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Thread: Erase all data on a hard drive.

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    Erase all data on a hard drive.

    hey guys,

    Anyone know the best way to do this?

    Cheers.

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    0iD
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    Re: Erase all data on a hard drive.

    Low level format, or dban
    [
    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen
    When I say go, both walk in the opposite direction for 10 paces, draw handbags, then bitch-slap each other!

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    Re: Erase all data on a hard drive.

    How do i do a low level format? or how do I use dban?

    <-- noob =]

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    Re: Erase all data on a hard drive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Infinite View Post
    How do i do a low level format? or how do I use dban?

    <-- noob =]
    Go to http://sourceforge.net/projects/dban/

    download the ISO image

    Burn this to CD with imageburn http://www.imgburn.com/

    Boot the CD, follow the simple instructions (and make sure you select the correct partition to be nuked!!!)
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    Re: Erase all data on a hard drive.

    Most HDD manufacturers provide their own tools for LLF, or use http://hddguru.com/content/en/software/ but I'd personally dban it. http://www.dban.org/faq

    *edit ^What dangel said^
    [
    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen
    When I say go, both walk in the opposite direction for 10 paces, draw handbags, then bitch-slap each other!

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    Senior Member watercooled's Avatar
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    Re: Erase all data on a hard drive.

    There's also a utility that uses the secure erase function built into modern drives: http://cmrr.ucsd.edu/people/Hughes/SecureErase.shtml but personally I use DBAN. If using DBAN, the best method for modern drives is a few passes of random data - I'd say choose at least 3 passes but it does take a fair while. If you just want to zero drive to get rid of MBR viruses or whatever a quick erase (fill with 0s) is plenty.

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    Re: Erase all data on a hard drive.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0iD View Post
    Low level format, or dban
    +1 on DBAN.

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    Re: Erase all data on a hard drive.

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    There's also a utility that uses the secure erase function built into modern drives: http://cmrr.ucsd.edu/people/Hughes/SecureErase.shtml but personally I use DBAN. If using DBAN, the best method for modern drives is a few passes of random data - I'd say choose at least 3 passes but it does take a fair while. If you just want to zero drive to get rid of MBR viruses or whatever a quick erase (fill with 0s) is plenty.
    Multiple passes with random data are very time-consuming, and really not necessary - a single-pass zero fill is all you need to put your data beyond any conceivable hope of recovery.

    http://www.actionfront.com/ts_datare...px#Overwriting

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    Re: Erase all data on a hard drive.

    To an average home user, yes but to anyone who really wants the data, no: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut00...ecure_del.html
    Yeah, not many people are going to go to the length of recovering erased data but random overwrites are not 'not necessary'. That's a bit like saying AES isn't necessary because not many people would bother bruteforcing DES, or WPA2 isn't necessary because not many people would bother breaking into WEP.
    Last edited by watercooled; 28-08-2009 at 04:59 PM.

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    Re: Erase all data on a hard drive.

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    To an average home user, yes but to anyone who really wants the data, no: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut00...ecure_del.html
    Yeah, not many people are going to go to the length of recovering erased data but random overwrites are not 'not necessary'. That's a bit like saying AES isn't necessary because not many people would bother bruteforcing DES, or WPA2 isn't necessary because not many people would bother breaking into WEP.
    The Gutmann paper has been challenged many times since it was originally published eg: here, and Gutmann himself later acknowledged that the chances of recovery on a modern high-density drive were vanishingly small.

    I wouldn't like to speculate on what technology may or may not be available to the CIA, MI5 or whoever (I doubt if I'd understand it anyway), but to my knowledge there's *never* been a documented example of usable data having been recovered from a zero-filled drive...

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    Re: Erase all data on a hard drive.

    hey again

    i tried to use dban last night but it just wouldnt work

    i think i am ment to get the blue screen like in this guide:

    http://www.csuchico.edu/usrv/securit...structions.pdf

    but after i get it to start, it goes straight to a black screen saying like:

    no errors......
    started:....
    finished:....
    saving to removable drive....

    any ideas?

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    Re: Erase all data on a hard drive.

    What mode are you drives in? I've heard of problems with AHCI. Try putting them in normal IDE mode if so.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    Re: Erase all data on a hard drive.

    IDE i think, dont know what AHCI is

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    Re: Erase all data on a hard drive.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0iD View Post
    Low level format, or dban
    Personally I wouldn't use any 'format' function from a hard drive mfr because you don't know what the software is doing - unless the software actually says that it is re-writing the internal logical structure of the disk, you can't assume it.

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    To an average home user, yes but to anyone who really wants the data, no: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut00...ecure_del.html
    Yeah, not many people are going to go to the length of recovering erased data but random overwrites are not 'not necessary'. That's a bit like saying AES isn't necessary because not many people would bother bruteforcing DES, or WPA2 isn't necessary because not many people would bother breaking into WEP.
    If you're that that paranoid about what has been written to your drive, then to be certain to make the data irrecoverable you should remove the platters and either take an angle grinder to the surface and remove the magnetic material, or dunk them in a sulphuric or nitric acid bath to achieve the same result. For a home user, overwriting with zero is more than sufficient.

    However - that will only overwrirte the sectors in use - sectors that were previously written to, but then mapped out by the drive's internal operating system may still contain original data which could conceivably be accessed, although by means well beyond the average user. If that is of concern to you, get the angle grinder ready.

    DBAN is somewhat more refined version of the basic linux dd command. You can clean a drive by using a linux live CD and the dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/<device_name> where device name is in *nix nomenclature, eg sda or hda (or if you justt want to erase a partition sdan or hdan where n is the partition number. A search on Hexus will give more details about linux device numbering and the dd command if you need it.
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    Re: Erase all data on a hard drive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Infinite View Post
    hey again

    i tried to use dban last night but it just wouldnt work

    i think i am ment to get the blue screen like in this guide:

    http://www.csuchico.edu/usrv/securit...structions.pdf

    but after i get it to start, it goes straight to a black screen saying like:

    no errors......
    started:....
    finished:....
    saving to removable drive....

    any ideas?
    Use the Beta version: http://sourceforge.net/projects/dban...6.zip/download the latest stable release isn't fully compatible with newer computers. As mentioned on the site the Beta works fine, it's just not yet called a stable release basically.

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    Re: Erase all data on a hard drive.

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    Use the Beta version: http://sourceforge.net/projects/dban...6.zip/download the latest stable release isn't fully compatible with newer computers. As mentioned on the site the Beta works fine, it's just not yet called a stable release basically.
    Not working =/

    I get this screen when I start it in Interactive mode:



    There are always 4 of these "unrecognised device" no matter how many drives are plugged in, tried both IDE and Sata hard drives.

    If I press F10 to try and start it I get this:



    and I dont know what it is saving it to since there isnt any removable media except for the DVD...

    thanks for your help so far

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