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Hard drive destruction 'crucial'


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#1 Budapest

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 01:04 AM

The only way to stop fraudsters stealing information from old computer hard drives is by destroying them completely, a study has found.

Computing magazine Which? recovered 22,000 "deleted" files from eight computers purchased on eBay.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7816446.stm
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#2 Kevin Lee

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 02:07 AM

What about a microwave? Doesn't that fry it?

#3 mike=)).

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 04:31 AM

What about a microwave? Doesn't that fry it?


Might do more damage to the microwave than the drive. You are not supposed to put metal objects in a microwave, as they reflect the radiation and can damage the machine. Lol :thumbsup:

#4 Layback Bear

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 12:47 PM

How about some thing like Drive Scrubber 2. I understand that it will make up to 7 overwrites the U.S. Dept of Defense. I also has Gutmanns Maximum Security, what ever that is. I own the program but have never used it. Just thinking ahead when I get rid of my H.D.

#5 OldPhil

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 06:59 AM

Simplicity is a big hammer only takes a few seconds!

Honesty & Integrity Above All!


#6 DaChew

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 07:48 AM

This poses some interesting questions, say I want to sell a used dell computer, I have done a system restore from a recovery partition, did it do a slow format?
Chewy

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#7 OldPhil

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 10:55 AM

Some manufacturers Like Western Digital have a program that writes 0's to the drive, you can check the drive makers site to see if one is available for your drive. Other then that with drives being fairly cheap put cheap insurance in place of your old drive then destroy it.

Phil

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#8 DavisMcCarn

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 08:35 PM

OK, even a "slow format" only reads the entire data area of the drive to find any errors so it can map them out so formatting is nondestructive to the data.

On the other hand, unless law enforcement wants your data so badly they are willing to spend a lot of money to get it, a single pass of any utility which writes data to every sector renders it irrecoverable. Active@KillDisk has a downloadable, free, floppy or ISO image which you can then boot to and truly erase everything: http://www.killdisk.com/downloadfree.htm

For those of you who may be interested in the technical details, here goes..... Every time you write on magnetic media, both the width of the magnetic flux changes and the patterns are different. The result is that, when new data is written, very narrow bands of the old data remain on either side of the new write. If any of you have had a VHS or cassette tape degrade in quality because you reused it several time, this is why that happened; the old recording is mostly; but not completely, gone. On hard drives, this phenomenon still occurs so the government developed electronics that could cause the heads to read on either side of the main data tracks. This is not trivial and no mere mortal is likely to possess the technology to do so. You have to completely remove the drives logic PCA, replacing it with the "secret" control electronics, which can then be controlled to locate those bands of residual data and; hopefully, make sense of them. This is up there with other spy gizzmos like the one they can point at your office window and read what is being displayed on your CRT because the electron beam actually vibrates the window. (This gizmo does exist; but, is probably useless on an LCD).

The point is, if you wipe the disk with something like KillDisk, you are completely safe (unless you happen to be a kingpin in a drug cartel). On the other hand, I have personally recovered thousands of peoples files after they formatted and reinstalled Windoze and have been floored by what I found on drives I purchased on EBay (like tax returns!).
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#9 GTK48

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 10:00 PM

One whack with a sledge will do it!

#10 OldPhil

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 06:44 AM

One whack with a sledge will do it!


A man and his hard drive may soon be parted!

Edited by OldPhil, 24 February 2009 - 06:44 AM.

Honesty & Integrity Above All!


#11 garmanma

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 09:34 AM

Don't forget that the free version of Killdisk only does one pass of zeros. The paranoid among us will have the buy the full version for extra
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#12 GTK48

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 02:51 PM

One whack with a sledge will do it!


A man and his hard drive may soon be parted!


Well if I am going to dispose of a HD, I am not going to waste hours of my time writing ones and zeroes to it.

#13 DavisMcCarn

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 09:09 AM

One pass of zeros will keep anybody but the CIA (for example) from EVER recovering your data and, if you then use the restore CD's to put the system back in its "as delivered" state, you can give it to somebody or sell it.
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#14 Swordie

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 07:53 PM

A Wipe should do it :]
Who said I couldn't have everything?

#15 tg1911

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 09:36 PM

I haven't deleted a file, in years.
I've got into the habit of using Eraser.
Instead of right-click/Delete, it's right-click/Erase.
I have it set to make 3 passes of random 1's and 0's, but if I really wanted to be paranoid (and had a lot of time to waste), I could bump it up to 35 passes. :thumbsup:
You can also clean up your partitions, by having it overwrite all unused space.
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