HDD Erasure; Would This Work ?

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by wtsinnc, May 24, 2009.

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  1. wtsinnc

    wtsinnc Registered Member

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    Concerning the issue of destroying personal data from a hard drive that will be sold or donated;

    Would installing another operating system, such as a Linux distro, over the old OS, such as anything Windows, be an effective way to destroy the existing data, or at least to so disguise the old data with the new install as to render it unrecoverable ?

    Just wondering.
     
  2. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    No. If you're going to be selling or donating a drive, you should make sure and wipe the drive with Darin's Boot 'n Nuke or something similar.
     
  3. wtsinnc

    wtsinnc Registered Member

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    Thanks for the reply, Gerald.

    DBAN has been and remains my preferred method for HDD erasure.
    I was just wondering if installing Linux over the old OS would be another way to render the old data unrecoverable.
     
  4. Searching_ _ _

    Searching_ _ _ Registered Member

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    No. Can't overwrite HPA or DCO's.
    Neither can DBAN.
    DBAN is OK if you like the 13 hour, or longer, wipe time.
     
  5. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    A 13-hour erase time would come with HUGE drives. The fact is, serious security comes with some inconveniences. Even a 13-hour wipe is a single night's sleep, plus a few hours. That's hardly anything to worry about.

    As for the HPA/DCO, this is a bigger problem for forensic investigators than for users. Not to mention the fact, that if it's information you're wiping, there's no personal information, logs, etc. in HPA/DCO. If one is that concerned about it, HDDerase (and some others) will wipe them.

    Unless you are a sophisticated user and are using these protected spaces to hide information yourself, you have no realistic concerns about needing them wiped (unless you believe all the theories of viruses "hiding" in these areas. Know the odds of that?)

    Another thing, many drives aren't even worth erasing and physical destruction might be the way to go. Storage is cheap.
     
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