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low format or wipe


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#1 nickos

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 09:18 AM

hi to all,

 

please, i wish to ask if wipe is better than low format and what is the difference between these tow methods ... with simple words

 

thanks


Edited by hamluis, 16 May 2017 - 11:31 AM.
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#2 Allan

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 09:52 AM

When you format a drive (what you call "wipe") all you are doing is deleting the pointers (pointers tell the master file table where to find the data). The data remains on the drive, but because the pointer is gone the MFT can't find it and thinks it has been deleted. When you perform a low level format you delete everything from the drive (or overwrite everything with zeroes). A simple Google search will explain everything in detail.


Edited by Allan, 16 May 2017 - 09:53 AM.


#3 hamluis

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 11:28 AM

http://knowledge.seagate.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/203931en

 

Typically...a low-level format can be performed, using 3d-party software.  Seagate is not the only provider of such.

 

Some Tools Which Enable Low-level Formatting.

 

Louis



#4 nickos

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 12:25 PM

hi my friends,

 

many thanks for the replies



#5 Platypus

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 08:24 PM

Your post is hard to answer accurately because it's not clear about a number of things, e.g. what is "wipe", "low format", what operating system(s) and "better" in what way?

 

I would guess that by "wipe" you mean drive wiping programs such as DBAN?

 

I'd also guess that by "low format" you might mean a zero-fill, since modern drives cannot truly be low-level formatted by an end user. But you could also mean a quick format.

 

If by "better" you mean how thorough the format is at making the drive contents inaccessible, then in ascending order, using Windows version Vista or later:

 

Quick Format: rebuilds the file system records so that the drive appears to be empty. The original drive contents remain until they are overwritten by new data, and until that happens can generally be recovered easily.

 

Full Format: the data area of the drive is zero-filled and checked for errors. The previous contents of the drive have been overwritten and cannot be recovered  by any normal user process. In theory, costly forensic analysis in a lab may be able to identify some data.

 

Wiping software: offers multiple overwrites with random data, intended to prevent forensic recovery of contents, and may include areas not addressed by formatting, such as re-allocated faulty sectors, which may still contain some user data. If someone feels paranoid about removing every trace of the drive's previous contents, wiping software will give them peace of mind, and take a very, very long time about it.

 

Unfortunately, if you do a general Google search on the subject, you'll find a lot of conflicting information, including authoritative looking articles that are either out of date, so now may not be accurate, were simply wrong to begin with and have never been corrected, or are trying to sell you something you might not need.


Edited by Platypus, 16 May 2017 - 08:27 PM.

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#6 nickos

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 12:11 AM

good morning to all,

 

dear platypus i agree with you

 

i forgot to asked what method offer better security but you have answered that and i thank you so much

 

i understand that if i wipe my hard drive or an external usb drive or even an sd card with a program like the alternate file shredder the data cannot be recovered

 

i think that i have to wipe my drive with more than five times wiping

 

thanks


Edited by nickos, 17 May 2017 - 12:17 AM.


#7 Platypus

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 01:17 AM

i think that i have to wipe my drive with more than five times wiping


This is overkill unless you're concerned someone may be going to dismantle your drive in a laboratory and spend multi thousands of dollars examining the individual tracks with a magnetic force microscope.

The NIST Guidelines for Media Sanitization defines two levels of non-destructive data sanitization:

Clear: "logical techniques to sanitize data in all user-addressable storage locations for protection against simple non-invasive data recovery techniques"

This is the like of unerase and file recovery programs, and the specification for this level of data removal for ATA magnetic drives for example is "overwriting...The Clear pattern should be at least a single write pass with a fixed data value, such as all zeros" (Emphasis mine.)

Purge: "physical or logical techniques that render Target Data recovery infeasible using state of the art laboratory techniques."

You would think this would be much more demanding, but although it requires access to a technique such as the drive's internal ATA Sanitize Device command, still "Apply one write pass of a fixed pattern across the media surface. Some examples of fixed patterns include all zeros or a pseudorandom pattern. A single write pass should suffice to Purge the media." (Emphasis mine.)

http://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/SpecialPublications/NIST.SP.800-88r1.pdf


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#8 nickos

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 11:40 AM

hi to all,

 

dear platypus i thank you so much for your detailed reply on data wiping

 

it is good for me to know some more things on data wiping even if i don't keep on my pc any confidential data

 

only my 3d works and music productions are seating on my pc

 

from your reply i understand that i have to wipe my data for extra safety with zeros and fixed patterns as well so the five times wiping is more than enough... for me

 

thanks


Edited by nickos, 17 May 2017 - 11:40 AM.


#9 RolandJS

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 11:59 AM

Twice would probably do the job just fine.  For me, one Zero-fill is enough.


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#10 GoofProg

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 11:47 AM

wipe = erase to the file system.

low level wipe = erase to a zero filled drive (no file system)

low level formats can take days (just like in the old days too) with terabyte drives

The good point is with a low level format + a OS level format then it usually makes all the bad blocks on the drive.






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