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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    Clearing Data from server

    I wonder if someone can tell me which software I can buy/use to clear the existing data off an old server. We have recently upgraded our server at work and I want to take possesion of the old server, but they are reluctant to release it to me without first clearing all the data off.

    Many thanks and kind regards
    Hayden

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Clearing Data from server

    Sounds like a job for the FORMAT command to me, unless of course there's paranoia involved and "they" want to security-protect more deeply than that. Otherwise, how would a piece of software know what is meant by "data?" Even a fresh repair-install of the OS wouldn't purge any data.

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    Re: Clearing Data from server

    I initially thought that would do the trick, but I was then informed of some software that is available which "scrambles" the data (or something to that effect) To be honest in not the world's leading expert on servers. The guy who told me about the software couldn't remember the name of the software though. I think I'm going to try the format thing and see if it works - thanks for the quick reply.

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    Re: Clearing Data from server

    I too know that there's software out there in various forms, for scrambling a drive or writing zeroes or whatever on the whole drive. I don't remember the names but it seems as though, unless your employer is REALLY worried about security (or your trustworthiness) a complete format should ordinarily take care of things. That would be especially true if you're going to install an OS and some other software immediately afterward.

    By the way, if you do a Google search on "hard drive erase," you'll get lots of hits for software that does what you're asking about.

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    Re: Clearing Data from server

    Thanks for the advice bigaldoc. I think my employer is developing a serious case of paranoia, the daft thing is there isn't any real "sensitive" data on there anyway. I'll use the google search you recommended and get something organised. Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Clearing Data from server

    And furthermore, I seem to always forget to give folks this link for some possible solutions. A lot of the software you'll find is either <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> or inexpensively priced shareware.

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Clearing Data from server

    Your cheapest solution might be to ask John "No Batch Job Too Small" Gray to suggest a batch file that simply fills the hard disk up with garbage (.txt) files. Re-format and repeat as necessary.

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    Re: Clearing Data from server

    Amen.
    Gre

  9. #9
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    Re: Clearing Data from server

    I am reminded of the exchange between me and the IT Security Person called Dave, when we were both standing next to a printer, waiting for our printouts.
    Dave: "What's all this rubbish coming off on the printer?"
    John: "Must be one of your memos, Dave!"

    Seriously, though, if you really want to clean data off a hard disk you have to write, several times, a specific set of bit patterns, such as used to be done by the olde Norton Utility WIPEDISK, which followed a particular US (DoD?) standard. I imagine there are a whole host of (quite possibly free) utilities that can be found by Googling for various combinations of "wipe", "disk" and "clean"... These should make it impossible for your data to be recovered by any means <img src=/S/blackhole.gif border=0 alt=blackhole width=15 height=15> , so make sure you choose the correct disk! <img src=/S/hosed.gif border=0 alt=hosed width=73 height=24>
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Clearing Data from server

    Among the many security methods mentioned in this thread, If you have or get Norton SystemWorks, it includes "Wipe Info".
    This will SECURELY erase anything on a drive, before you do a format. It certainly should satisfy you employer's wish for privacy!
    It has a "fast wipe" option which will write one time Hex 00 over the entire HD.
    It has a "Government Wipe", that conforms to DOD ( Department of Defense ) standards 5520.22M.
    It writes Hex 0x00, then Hex 0xFF, then Hex value AA, verifies this, THEN it writes this sequence an optional number of times of your choice. I think the default is 7 times.
    THEN you format the drive. This is a <big>secure drive </big> at this point. ( you said it ! )

    Bob
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  11. #11
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    Re: Clearing Data from server

    PGP also has a wipe utility, and is availale as freeware.

    StuartR

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    Re: Clearing Data from server

    So at this level of security does your company run diskless workstations, or at least have floppy disk drive locks, no CD burners, some high level email scanning software.

    If not, I would suggest the horse may already have bolted, assuming there is reason for concern. (I am playing Devil's advocate here. <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>)
    Granville

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Clearing Data from server

    Have been away, but thought that even if you have fulfilled your need, I'd post this for future reference. Sysinternals offers a small free utility called SDelete that will wipe files, blank areas of disk, and so forth, as vigorously as any other tool I know.

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