wanted: freeware HD wipe *with* gutman level option

Posted on 2005-05-10
Last Modified: 2010-08-05
I want a freeware tool to wipe data off a drive by drive or partition that includes "gutman" as a severity option.  Ideas?  Can NOT require floppy use.  Preferably something that will run under miniPE.

Question by:paradoxloss
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    Accepted Solution

    LVL 1

    Assisted Solution

    Do you really need Gutmann?  Here's an excerpt from the FAQ about Darik's Boot and Nuke, one of the best free wipe utilities (which can be made into a bootable CD) at

    Q: Is the Gutmann method the best method?

    A: No.

    Most of the passes in the Gutmann wipe are designed to flip the bits in MFM/RLL encoded disks, which is an encoding that modern hard disks do not use.

    In a followup to his paper, Gutmann said that it is unnecessary to run those passes because you cannot be reasonably certain about how a modern hard disk stores data on the platter. If the encoding is unknown, then writing random patterns is your best strategy.

    In particular, Gutmann says that "in the time since this paper was published, some people have treated the 35-pass overwrite technique described in it more as a kind of voodoo incantation to banish evil spirits than the result of a technical analysis of drive encoding techniques. As a result, they advocate applying the voodoo to PRML and EPRML drives even though it will have no more effect than a simple scrubbing with random data... For any modern PRML/EPRML drive, a few passes of random scrubbing is the best you can do".
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    Expert Comment

    Oops, forgot to mention that Darik's Boot and Nuke, despite the FAQ entry, does include Gutmann.  I'm not sure whether it works in a PE environment or not.

    Author Comment

    thanks all.  I ended up going with 9 passes of random.  Dban was what I was vainly trying to remember.   next time...

    Author Comment

    and thanks mucho for the gutman info :D

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