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  1. #31
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    I'll give you some reasons.

    1. You might want to keep your OS, programs, and other files in tact. You might just want to wipe part of the disk.

    2. You might want to wipe 5+ drives at once on the same machine, all while working on other tasks, on the same machine.

    3. You might want to wipe your network storage devices that houses 100 drives, and I don't think it would be a good idea to restart a server to do so...

    4. You might want to wipe all of the sensitive folders and all of the deleted data on everyone's C drive at once, even if there are 20,000 machines in the company. It would be ridiculous to reboot all 20,000 machines. Let's see you use your old technology for that. In fact, let's see you repeat the process every month. Suddenly Cipher is a breeze in comparison... Set it up once and click a couple times for every time after that...

    You might be able to do the first with a bootable disk, but you won't be able to do the second without using an entirely different machine.

    The methods are comparable, but, at the end of the day, Cipher will allow you to use a machine while wiping extra drives attached to it. Not only that, but it goes over the disk 3 times, and you can run it as many times as you like for even more passes.
    Last edited by itPro; June 5th, 2008 at 12:15 PM.

  2. #32
    Priapistic Monk KorpDeath's Avatar
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    Big egos are big shields for lots of empty space. -Diana Black
    Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.
    - Samuel Johnson

  3. #33
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    "Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence." - Albert Einstein

  4. #34
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    OK I agree. I am a home user and I never thought about working as well as wiping data. moreover from my perspective, having two machines, I neglected the second point completely.

    Well, I agree cipher can do the job! But why are you guys fighting?
    "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

    - Albert Einstein

  5. #35
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    lol Here's why we're fighting.

    Me: "Hey all! Check out this software. It's really cool and will get the job done.'

    Others: "That's crap. It's a Windows app. Enough said."

    Me: "No it's not. It can wipe more drives faster, even at a business level, makes 3 passes instead of just one, and allows you to use your machine while doing it."

    Others: "It's crap. It's a Windows app. This old technology is better. It can wipe the entire drive."

    Me: "Cipher can wipe the entire drive too. In fact, you can just add a few drives to your machine and wipe them all at once. The only drive you won't be able to wipe is the system drive that booted Windows, and that can be partially wiped too. All other drives will be wiped completely, even if they have an operating system. You just have to delete anything that you want to be wiped, and you can delete the entire drive at once."

    Others: "Cipher can't wipe the page file because the page file can't be shut off. You're a noob."

    Clueless Cheerleader: "Yea, put the noob in his place!"

    Me: "Here's screenshots proving that you don't know what you're talking about. Hope you enjoyed being schooled by an expert..."

    Others: "Oh, that screen shot does show an off button, but you can't really turn it off."

    Me: "When it comes to being able to wipe the drive, you can... Technically the page file can't be shut off completely, but that's a technicality and really has nothing to do with wiping hard drives, since RAM is used as the page file..."

    That's a fair summary.

    lol

    That's why.

    I edited the post I created on 06/04/08 07:36 PM as well. I don't want people getting the idea that Cipher can only be used by a home user. XD I learned about Cipher when someone was using it at work! lol
    Last edited by itPro; June 5th, 2008 at 12:11 PM.

  6. #36
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hmmm,

    "Old Technology" ?

    Cipher: September 2003
    Dban: April 2007
    Eraser: January 2008

    "When it comes to being able to wipe the drive, you can... Technically the page file can't be shut off completely, but that's a technicality and really has nothing to do with wiping hard drives, since RAM is used as the page file..."
    Do you seriously believe that?

    With NT 4.0SP6a and Windows 2000SP4 you get a warning that Windows is creating a temporary pagefile. 12Mb in the case of NT and 20Mb in the case of 2000. XP reports none, but Vista defaults to 8Mb. Either Windows is going two steps forwards and one step back, or it is just a quirk in the reporting?

    Obviously those amounts are totally inadequate to run Windows and Windows applications so it must use RAM in the majority of cases. I have yet to see any definitive evidence that it only uses RAM. If it can be proven that it only uses RAM, then all would be well and good, but without that proof I prefer to use methods that are demonstrably compliant.

    The question would arise as to where Windows would create those temporary files. Suppose a worst case scenario and it creates them in the old page file area. OK I will assume that it overwrites all the area so that would allow for a pretty secure situation.

    A possible work around might be to have the page file in a separate partition or drive. I haven't tried it, but when Windows defaults to something it generally does it in C:\

    This is similar to the problem of setting Windows to clear the page file on shutdown. It will backfill with zeros apart from the bits that are still in use on shutdown. However it is a single overwrite, so neither would comply with DoD 5220-22-M requirements.

    As for the actual wiping:

    1. Wiping an entire drive is trivial. You just boot from external media. This includes another computer, and run your wiping application of choice.
    2. Wiping files and folders is equally trivial. You can do that with any suitable utility from within the operating system.
    3. As I see things, the only area of doubt is the page file. The method that is guaranteed is to boot from external media and run the wiping application from there.

    Also, let's not forget laptops. When wiping the whole drive it is generally far easier to insert a CD than it is to remove the drive.

