Best Way to Wipe a HDD - Page 2
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Thread: Best Way to Wipe a HDD

  1. #11
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    Buy a Seagate (see my post in hardware), they seem to be doing a great job of making themselves unrecoverable for me. Unfortunately this seems to happen on the drive's schedule and not mine.

    cheers,

    catch

  2. #12
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Well,

    1. Wipe your data
    2. Boot into safe mode and defragment the drive
    3. Wipe the freespace

    Then wipe the operating system if you want to.

    Whilst the previous comments on data recovery are possible, they are not practical in this situation. There was a guy on here a few weeks back who was quoted $1,200 - $1,500 just to recover a corrupted drive.

    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  3. #13
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    2 words.

    deleted. isnt.

    The only sure fire way I have found to erase info from a hard disk and make it unrecoverable is to totally destroy it. then burn it. then nuke it. then give it to my kid brother for the day. then leave it in a subteranian underground layer in a pool of acid for the day. Then pour moulten lava on it. then throw it under a train. then tell mr t it called him a monkey. then use it to hotwire a car. then have luke sky walker play baseball with it. then allow it to complete the T-Rex feeding cycle. Then spread it with cheese and take it to a comic convention. then tell Saddam it is not his.

    Even after all this. There is still a chance.

    So in short if it has that picture of you and the wife doing that wheel barrow race thing or has personal financial info etc. Just hit it with a brick and burn the remains.

  4. #14
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    Let's skip all the dramatics for a moment, all you need to do is practice due diligence.

    Just format the drives, audit the drive to ensure the format was successful, document the process, have it notarized (you should do these last two no matter what method you choose) and be done with it.

    cheers,

    catch

  5. #15
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    Yeah, Thats Great catch.

    other than the fact that if you format a drive it would take me all of about 10 seconds to put the original fat back on it and recover all the files.

    Like I said. What you want to do is.

    The only sure fire way I have found to erase info from a hard disk and make it unrecoverable is to totally destroy it. then burn it. then nuke it. then give it to my kid brother for the day. then leave it in a subteranian underground layer in a pool of acid for the day. Then pour moulten lava on it. then throw it under a train. then tell mr t it called him a monkey. then use it to hotwire a car. then have luke sky walker play baseball with it. then allow it to complete the T-Rex feeding cycle. Then spread it with cheese and take it to a comic convention. then tell Saddam it is not his.

  6. #16
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Given that you are giving away the machine you need to ask yourself a few questions:

    1. What information is/was on this box?
    2. How confidential are those data?
    3. How much are you prepared to pay?

    If there is nothing of importance on the machine then a simple wipe will suffice, such as I suggested.

    If there is confidential information on the drive then I would suggest removing it and supplying the system without a HDD or just sticking a cheap second hand one in it. You have still made a decent contribution?

    Find out how your organisation normally disposes of redundant/obsolete equipment. Unless you are a very young institution, you MUST have a process.

    Are we talking a PC or a server here? If it is a desk top and DOES have confidential information on it, I would suggest that you have some serious internal security flaws?

    If it is a server, and has confidential information on it I would recommend removal and destruction of the drives and a re-build to suit the scale of the recipient. They might reasonably want to use a different RAID array from a financial institution, for example?

    Maybe a compromise, by bringing in someone who has obsolete drives that have been replaced but never contained any sensitive data?...........process control stuff, for example?

    If they still work someone might have hung on to them?

    just a few thoughts
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  7. #17
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    mark_boyle2002... seriously, cut the dramatics.

    It doesn't matter if you can recover the data or not, what matters for this question is mitigating the original poster's liability. So maybe we should leave the T-rex, Mr. T BS out of the picture and try to keep the conversation productive.

    Because you know what? If he formats the drive, documents the process and someone recovers all the information neither he nor his company can be held liable as this is an inductry accepted method of removing data from drives.
    If he follows your advice and even one piece of confidental data survives, his company can be sued and he will be fired, if not had criminal charges brought against him for using an unrecognized method of data removal.

    cheers,

    catch

  8. #18
    Thanks all for a TON of very informative comments.

    Thankfully, there was no critical data on the drive. It was just company policy that since we are a financial compnay, ALL HDDs must have their data destroyed before they leave our hands. So even though there was nothing noteworthy on it, I still had to wipe it for policy's sake, and do so somewhat convincingly. That being the case, Xierox's solution suited me just fine.

    But the rest made for some excellent discussion, and I'm definately learning something.

  9. #19
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    Most of companies that makes HD's, have programs that can wipe whole HD by writing zero to all clusters. UBCD have most complete collection of tools for this, I think.

    To save OS is simple, just copy whole windows to another harddrive(backup server), then clear HD, format it, copy whole windows back and restore boot sectors.
    In windows 9x/me "sys c:" for windows xp/2k boot from CD and use "fixboot" or/and "fixmbr"
    // too far away outside of limit

  10. #20
    Hoopy Frood
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    Originally posted here by MrBabis
    Most of companies that makes HD's, have programs that can wipe whole HD by writing zero to all clusters.
    This is not really a secure wipe because it's not terribly hard to figure out what the previous value of the bit was when you know the entire drive had the same bit (in this case 'zero') written to it.

    - Xierox
    "Personality is only ripe when a man has made the truth his own."

    -- Søren Kierkegaard

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