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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger Odos270's Avatar
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    Question Wiping a hard drive

    I recently hooked up all my external drives. They were partitioned. So, I moved all the files I wanted to my TB drive. The drives are small, one 80GB, one 120GB and two 160GB drives. I deleted the partitions, did a quick format then am using CCleaner to overwrite with 3 passes. This takes hours to do. Still got about 12hrs on a 120GB drive.

    Got the 160GB drive yet to go. Question is, if I do only 1 pass but then repeat 3 times, is that equal to the 3x pass?

    Am looking to donate these drives once wiped. So I want everything clean before donating.

    BTW, did download/burn dban but it won't boot on my system (went into the bios and there's no option to boot from cd). That's why I'm using CCleaner.

    TIA

  2. #2
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    My guess it that it may not be equvalent since the first pass may be identical each time, while a successive three pass is probably using a variable overwrite pattern from pass to pass.

  3. #3
    2 Star Lounger Odos270's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by F.U.N. downtown View Post
    My guess it that it may not be equvalent since the first pass may be identical each time, while a successive three pass is probably using a variable overwrite pattern from pass to pass.
    So I guess I'll go the slow route. Thanks

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    Modern hard drives only need one pass with random data to securely wipe - this assumes you want to protect your data from a government agency.
    To clean them so you can pass them on you only need to delete the partition, create a new one and format.

    cheers, Paul

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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odos270 View Post
    BTW, did download/burn dban but it won't boot on my system (went into the bios and there's no option to boot from cd).
    That would be extremely surprising!
    Have you tried pressing F12 or F8 every few seconds when booting, to come up with a "From which device do you want to boot?" screen?
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

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    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    There should be a BIOS option to set the boot order where you can make the CD/DVD first in the list.

    Jerry

  7. #7
    2 Star Lounger Odos270's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    There should be a BIOS option to set the boot order where you can make the CD/DVD first in the list.

    Jerry
    I looked in the BIOS but wasn't sure. I see a setting for USB CD. Settings in the BIOS on my old box were much clearer.

  8. #8
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    From what I've read recently, the comonly accepted best practice is to first encrypt the drive, and then erase fill once with random data. Use TrueCrypt, or any good free encryption program, with the longest password allowed, consisting of random, upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. No need to remember the password, since you will never be decrypting it. Good Luck.

  9. #9
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    How can Windows be installed on a computer that cannot Boot from a CD ?

  10. #10
    4 Star Lounger SpywareDr's Avatar
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    Usually from a USB device.

  11. #11
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    who are you afraid of ?

    wiping wont stop the cia kgb mossad from reading them

    in the 50s we used to drill holes in them and then run them through a crusher
    recovery ability is even better today

    if you want to reuse them then bulk erase and do a low level format

    what is the value of an old HD anyway ?

    i would go with the physical destruction if you are worried about the data being read
    otherwise just bite the bullet and let the program run like it was designed

    i suspect 3x 1 pass is not 1x 3 pass as they do not use the same pass each time when they repeat
    and why would that be any faster ? you still read/write the same volume of data

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    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Being an Old School tech of 30+ years, I do what I've always done, when I want to clean a hard drive, block out any bad sectors and set at least one partition.

    I boot up with my DOS Utilities boot disk, then run FDISK to remove all existing partitions and create ONE new one.
    Then I use the DOS Format command to format the disk. That writes to every sector on the disk to verify its integrity, thus erasing any date that may have been stored there. Any sectors that do not pass the test are blocked out so they will never be used again.
    (every hard drive has a 'Bad Sector Map' which lists the address of every bad sector, so they will never be used)

    After the partitioning and formatting, the drive is clean and ready for whatever I want to do with it.

    Old School, YES, but also very effective!

    Cheers Mates!
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  13. #13
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    Multiple pass myth.

    cheers, Paul

  14. #14
    2 Star Lounger Odos270's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedball View Post
    who are you afraid of ?

    wiping wont stop the cia kgb mossad from reading them

    in the 50s we used to drill holes in them and then run them through a crusher
    recovery ability is even better today

    if you want to reuse them then bulk erase and do a low level format

    what is the value of an old HD anyway ?

    i would go with the physical destruction if you are worried about the data being read
    otherwise just bite the bullet and let the program run like it was designed

    i suspect 3x 1 pass is not 1x 3 pass as they do not use the same pass each time when they repeat
    and why would that be any faster ? you still read/write the same volume of data
    I don't plan on me reusing the drives. If I were, I would've just removed the partitions and reformatted. I plan on giving these drives away. Yes they are older (IDE), but are in good shape. Someone should be able to get some use out of them.

    The only drive I'm keeping is the 300GB drive, the smaller ones are going, going, gone.

    Anyhow, the wiping is done. 3x overwrite and had a fan blowing on the drives to keep them cool.

    If I had wanted to destroy the drives, I have a pretty good sized hammer and would've beaten them flat.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odos270 View Post
    the smaller ones are going, going, gone.
    Then just drill a hole through them or hit them a couple of times with a sledge. Or just toss them in with your trash. No one, unless they are into misery, will want a drive less than 320 GB. Such drives are not worth the trouble as new drives can be had for less than $50.00, are newer and probably operate better.

    Paranoia about cleaning drives is absurd when there is probably nothing worth attempting to recover on your drives. A simple FDISK, repartition and format will remove the data from all but the most persistent of people. Such people are not going to waste time on finding out your bank account only has $4.00 left. People that are going to go through such effort are looking for passwords for major system access and corporate secrets.

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