    "That's crap. It's a Windows app. Enough said."
    Nobody said that. The concern was that it runs from within the operating system. As it is a Windows application, that is Windows. Remember that Linux and other operating systems also use virtual memory, and I would expect the same reservations would apply to them.

    Incidentally, it is not recommended to run Windows without a page file. At the very least you should use the "minimum allowed". OK, that is a bit of a misnomer as it is the amount required for a kernel dump.
    Last edited by nihil; June 6th, 2008 at 11:33 AM.
    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. #37
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    Hmmm,

    "Old Technology" ?

    Cipher: September 2003
    Dban: April 2007
    Eraser: January 2008
    5.25 Floppy Disk: 1976
    3.5 Floppy Disk: 1980



    Do you seriously believe that?
    Yes. Besides, if Windows does indeed set a default amount of space on the hard disk that is necessary for the kernel, it will not be sensitive files that you're trying to wipe. You are so caught up in the fact that you can't overwrite Windows files while Windows is running, but you aren't seeing the point where it isn't necessary to hide system files that anyone with a computer can see... We're talking about wiping data.

    If you want to wipe Windows too, then add the physical drive to another machine, or use a boot disk. Either can be done, and it's a matter of preference. The amount of time taken for either is comparable, and either one could be faster, depending on the environment and the situation. Also, if you're reinstalling Windows, then it will not be a big deal to leave it there and just wipe everything else... If you're serious about using software to eliminate any trace of data that is on a drive, Windows is not what you're worried about. A format will take care of Windows, and no software is necessary for that either. If you want to format and totally get rid of all of the data, then your method would be better. As I said earlier, it really just depends on the environment and the situation.

    Incidentally, it is not recommended to run Windows without a page file. At the very least you should use the "minimum allowed". OK, that is a bit of a misnomer as it is the amount required for a kernel dump.
    While that is true, if the purpose is to wipe it, then it's necessary to turn it off. I would agree that it should be turned back on afterwards, unless you really want to waste a lot of RAM.

    You believe that your method and software is better. I believe that it depends on the situation.

  8. #38
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    You believe that your method and software is better. I believe that it depends on the situation.
    I don't believe the software I suggested is "better", it is just that the OP did ask for alternatives for his experimentation and I believe that we have complied with this request, and given him a variety?

    I agree with the second part of your comment. Unfortunately the OP was a little sketchy in defining his environment and requirements?

    I am not a Windows basher or Linux fanboy. I very rarely use any OS apart from Windows other than on boot disks. Hell, I even have Windows 2.03 running on an HP 286 over DOS 5.0!!!!!

    You do not know me so perhaps I should explain that I am into old (legacy) IT stuff as a hobby. Just like some people are into old automobiles or motorbikes.

    5.25 Floppy Disk: 1976
    3.5 Floppy Disk: 1980
    Hey! now ya talkin my language. I have an old Digital Venturis PI/133 which has both drives so that I can convert from one medium to the other

    Yes. Besides, if Windows does indeed set a default amount of space on the hard disk that is necessary for the kernel, it will not be sensitive files that you're trying to wipe. You are so caught up in the fact that you can't overwrite Windows files while Windows is running, but you aren't seeing the point where it isn't necessary to hide system files that anyone with a computer can see... We're talking about wiping data.
    I agree, so I had better come clean, so to speak, and say that my real concern is how the hell do I convince an auditor that this is the case?

    Wouldn't it be nice if MS would publish a KB explaining exactly is going on? Then we could just refer auditors to it, and it would be up to them to prove otherwise?

    At the moment it is self-evident that my method will comply 100%, and that the software is pretty much irrelevant from this aspect so long as it does its job, which is basically to overwrite stuff with 0's and 1's.

    The basic problem is that we have to prove to auditors that we are policy compliant, rather than they have to prove that we are not?

    Now that I have "outed myself" and declared my true interests your comments would be appreciated.

    Incidentally, we are not "fighting" we were having an "argument"

    Over here (UK) we would define:

    Discussion: People talking about something without having a particular viewpoint or conviction.... sort of like "brainstorming".

    Argument: People with a viewpoint that they will put forwards and defend against counter arguments or viewpoints.

    Altercation: Fun, this is the flame war, as we say in net terminology. Certainly no logic required, and I don't think that you have to stick to the topic in hand? This is "fighting" as we see it over here.
    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?

  9. #39
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    I think the whole conversation breaks down to one simple discussion:

    You do not know what Windows is doing versus Windows can be trusted and that boils down to an indirect way of discussing either that Windows is the greatest **** on earth, even worse than those software using it or that open source is better than Closed source.

    I got what intended to . you can enjoy your fights. best of luck to both the parties lol! )
    "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

    - Albert Einstein

  10. #40
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hey, jockey my friend, you couldn't be more wrong.

    This is certainly NOT a *Nix vs Windows debate. It is about processes and their supporting procedures in a security context.

    We are really talking about an organisation with a security policy, and an officer of that organisation having to apply the policy, and prove to external auditors that this has been done.

    Now, the approach that I suggested would pass the auditors, but, because we don't really know enough about the inner workings of Windows, we cannot prove the validity of the other approach.

    That is the dilemma.

    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?

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