Format

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by cd08, Jun 21, 2009.

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  1. cd08

    cd08 Registered Member

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    The best programs I've found for a REAL, FULL, COMPLETE, format is:

    DriveScrubber 3.0 from iolo (Comes with System Mechanic 8.0 Pro)
    Active@ KillDisk.
    DBAN BootNuke.

    These are top rated from ME...but I'm wondering what is top rated from people here and in general. I tried toptenreviews.com but cannot find a review list for hard drive format software. I tried keywords "Data erase", "data delete", "format", "hard drive format" and others but no list. The closest I've found is Privacy software but they focus on "tracks" and "evidence" and internet files.

    I'm looking for THEE BEST programs that focus on HARD DRIVE DATA REMOVAL.

    Popular, top rated, high ranking programs from reputable companies.

    I'll know "The one" when I find it.
     
  2. Pleonasm

    Pleonasm Registered Member

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    Cd08, beyond the basics of “real, full, complete” erasure, what are the criteria by which you define the “best” utility -- speed, price, compatibility with specific hardware (e.g., SAS hard disk drives), specific overwrite options, etc.?
     
  3. chronomatic

    chronomatic Registered Member

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    What exactly is a "real, complete, full format?" Are you talking about disk scrubbing/secure deletion? If so that is not the same as formatting. Formatting is the process of creating a file system on a disk.

    If you just want to securely erase all data on a disk, then you can write zeroes to it once. I hear Vista provides this option during a disk format (but I don't use Windows, so I can't verify). Another option would be to use any Linux liveCD (there are various general purpose distros that are just for special tasks like this and are small downloads). A handy one to have is GParted which is used for formatting and other disk maintenance. It also will allow you to create/delete/resize NTFS and FAT32 partitions which comes in handy.

    Just burn the .iso to CD and then boot from the CD (it's only like a 130MB download). Once it boots, just open a shell prompt and type:

    Code:
    shred -vfz -n 1 /dev/sdx
    Where "sdx" is your hard disk. (It might be hda, hdb, sda, sdb, etc.). This will thoroughly destroy any data on the disk. It basically does what DBAN does, except DBAN overwrites it multiple times (which is pointless and offers no benefit whatsoever). DBAN, like GParted, is really nothing but a specialized Linux livecd.
     
  4. dantz

    dantz Registered Member

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    I recommend using the hard drive manufacturer's diagnostic software to both test the drive and then write zeros to it. This will map out the bad sectors (if any) and allocate whatever spare sectors are needed. You can also (usually) check the S.M.A.R.T. data to see if your drive has any measurable defects. After doing all this then you can format the drive by using the OS that you are planning to install.
     
  5. box750

    box750 Registered Member

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    DBAN does a great job and it is my favourite, but if I had to pay for software doing this, I would go for Paragon Disk Wiper PROFESSIONAL edition, it has an amazing number of wiping patterns to use and you can even build your own. But at $150 it is not cheap, it is meant to be used by businesses thought.
     
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