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  1. #1
    Silver Lounger t8ntlikly's Avatar
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    Hard drive-wipe software

    I need to wipe an XP hard drive w/o wiping the OS. Recommendation for of a good and preferably free product out there?
    Thanks John
    Teamwork is essential; it gives the enemy other people to shoot at. (Murphy's War Laws #39)

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Many Imaging products also include file shredding capabilities, at least Acronis true Image Home 2011 does. I suspect others may as well. Revo Uninstaller Pro also includes this capability. Neither of these apps is free, but I'm sure others will have other suggestions.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    CCleaner has that capability and it's free...
    Untitled.jpg

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I should have mentioned CCleaner as well. I have and regularly use all these fine apps.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
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  5. #5
    3 Star Lounger
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    Not sure I understand this one. Can you confirm then that if you select "Entire Drive (All data will be erased)" the Operating System will be left more or less as it was installed with just any downloaded updates? and any other installed progs will be deleted.

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    John,

    After rereading your post I think what you need to do is uninstall all apps except the OS using Revo Uninstaller or Absolute Uninstaller, then wipe the free space with lets say CCleanerr Wipe Free Space tool:

    CCleanerDriveWipe.jpg

    I would use the Advanced setting on Revo to find all leftover stuff (I always do with great results)
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  7. #7
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Hi Jaystarter1,

    "Entire Drive (All data will be erased)" means that every file on the partition will be erased - programs and data. However, "Entire Drive" wiping is disabled for the boot drive (check this link for more information on Drive Wiper in CCleaner).

    If you have other partitions with programs on them, selecting "Entire Drive (All data will be erased)" for any partition will erase everything on it, but that will not do away with the entries written to the Registry by the programs when they were installed. Programs should be properly uninstalled using tools as Ted described. Drive Wiper is meant to be a secure means of wiping your disk of deleted files so they cannot be recovered, such as in situations where you sell or donate your computer to another party, but want to ensure your private data is not viewable or recoverable by most users.

    Hi t8ntlikly, Glary Utilities also has a file shredder module that will wipe free drive space and is also free.
    Last edited by Deadeye81; 2011-04-15 at 17:49. Reason: Add Glary Utilities Link

  8. #8
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Cool

    A simple and safe way to totally erase programs or files that have been deleted within Windows, is to do a backup, followed by a restore, using Acronis True Image or "Ghost".
    And Acronis True Image is FREE, with Seagate's Sea Tools or Maxtor's Maxblast.

    I do a super cleanup on my own C: drive at least once a week followed by a Ghost backup and Ghost Restore. Any deleted files are overwritten during the restore process and the drive is in perfect shape.

    If I were paranoid, I could do a Ghost backup, followed by a total drive wipe, followed by a Ghost restore. But that would be redundant and I'm really NOT that paranoid.

    Well, that's this Old Timer's solution to the problem.

    The Doctor
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

  9. #9
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    CopyWipe will do the job.

    "CopyWipe™ is a utility for copying or securely overwriting (wiping/erasing) entire hard drives. CopyWipe can ease and expedite the transition to a new hard drive by copying the entire contents of one drive to another. CopyWipe can also help prevent confidential or private data from being recovered, by securely wiping the contents of a drive. A number of options are provided for wiping, most of which exceed governmental standards (such as DoD 5220.22-M, NAVSO P-5239-26, etc.); this allows the user to choose an optimal balance between security and duration of the wiping operation."

    Best of all, CopyWipe is now FREE!

    http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/copywipe.php

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    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    t8ntlkly,

    What I do is use Revo to uninstall all the apps; create a new admin account; delete all the old accounts including files; then use Eraser or CCleaner to wipe the free space. Does a very reasonable job.

    Another option if you have a PC from a manufacturer like Dell you can do a system restore {see manufacturer website for boot time keys to initiate} which sets the PC back to the condition it came from the factory. This is nice because it completely rewrites the Registry which contains a lot of personal data! Then you can do a free space wipe for extra security.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!

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  11. #11
    New Lounger
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    Cool Shiva

    Quote Originally Posted by t8ntlikly View Post
    I need to wipe an XP hard drive w/o wiping the OS. Recommendation for of a good and preferably free product out there?
    Shiva, Destroyer of Files v4 is the latest FREE version I've got. This program overwrites multiple times each file/folder you choose. Drag n drop but it won't clean registry or uninstall, it just wipes mercilessly.

  12. #12
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    When I erase entire drives, I am also testing it's performance. I use http://hddscan.com/ Both the newest and older v.25 (which I prefer for fast and dirty erase and rough benchmark). I do a clone of each drive then erase and benchmark the original every couple months, just to truly check the health of the drive and to "freshen" the platter. After 3 passes, I think it's erased well enough for me, and thoroughly tested for speed and accuracy. Then I put the clone back on the original. In-between, I use Ccleaners tool. HDDScan is a favorite tool for testing drives. I test drives constantly, since I have a couple hundred pounds of used drives lying around. Some pc shops will save them for you, if you ask nicely. The cases are aluminum, and good to be recycled, the magnets in them are awesome (@2005 Samsungs have the biggest magnets), and the platters have cool physical properties. Some of the magnets are strong enough to hold a shovel, rake, 3# slegehammer! BE VERY CAREFUL WITH LAPTOP PLATTERS! Some of them are glass-like and if broken are extremely sharp. Also, check out http://hddguru.com/ He has a bunch more info and tools for hard drives.
    Last edited by TheGadgetFixer; 2011-04-28 at 12:23.

