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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    I have a number of hard drives which have accumulated over the years. Most work, some do not, but ALL still have data which I want to wipe before trashing the old drives. I can run the DoD-certified utility on the ones that still function, but there are some which are DOA. I really don't want to buy a degausser for a few nonfunctioning drives, but I also realize that there are crooks out there who could get info off the platters if they try hard enough.

    Any ideas how to render these drives safe?

    TIA!

  2. #2
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    You do not need to run DOD standard wipes, a single pass with random data is more than sufficient on modern drives. This article shows how to recover data from OLD disks.
    If you are really worried about the dead drives, take the casing apart and destroy the heads. Don't bother to put them back together again.

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
    2 Star Lounger
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    No brainier. Complete and utter physical destruction. Use a drill then a hammer. Roast marshmallows.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    A dremmel and a sledge hammer for the super paranoid, otherwise P T's suggestion will do the job.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I've always enjoyed hitting small objects with much larger heavy objects. Or sometimes I test the small objects integrity first by dropping them from heights. Perhaps to see how far they bounce.

    The point is any method of physical destruction will suffice to render the data as totally gone. Have fun trying!
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  6. #6
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    A 44 Magnum at 20 paces will do the job nicely!
    As Dirty Harry said, "Works for me!"

    But if you want to use the drive again, someday, just use the Wiping software and then DOS FDISK and format the drive.
    That writes to every sector on the HD, overwriting any bits of data that may be left.

    I still have an old "Low Level Format" program that I used years ago on IDE drives. It still works.
    It puts the drive back to "Factory Fresh" condition and even blocks out any bad sectors.

    I know it's very "Old School" but on every new (or used) drive that I get, I do the DOS FDISK (to set up the partitions) and the DOS Format, to not only format the drive, but to certify that it is working correctly and can reliably store data. Only then, when a drive has been 'certified' (to my satisfaction) will I put it into a system.

    Have fun!

    The Doctor
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

  7. #7
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    It puts the drive back to "Factory Fresh" condition and even blocks out any bad sectors.
    Not possible on modern hard disks, they have internal checking / re-mapping algorithms to prevent bad sectors ever reaching the OS. If Windows reports bad sectors, backup and replace the disk now!

    cheers, Paul

  8. #8
    4 Star Lounger SpywareDr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Who View Post
    I know it's very "Old School" but on every new (or used) drive that I get, I do the DOS FDISK (to set up the partitions) and the DOS Format, to not only format the drive, but to certify that it is working correctly and can reliably store data. Only then, when a drive has been 'certified' (to my satisfaction) will I put it into a system.
    The MS-DOS (MicroSoft Disk-Operating-System) 'FDISK' program is only capable of creating FAT(file-allocation-table)12 and FAT16 partitions. FAT16 can support only 2 GB per partition. It is limited to a maximum of 65,525 clusters with 32,768 bytes per cluster. 65,525 x 32,768 = 2,147,123,200 bytes [~2GB].

    MS-DOS versions 4.0 and later do allow FDISK to partition hard disks up to 4 GB (gigabytes) in size. But because of the 2 GB partition limit, a hard disk between 2 and 4 GB in size must be broken down into multiple partitions, each of which does not exceed 2 GB.

    The derivative of 'FDISK' that shipped with the original version of Windows 95 is also limited to FAT12 and FAT16. The one provided with Windows 95B and C, Windows 98, and Windows ME is able to manipulate FAT32 partitions. Windows 2000 and later do not use 'FDISK'. They use the Logical Disk Manager, as well as DiskPart.

  9. #9
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Acronis True Image Home 2010 has a File Shredder and Disk Cleanser that do exactly what you are looking for. Look under Tools and Utilities. Of course the manual destruction techniques already discusssed might be more fun.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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