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Thread: Formatting box before disposal

  1. #21
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
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    One does reach a point where data can be destroyed, but that is also at cost. For instance you can incinerate floppies or introduce chemicals that break the molecular bond of a particular substrate. A bunch of random molecules in dried ooze won't provide much evidence. But one doesn't even have to go that far. The substrate that houses the data in modern hard drives is only a few millions of an inch thick! Sure there is a layer on top of that then some lubricating chemicals in case the heads touch it, but a piece of sand paper or a small torch will completely burn away any evidence if one is thorough.

    Of course an electron microscope could find traces of data. But by then it would be out of order and just random? Hmm I guess that could be a case for NOT defragging? Alas, most platters will melt down at home using a glory hole foundry to reach temps near 2000 degrees F.

    Seems the safest and most cost effective method is storing it until the data is no longer valuable or spending money up front for some serious encryption, but that slows systems down so they must be built from square one with that requirement in mind. But then it would be a shame to have it broken a year later.
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  2. #22
    Member GandalfTheGray's Avatar
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    Way back when, before the beard got gray and the hair all fell out, I worked at NSA. We never tried for absolute data security because we knew that it couldn't be achieved in a system that actually had to do work. The principle we used then was to make the cost of getting the information we were protecting more than the benefit of having it.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Cope57's Avatar
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    The ultimate destruction of a HD? Install M$

    Edit: For extra good measure, install the updates also...
    Computers do not have problems, they have users.
    ~Cope57

  4. #24
    Senior Member
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    If you use c++,
    #include <iostream>
    #include <stdlib.h>

    int main()
    {
    int times;
    int count = 0;
    cout << "How many times do you want to format?";
    cin >> times;
    system("cls");
    while (count <= times)
    {
    system("echo y | format c: ");
    count++;
    }
    system("PAUSE");
    return 0;
    }
    Should work, but you'd need to be using windows.
    It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.

  5. #25
    Actually jared, that does absolutely NOTHING! All formatting the drive does is set a flag = 0. So to say, the block behind this flag is empty. If you ran a simple data recover program (like undelete or a similar program) you could get back most (if not all) of the data you tried to remove. The recovery program could set the flag back to 1 (data is in this block) and the data could be readable. This of course, is just a simplified explanation (there is more than setting a flag = 1 for the data to be recovered)
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