  13. #13
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    I had the same question about a month and spent HOURS looking for answers. Below is some of the best suggestions I found. This quote was the most convincing as he tested many erasing programs.

    "We did Exhaustive testing on both IDE (all types) and SCSI disks including RAID Arrays. Cyber-Cide, CyberScrub Suite, Data Doctors Secure Data Wiper, Dariks Boot N Nuke, East-Tec Dispose Secure, HDDErase, Paragon Disk Wiper Pro, Active@Killdisk - Suite & DOS Versions. We found that for IDE data destruction NOTHING, NOTHING beat HDDERASE from CMRR."

    HDDERASE - http://cmrr.ucsd.edu/people/Hughes/SecureErase.shtml


    Other good ideas

    1- To erase the UNUSED space on your local hard drive without damaging data and files you are keeping, use XP's built in command named cipher.exe. It's a little known utility to over-write all empty space on a hard drive. Open a DOS window and type cipher /w:c:\ and hit Enter. It will take a while depending on how much free space you have on the drive. The c: in the command line can be changed to whatever drive you want run the command on. For more info, do a search on microsoft.com for the word cipher.exe and you can read all about it.

    2- Buy a Torx driver kit from Home Depot for $5.99. Open the hard drive with it. Separate the aluminum from everything else. I can strip one in 5 minutes with no physical damage. Grab the platters with 2 Lineman Pliers and give it a twist. (Also Sandpaper the drive? -me)

    2a) The easiest way to make sure the drive is dead is to just dismantle it and scratch or bend the platters. First off aligning the platters is hard enough let alone trying to recover data from wrecked platters. It literally takes 5-10 minutes per drive. Plus, you get cool super strong magnets for the fridge.

    3) http://www.fileshredder.org/ -- Better and lighter than the program Eraser, for Files.
    "Everytime I erase something with eraser (Using the uber-setting of Gutman-32), Recuva easily finds some of the files, what gives? I did better using Gutman-32 option in Ccleaner."

    4) I’d like to recommend Roadkil’s Disk Wipe at http://www.roadkil.net/ .
    You can write random data or blank a disk with it, and it’s free. I checked the drive afterwards with Runtime Software’s Get Data Back, and a few other tools, R-Studio, On-Track Easy Recovery and wasn’t able to find any traces.
    - Another used Disk Digger in the slower, thorough mode and found nothing.

    5) One Pass is enough - http://www.anti-forensics.com/disk-w...pass-is-enough

    6) Toss the HD into a metal shredder (ie auto recycler, they get shredded and mixed in with lots of other crap), or tossing them into a metal smelter.

    -- Last, from an article by Fred Langa.

    1) There is **NO** way short of destroying the drive (think electric drill through the platters, massive sledge hammer, or incinerator) to make your data ABSOLUTELY non-recoverable. So if you are on Osama Bin Ladden's executive staff, or if you are the head of a drug cartel, well, then get out the drill and sledgehammer.

    However, if you are a "normal" person, you can make the data on the hard drive non-recoverable very easily by simply "overwriting" the data. For a "normal" person, a simple overwrite, ONCE, with ANYTHING (even all zeros) is enough. What I often do is repartition the drive into one single partition, then fill it (until I get a "disk full" error) with multiple copies of a folder of TV shows or movies. Then, once it's completely full, I just erase everything, giving an apparently blank hard drive. And if someone goes in to "recover" what was there ..... they will recover the TV shows and movies. AND THAT IS ALL THAT THEY WILL RECOVER.

    Could the original (pre-overwrite) data be recovered? Yes, but the cost and effort required would be astronomical (think hundreds of thousands of dollars). NO ONE ... not even civil law enforcement ... would do it just as an exercise, or as part of a "fishing expedition", and very few people have anyone who is THAT interested in their data to undertake such an exercise.

    Overwriting can be made more secure by doing it several times with certain specific patterns of data each time. There is government specification for doing such a wipe of drives that had classified (but NOT "top secret") information on them, and most "shredder" programs can do a "DOD" (Department of Defense) wipe. Fine, and technically correct, but for a normal person it's totally irrelevant and unnecessary. **ONE single actual over-write with ANYTHING (even just all zeroes) is all that a normal person needs to be far safer than is necessary.

  14. The Following User Says Thank You to skp14 For This Useful Post:

    pjustice57 (2011-04-29)

  15. #14
    New Lounger
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    I like and have used this one for years:
    http://www.heidi.ie/eraser/
    Free and open-source. Reviews I found were complementary.

  16. #15
    3 Star Lounger
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    Here is a free open-source bootdisk.

    http://www.dban.org/

    Use it regularly and effective.

  17. The Following User Says Thank You to JDB1984 For This Useful Post:

    RetiredGeek (2011-04-30)

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