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Thread: Shredding Files

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Shredding Files


    I just wanted to know this: How safe is sherdding of files using some software (instead of just deleting it)? Suppose, I wanted to get rid of my Hard disk is there anyway to "shred" the entire disk (except formatting and deleting the partition table)?
    /* darkcod3r */

  2. #2
    Developer Extraordinar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    You could use a magnet...heh but I'm not sure how usable the hard drive would be after that. I'm not sure I understand what your saying... are you asking you want to get rid of the file, so you wouldn't be able to recover it? Then your best bet would be reformatting a number of times. If you wanted to get rid of your hard drive, reformatting a number of times would be your best bet, if you didn't want the files to be recoverable.

    I'm not entirely sure how effective the "file shredders" are, but I certianly wouldn't rely on them if you absolutly needed to delete something, and didn't want it to be recovered.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Yeah.... trust me... set it on fire well enough, and you'll never see the data again.

    EDIT: You probably want to keep the drive right?

    In that case, random overwrites 60+ times.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    There are plenty of ways to do this safely. Im kind of in a hurry, so I wont link, but google for 'secure delete' or 'disk wipe'. The difference between deleting and a 'secure delete' is that when you just regularly delete something, all that happens is that the disk space is marked as usuable, so something else will eventually write over it. A 'secure delete' writes a bunch of random garbage over the disk space that was being used.

    /edit damn, 2 beat me to the punch
    The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool - Good Ole Bill Shakespeare

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    I would recommend DBAN, which is specifically designed for this type of operation. In most cases you boot off a cd or a floppy to ensure that you have the proper physical access to the drive, and dban will then overwrite the entire drive with any number of algorithms and passes.

    In addition to the program, the documentation/website conatins multitudes of information about the effectiveness of various wiping techniques against different drive encoding methods. It can also simply write the drive with zeroes, which is enough unless you need to worry about the mob or the feds stealing the drive.

    I use it regularly, usually when I reformat my drives to ensure nothing remains of the old boot sector / partition table, or when scrapping or recyclying or redeploying old drives.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Deeboe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    I use a program called "Eraser" personally. I use it to erase individual files, instead of deleting them. It bulds a function into your "right-click window dealy" to erase files on the fly. It writes over that file 35 times. Also, you can use it to erase the contents of your Recycle Bin.


    If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
    - Sun Tzu, The Art of War


  7. #7
    They call me the Hunted foxyloxley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    3rd Rock from Sun
    just remember that the data WILL be recoverable IF the opposition want to spend the $$$

    it all depends on WHY you want the data gone ?
    I'll assume that you are giving the PC away to someone else, and do not want them to be able to see your old files ?

    in this case the apps suggested will be quite sufficient ......
    if, however, you are actually OBL looking to ditch data on the next targets, then not even an oxy/acetylene gas axe, followed by melting the ashes in acid will stop the feds from getting something off the HDD ......
    55 - I'm fiftyfeckinfive and STILL no wiser,
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  8. #8
    Frustrated Mad Scientist
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Foxy made the main points.

    It's all down to the value of the data. If the data is worth millions then it's not a bad trade off to spend $100k to recover it.

    Military secrets? I doubt too many people really know how good intelligence agencies are at recovering data. Pretty bloody good I'd think though.

    Back in the real world. A Police forensic investigator (UK) told me that basically if you overwrite data properly once (inclucing slack space) as far as the police are concerned that data is gone.

    Best way to get rid of it is as Dopp suggests destroy it. Fire or hammer wreck it and no one is getting data from it (except maybe the NSA).

  9. #9
    i'd just use a Big Magnet, that will defiantly erase the drive, but as far as it being useable again then i'm not sure..

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Heh heh...


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