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Secure erase for hard drive

 
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picaman
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:43 pm    Post subject: Secure erase for hard drive Reply with quote

I have a 250GB hard disk I just purchased for use as a backup drive and I need to exchange it--it's making those "I'm not long for this world" sounds. Before I return it, I plan to use the "8 Way Random Write Format" option to make sure none of my personal data is available on the drive.

Three questions:

Is this overkill, or not enough security?

Is there an easier or better way?

How long will this process take? I'm currently using ~60GB of the total 250GB capacity.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Jamie
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devo
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Picaman,

That will take forever!! You're talking a few good hours to complete. I guess it depends on how paranoid you are or what kind of incriminating evidence is on your drive. Laughing I would just use the zero out data option in Disk Utility. I think that's secure enough and it doesn't take that long to finish. It probably takes around an hour or so.
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Leander
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

when i sold my laptop recently i wanted to make sure noone got their hands on any of my files.

so i took a very big directory like.... world of wacraft... and copied it and copied it until the drive was full.

then i erased all the directories and i knew noone was getting anything but standard wow files if they used some form of undelete.
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picaman
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice. I ended up doing both...big file copy followed by zeroing out the drive. Took a couple of hours total.

I had my identity stolen a few years ago, so I'm always a bit paranoid about these things .

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Jamie
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AndyMac
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dont know how advanced the mac filesystem is but on a Windows machine ive recovered Data after deleting the partition, creating 3 more and formatting them,reinstalling windows and programs. If someone really wants your data, they will get it.
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greg
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You want something that will write binary zeros to the HD. Here are some scrubbers for Mac OS X:

http://www.mireth.com/shredit.html

http://www.jiiva.com/superscrubber/
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picaman
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

greg wrote:
You want something that will write binary zeros to the HD. Here are some scrubbers for Mac OS X:

http://www.mireth.com/shredit.html

http://www.jiiva.com/superscrubber/


Thanks for the links--how do these differ from Disk Utility? It looks like they both write zeroes for various numbers of passes.

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Jamie
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greg
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

picaman wrote:
Thanks for the links--how do these differ from Disk Utility? It looks like they both write zeroes for various numbers of passes.


Disk Utility would most likely be sufficient for your needs. These other tools are just a little more advanced. They may offer some speed benefits over Disk Utility as well. However, if this is a one-time deal for you, it may be best to just stick with Disk Utility.
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devo
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

greg wrote:


They may offer some speed benefits over Disk Utility as well.



That might be good because a 7-Pass Erase in Disk Utility can take up to 7-9 hours. The Disk Utility erase options are good enough for me. I like the price too.

OT: Greg do you remember when we talked about Seagate drives in the miniStack and the noise they make? You mentioned it was some sort of feature built into the drives. Do you know if there is ANY way to turn that feature off? It's really driving me crazy. I might try putting a different brand in there and use this one in an old XP machine. I think you mentioned that it's built into the firmware of the drive.
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greg
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

devo wrote:
OT: Greg do you remember when we talked about Seagate drives in the miniStack and the noise they make? You mentioned it was some sort of feature built into the drives. Do you know if there is ANY way to turn that feature off? It's really driving me crazy.


I don't believe it's anything you can disable. You may wish to ask Seagate Support. If you do and you find out anything, please share.
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devo
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

greg wrote:
If you do and you find out anything, please share.


Will do! I buzzed a letter off to them this afternoon. It might take a few days to get a response with the holiday.
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picaman
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2005 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did some quick Google-based research on this subject, and it seems the only completely sure ways to ensure that data cannot be recovered involve sledgehammers, drill presses, or shotguns.

Since I don't think that Newegg.com would accept my returned hard drive after I employed those techniques, I'm going to have to just trust that what I did was OK. Thanks again for everyone's help.

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Jamie
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