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ice856

How to securely format a hard drive?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

How to format a hard drive so that all the trace of the file disappear completely, without any chance to be recovered?


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DBAN - Dariks Boot and Nuke

It will wipe the entire contents of a drive, so if there's anything at all on the drive you don't want erased, make sure you copy it off to a different drive.
Unplug any storage drives you don't want erased.


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As @Spotty said, DBAN is excellent for that kind of stuff.

 

CCleaner also has a good drive wiper that lets you overwrite the entire drive 1, 3, 7 or 35 times with random 1s and 0s. 

1 or 3 times will be enough for any undelete program, 7 times would be enough to make recovery impossible even for 3-letter agencies.

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48 minutes ago, ice856 said:

How to format a hard drive so that all the trace of the file disappear completely, without any chance to be recovered?

You can't.  You can format all you want, but Data Recovery software can still find your files.  Bottom line do not sell your hard drive.


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On 3/24/2019 at 6:50 AM, Turtle Rig said:

You can't.  You can format all you want, but Data Recovery software can still find your files.  Bottom line do not sell your hard drive.

so explain how can data recovery software recover my files..there are even

zipbombs designed specifically to owerwrite files with random small files..size depends how large ssd u have..

 

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9 hours ago, aqarwaen29 said:

so explain how can data recovery software recover my files..there are even

zipbombs designed specifically to owerwrite files with random small files..size depends how large ssd u have..

 

I believe @Turtle Rig was specifically referring to reformatting a drive.

Performing a quick format on a drive doesn't erase the data on the drive, you just lose the file table which points the drive to where the files are located. The 0s and 1s are still physically located on the disc.  It's still possible to go through and scan the drive finding all the data stored on it. Under normal use the pre-existing data will be overwritten by new data being written to the drive.

 

However, like you mentioned there are tools that will go over a drive and rewrite the entire drive, sometimes multiple times. This physically changes the 0s and 1s stored on the disc so the old data can't be read. Depending on the size of the drive, and the number of times to rewrite over the files, this can take several hours (or even days) to perform.

 

If you're keeping the drive and you just want to reuse it in a different system - format

If you're selling the drive to someone else - data destruction by rewriting over the drive (DBAN, et all)

If you're disposing of an old or broken HDD - physical destruction of the platters.


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CCleaner 35 pass erase. That shit is supposed to be good enough for the DoD.


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7 hours ago, peacefulpolarbear said:

CCleaner 35 pass erase. That shit is supposed to be good enough for the DoD.

On today's drives, that's way overkill, like using a cannon to take out a fly at five paces. One pass is sufficient for probably even three letter agencies but, if you're really paranoid (I confess to that 😳 ), three passes will definitely be more than adequate, even for three letter agencies. Keep in mind the Government standards for number of passes were created when HDDs were much smaller capacity and the cylinders (tracks) were much wider than they are now, meaning some residual magnetism could linger on the edges of the cylinders which could be detected with the right equipment and software. Today's much narrower cylinders are far less likely to have any remnants lurking on the edges after a single pass. 


Jeannie

 

As long as anyone is oppressed, no one will be safe and free.

One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!

 

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