $90.00
Platform windows
Erases Hdís and removable media will support multiple overwriting patterns
www.powerquest.com

Ontrack Data eraser
http://www.ontrack.com/dataeraser/
cost $30.00 - $500.00
Platform windows
Erases directories, partitions and boot records

Software for linux

Wipe
Erases single files or entire hard drive
Http://wipe.sourceforge.net



Low level format

This is a small list of hard drive manufactures if you donít know who made your drive you could either open your case to look at the drive or you can download one of these programs that will tell you what drive you have and other useful information about your computer

Belarc advisor
http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html this one is free

or

Sandra
http://www.3bsoftware.com/downloads/ they have two versions Standard and professional

Hard drive manufactures

IBM(Hitachi)
http://www.hgst.com/hdd/support/download.htm

Seagate
http://www.seagate.com/support/disc/utils.html

Maxtor
http://www.maxtor.com/en/support/downloads/index.htm

Fujitsu
http://www.fel.fujitsu.com/home/drivers.asp?L=en&CID=1

Samsung
http://www.samsung.com/Products/HardDiskDrive/index.htm

Western Digital
http://support.wdc.com/download/index.asp