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Thread: How is it possible to recover data from a formatted hard drive?

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    How is it possible to recover data from a formatted hard drive?

    I have come accross softwares that can get data even from formatted hard drives. How is that possible ? Formatting a hard disk should erase the data totally by re-orienting the magnetic media . then how is it possible to recover data.

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    Administrator Moby-Dick's Avatar
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    It depends on the format.

    Military spec disc wiping calls for all the bits on the drive to be set to '1' then back to '0' again a minimum of 7 times to ensure no residual signiture.
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    Most formatting just sets up the file system and boot sectors then scans the drive for errors. Virtually nothing is overwritten.

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    format just wipes the info but leaves a shadow of everything thats on there the police use software to retrieve this info when they confiscate pcs from dodgy people

    i use killdisk on mine run it a couple of times takes a few hours but makes most data unretrievable find i get a more stable reinstall of windows if i do this

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    Common misconception of the Windows format functions is that it wipes all the data. The reality is:

    "Format" - literally just marks the files as dead so the space can be reused AND then does a checkdisk across the whole drive. All the data is intact.
    "Quick Format" - does exactly the same thing, bar the checkdisk.

    Files/partitions marked as dead can be easily recovered with many bits of software - if you throw away a drive either take a hammer to it or use a program that actually erases every sector of the disk several times.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dangel View Post
    Files/partitions marked as dead can be easily recovered with many bits of software - if you throw away a drive either take a hammer to it or use a program that actually erases every sector of the disk several times.
    Any good recommendations?

    Thanks.

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    Virtually any program that will overwrite a disk will work. A DOS based utility such as Partition Magic and many disk utilities from the disk manufacturers will "zero" a drive meaning every available bit is overwritten.

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    Quote Originally Posted by amjedm View Post
    Any good recommendations?

    Thanks.
    IIRC there is some on the UBCD (Ultimate boot CD)
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
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    I currently use IBM/Hitachi and Segate drive.

    Both Hitachi's "Drive Fitness Test", and Segate's "DiscWizard" have zero write utilities. All other drive manufactures should have similar programs available from their sites as well.

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    I found Darik's Boot and Nuke very effective and easy: http://dban.sourceforge.net/

    Just be careful, its easy to wipe every drive attached to the PC.

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    Registered User Yellowbeard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogle View Post
    I found Darik's Boot and Nuke very effective and easy: http://dban.sourceforge.net/

    Just be careful, its easy to wipe every drive attached to the PC.
    Boot and Nuke?

    That is a VERY funny name

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yellowbeard View Post
    Boot and Nuke?

    That is a VERY funny name
    Heh yeah, it boots your PC - then NUKES it

    Its good though, because it doesn't just zero the drive. Unfortunately it takes a good 4+ hrs for a relatively secure wipe.

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    I use magnet when I want to rid of a HD, just for fun, stick ten ultra strong earth magnet to it and I doubt you wud ever read anything out of it ever again (at least i cant manage to)
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