Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • wapow
    • By wapow 1st Nov 17, 7:18 PM
    • 874Posts
    • 479Thanks
    wapow
    Wiping my HDD without risk of Recovery
    • #1
    • 1st Nov 17, 7:18 PM
    Wiping my HDD without risk of Recovery 1st Nov 17 at 7:18 PM
    Hiya


    I am selling my laptop and want to ensure all my data is wiped and non recoverable by any other user.


    I've backed everything up.
    What's the best way/top software for doing this?


    Thanks All
Page 1
    • molerat
    • By molerat 1st Nov 17, 7:27 PM
    • 17,485 Posts
    • 11,720 Thanks
    molerat
    • #2
    • 1st Nov 17, 7:27 PM
    • #2
    • 1st Nov 17, 7:27 PM
    How "unrecoverable" do you want your data to be ? How long do you want to spend doing it ?
    The only guaranteed way http://diy.com/departments/mac-allister-forged-steel-club-hammer-64oz/703387_BQ.prd
    The MOD disassemble the drive and incinerate the disks.
    Last edited by molerat; 01-11-2017 at 7:31 PM.
    www.helpforheroes.org.uk/donations.html
    • wapow
    • By wapow 1st Nov 17, 8:07 PM
    • 874 Posts
    • 479 Thanks
    wapow
    • #3
    • 1st Nov 17, 8:07 PM
    • #3
    • 1st Nov 17, 8:07 PM
    I didn't say I want to destroy the hardware but if that's what it'll take....


    Want to run a few passes to ensure all data is difficult to recover if someone attempted.
    • S0litaire
    • By S0litaire 1st Nov 17, 8:07 PM
    • 3,359 Posts
    • 2,128 Thanks
    S0litaire
    • #4
    • 1st Nov 17, 8:07 PM
    • #4
    • 1st Nov 17, 8:07 PM
    Or if you want to have a Drive to give away with the laptop...
    DBAN : https://dban.org/
    write it onto a USB stick, insert into laptop and boot from it set it running and leave it for a few hours.
    Laters

    Sol

    "Have you found the secrets of the universe? Asked Zebade "I'm sure I left them here somewhere"
    • tronator
    • By tronator 1st Nov 17, 9:33 PM
    • 2,617 Posts
    • 1,437 Thanks
    tronator
    • #5
    • 1st Nov 17, 9:33 PM
    • #5
    • 1st Nov 17, 9:33 PM
    Or if you want to have a Drive to give away with the laptop...
    DBAN : https://dban.org/
    write it onto a USB stick, insert into laptop and boot from it set it running and leave it for a few hours.
    Originally posted by S0litaire
    ...unless the drive is an SSD. Then you need a tool which does a "secure erase" of your SSD.

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=securely+erase+ssd
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 1st Nov 17, 10:17 PM
    • 7,783 Posts
    • 5,583 Thanks
    esuhl
    • #6
    • 1st Nov 17, 10:17 PM
    • #6
    • 1st Nov 17, 10:17 PM
    DBAN is tried and tested for mechanical hard drives.

    Bear in mind that the PC will then need an operating system installed to make it usable.
    • jshm2
    • By jshm2 2nd Nov 17, 12:03 AM
    • 321 Posts
    • 141 Thanks
    jshm2
    • #7
    • 2nd Nov 17, 12:03 AM
    • #7
    • 2nd Nov 17, 12:03 AM
    You don't actually need to wipe. Just do a full factory restore and defrag. Then open Glary's utilities (it's free) and do a free space wipe

    This will usually suffice unless you've some real dodgy stuff to hide.
    • santiano
    • By santiano 7th Dec 17, 12:20 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    santiano
    • #8
    • 7th Dec 17, 12:20 PM
    Irrecoverable Data
    • #8
    • 7th Dec 17, 12:20 PM
    As we know copy paste overwrites data and hardly retrieves by any data recovery software.
    But, if you really want to assure data not to be recovered then opt for Data Wipe software which erases data by wiping its contents beyond recovery, destroying its name, dates and finally removing it from the Disk.
    • JJ Egan
    • By JJ Egan 7th Dec 17, 12:47 PM
    • 9,971 Posts
    • 4,110 Thanks
    JJ Egan
    • #9
    • 7th Dec 17, 12:47 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Dec 17, 12:47 PM
    <erases data by wiping its contents beyond recovery>

    Not true and the write up posted is misleading .
    Forensic recovery can be used .
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 7th Dec 17, 12:55 PM
    • 7,188 Posts
    • 19,639 Thanks
    DigForVictory
    Some time ago, I was handed a disk which the owner was confident was wiped.
    Unfortunately, his confidence was misplaced.

