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How to securely do Data destruction?


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6 replies to this topic

#1 mystic12

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 05:38 PM

Hey guys, a client is asking me "If i erased info off of a hard drive how can i be sure the info cannot be retrieved and how can i erase the audit trail if I need the HDD? Any ideas please?



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#2 britechguy

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 06:03 PM

I am not sure what is being referred to by "the audit trail."

 

My standard way of clearing off a hard drive is via CCleaner and its "Drive Wiper" utility under the Tools tab.  The "Advanced Overwrite (3 passes)" is usually way more than sufficient for most folks.  It does this for all free space on the drive, which means not currently allocated for use as a file or folder, so if you have what appears to be tons of unused space on a drive that's what will be wiped.

 

By the way, you do have an option in the Drive Wiper to wipe the whole drive, not just the free space.   Since I'm most often wiping drives on machines that are being donated or passed on to other friends/family members I don't want to nuke the OS.  When I'm doing that I also first add a new account with admin privileges and delete all existing accounts on the machine first.  This frees up all of the space associated with the previously existing accounts which will then be wiped.


Edited by britechguy, 17 January 2018 - 06:23 PM.
Added bit about "whole drive" wipe and my procedure when passing on a computer

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#3 mightywiz

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 06:16 PM

I use an electro-magnet (large tape demagnitizer) and a hammer to wipe & destroy a drive I never want anyone to get info off of.



#4 britechguy

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 06:25 PM

I use an electro-magnet (large tape demagnitizer) and a hammer to wipe & destroy a drive I never want anyone to get info off of.

 

Well, that's fine if one wants to destroy the drive, and is about as effective as any method can be (and is without degaussing the drive if you actually crush it with a hammer).

 

Since the OP stated, "if I need the HDD," I presumed a non-destructive method was required.


Brian AKA Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

 

     In a modern society where everyone thinks their opinion deserves to be heard nothing annoys me more than individuals who mistake their personal preferences for fact.

         ~ Commenter TheCruyffGurn on the The Guardian website, 8/13/2014

 

              

 


#5 mystic12

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 06:38 PM

 

 

 

Since the OP stated, "if I need the HDD," I presumed a non-destructive method was required.

 

Yes a sure-fire non destructive option



#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 06:58 PM

I'm not sure what they mean by erasing the audit trail. There is not audit trail when you wipe a HDD. If you wipe the drive per the DOD 5220.22-M standard then I can't see how any data could be recovered. There are places on the drive some wiping software cannot reach: the Host Protected Area and DCO hidden sectors. The linux command hdparm would take care of that but those areas have no consumer data. DBAN has a boot image than can do the DOD command.

 

https://www.lifewire.com/dod-5220-22-m-2625856

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Host_protected_area

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Device_configuration_overlay

 

https://superuser.com/questions/642637/harddrive-wipe-out-hidden-areas-like-hpa-and-dco-also-after-malware-infectio

 

https://tiptopsecurity.com/how-to-securely-wipe-your-hard-drive-with-dban-erase-your-data-for-good/

 

https://sourceforge.net/projects/dban/


Edited by JohnC_21, 17 January 2018 - 07:00 PM.


#7 mikey11

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 07:02 PM

Partition Wizard is good......use the "wipe partition" feature






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