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Thread: Why 'zero' a HDD other than security?

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    Why 'zero' a HDD other than security?

    Other then the probably most common reason to 'wipe' a drive of old data, are there any technical reasons to 'zero' a HDD?
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    Re: Why 'zero' a HDD other than security?

    I always used to do a random rather than a straight zero, but then I found it easier to disassemble drives, platters make good coasters and the magnets are strong so useful in the garage

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    Senior Member AGTDenton's Avatar
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    Re: Why 'zero' a HDD other than security?

    Zeroing is certainly a heavy task for a HDD. When I had to do a zero project for a company that was closing down the task killed about 15% of the drives out of around 150. But these were 10+ years old so if wiping didn't do it just using it would have killed them eventually.

    I don't really see any technical advantage over say a quick format, ignoring the obvious security aspects. Gone are the days when that was problematic. Not to mention the speed of a quick format Vs zeroing. If you were to reuse a drive I wouldn't bother with zeroing it. Over time putting data on it does the same job.

    Zeroing would be better than a format if passing the drive on to someone else.
    If you had an OS on the drive with your key its a good reason to zero a drive so they don't try and recover it.

    I use drives until they fail then apply hammer. I've also started to encrypt data on my drives in the event I get burgled.

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    Re: Why 'zero' a HDD other than security?

    Possibly.

    If you do a low level format using the vendor's utility program then that would dig out any bad sectors and remap them with spares to make the drive look pristine again.

    But that only makes any sense for old drives, and you shouldn't be using a hdd outside its rated life/warranty period anyway.

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