    Frankly, unless you're into taking risks, I back the judicious use of a black & decker drill &/or a mallet until the unit is bent metal & powder.
    • AndyCF
    • By AndyCF 7th Dec 17, 1:08 PM
    • 194 Posts
    • 507 Thanks
    AndyCF
    If you look at Youtube there is a video or three of some kind of 'disk shredder' , it looks just like a huge, giant type of paper shredder but the opening is huge and it takes hard drives ( ! )

    I did read once on some forum or other ages ago a scrapyard electromagnet (the ones they pick cars up with) is supposed to be reasonably effective as its that strong it can apparently pull the heads off, although I'd not want to confirm this is the case or not.

    If you are concerned then a wipe with 'all 1's' , 'all 0's' , 'random' may do. Want to go further then finish with a zero fill afterwards. Random will likely be the slowest fill anyway moreso if its using PRNG for the erm 'randomness'

    Little point I think going any further, things like Gutmann are really for older designs aka MFM vs RLL

    Use an external utility ideally one of the free Linux based ones, Dban and I'd also consider BCWipe too maybe as you want something that will access the drive directly and not rely on the Bios, this way it may also attempt to write to any defective sectors which is worth it "trying"
    • S0litaire
    • By S0litaire 7th Dec 17, 1:34 PM
    • 3,359 Posts
    • 2,128 Thanks
    S0litaire
    I use a Linux program "dcfldd" it's for the option to use a text string rather than random data or zeros.

    I usually use a rude message and overwrite the entire drive a few times...

    So if someone does try to recover it, they are usually left with a Chuck of text telling them to "f#&k off, stop being nosy" lol.
    Laters

    Sol

    "Have you found the secrets of the universe? Asked Zebade "I'm sure I left them here somewhere"
    • AndyCF
    • By AndyCF 7th Dec 17, 4:43 PM
    • 194 Posts
    • 507 Thanks
    AndyCF
    I use a Linux program "dcfldd" it's for the option to use a text string rather than random data or zeros.

    I usually use a rude message and overwrite the entire drive a few times...

    So if someone does try to recover it, they are usually left with a Chuck of text telling them to "f#&k off, stop being nosy" lol.
    Originally posted by S0litaire
    ah DD I'd forgotten about that.
    • tronator
    • By tronator 7th Dec 17, 7:55 PM
    • 2,617 Posts
    • 1,437 Thanks
    tronator
    <erases data by wiping its contents beyond recovery>

    Not true and the write up posted is misleading .
    Forensic recovery can be used .
    Originally posted by JJ Egan
    Do you have any links with real life examples where someone recovered wiped/overwritten data?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_recovery#Overwritten_data

    "... there is no practical evidence that overwritten data can be recovered, while research has shown to support that overwritten data cannot be recovered."
    • googler
    • By googler 7th Dec 17, 8:46 PM
    • 14,473 Posts
    • 9,348 Thanks
    googler
    Take the HDD out and keep it. Sell the PC without it.
    • henm2
    • By henm2 7th Dec 17, 9:49 PM
    • 663 Posts
    • 331 Thanks
    henm2
    DBAN works for me. Just boot it off a flash drive.
    • were
    • By were 7th Dec 17, 10:22 PM
    • 574 Posts
    • 342 Thanks
    were
    Do you have any links with real life examples where someone recovered wiped/overwritten data? ;
    Originally posted by tronator
    Another vote for dban. Killdisk works too.

    Years ago we had a contract and we had seagate st225 - 20 whole meg of storage. These were nasty and unreliable drives, and this range apparently help kill off Amstrad too.

    We used to format the disk and put the back into service. A few weeks later some documents could appear, or half a document dissapear and a new half of the previous owners document appear. In some cases the new owners knew the owner of the previous disk. In once case senior staff reviews which were confidential came to light.

    Granted the were not totally erased as in binary patterns as deban etc, but formatting and reinstalling software is not the way to go.
    • henm2
    • By henm2 8th Dec 17, 4:48 AM
    • 663 Posts
    • 331 Thanks
    henm2
    Formatting has never been a secure way of doing things. Wiping sectors of a drive using the likes of DBAN is the way to go.
    • tronator
    • By tronator 8th Dec 17, 8:38 AM
    • 2,617 Posts
    • 1,437 Thanks
    tronator
    We used to format the disk and put the back into service. A few weeks later some documents could appear, ...
    Originally posted by were
    As you said further down, formatting is not wiping or overwriting.

    I use good old dd to write one pass of zeroes to a hard disk (not SSD).

    For SSDs one should use the secure erase command. If you trust this article, a format with NTFS in Windows 7 or ext4 or xfs with current versions of mke2fs and xfsprogs should be sufficient.
    • Silvester89
    • By Silvester89 8th Dec 17, 8:48 AM
    • 85 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    Silvester89
    There are several.programs that should be sufficient for what you need and they all generally work the same. When you delete a file, it's not fully deleted at first. The space is just saved until you need it for something else. All these applications do is overwrite thay data with random data overwriting your own deleted data.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,141Posts Today

7,052Users online

Martin's Twitter