HD recovery partition after wiping with NOrton Gdisk

Hi experts,

So here is the situation. I have Toshiba Tecra laptops that needs to be wiped clean using Gdisk. But the Tecra laptops come with HD recovery partition ( I believe Gdisk wipes the entire disk).  Is there a way I can retain the recovery partition, to restore windows later and wipe only the other main partition?

Thanks,
Priya.
PriyasuttyAsked:
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
why not just format the partition you don't want..use an unconditional format
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PriyasuttyAuthor Commented:
The problem is the laptops contain important information that our company wants to be wiped clean and make data retrieval impossible. Since with formatting, data retrieval is possible, we use Gdisk to completely erase the disk contents. Since they are customer units and they do not know how to create the recovery disks, it is my responsibility to make sure they get their laptops back with recovery partition or some other solution.

Thanks,
Priya.
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KenneniahCommented:
I'm guessing for the same reason we have to. To comply with security requirements from various sources, we have to wipe disks to DOD specifications before we sell or give away any old equipment.
It doesn't look like Gdisk has the option.
We use Data Eraser from Ontrack for this purpose, and it does have the option to wipe certain partitions only.
http://www.ontrack.com/dataeraser/
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KenneniahCommented:
Actually there is a way with Gdisk.
From http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/ghost.nsf/docid/2000030715304425/
Look at the options for /DEL

Looks like you can specify to delete the a partition, and either /qwipe or /dodwipe to overwrite just that partition before the deletion.

GDisk /? /DEL
This command displays the command-line format for the /DEL operation. The /DEL command deletes fixed disk partitions and logical drives.

General command:
gdisk disk /DEL {/PRI[:nth]|/EXT[:nth]|/LOG:nth|/P:partn-no|/ALL} [/qwipe|/dodwipe|/customwipe:n] [/X] [/Y]



Switch
Description

disk
The physical fixed disk (1-8).

/DEL
Delete a DOS partition or logical DOS drive.

/PRI[:nth]
Delete the 'nth' primary DOS partition (1-n). Default is 1.

/EXT[:nth]
Delete the 'nth' extended DOS partition. Default is 1.

/LOG:nth
Delete the 'nth' logical DOS drive from the extended DOS partition (1-n).

/P:partitionnumber
Delete any partition. Use /STATUS to select the number of the partition to delete.

/All
Delete all partitions.

/qwipe
Overwrites the partition’s data area before deleting the partition. Makes one pass of the disk.

/dodwipe
Overwrites the partition’s data area before deleting the partition. Makes seven passes of the disk. This is the security standard for the U.S. Department of Defense.

/customwipe:n
Overwrites the partition’s data area n times before deleting the partition.
Note that this switch is not available in Symantec Ghost 7.5. Use /DISKWIPE /DOD instead.
n can be set from 1 to 100.
/customwipe:7 is equivalent to /dodwipe
 

/X
Ignore extended disk-access support.

/Y
Suppress prompting to confirm you wish the action to be performed. /SURE has the same meaning.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Hard Disk Scrub from http://summitcn.com/download.html  will do a secure erase on all free space on a disk.   Simply delete all the files you want to be sure can't be accessed; empty the Recycle Bin;  and then run Hard Disk Scrub in secure erase mode -- it does a DOD 5220.22-M compliant erasure for all of the free space.

Alternatively, you could restore the laptop from the restore partition; then install Hard Disk Scrub and run it in secure mode (so all free space is securely wiped) => this saves you from having to decide what to erase.

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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Another alternative is to use Active KillDisk from http://www.killdisk.com/features.htm

This will let you select a partition to erase instead of the whole disk;  but note that only the paid version ("Professional") is DOD 5220.22-M compliant.
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PriyasuttyAuthor Commented:
kenneniah is right. I found how to unhide the partition using Gdisk. There are 2 partitions . One is the active partition which is 97% of the disk and the other is the HDD recovery partition which is 3% of the disk. But could some one please give me a step by step guidance of how to create a standard ghost boot cd without using floppy at all, since the laptops I need to wipe do not have floppy drives. I tried using the virtual floppy drive but ghost boot disk asks for 2 floppies and Iam stuck there.

thanks,
Priya.
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PriyasuttyAuthor Commented:
Thank You very much Kenneniah. Using the above options I can delete the selected partition. Then I had to activate the HDD recovery partition to restore the OS from it.

Priya.
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KenneniahCommented:
Welcome, glad to have helped some :)

Did you figure out how to make a ghost cd or do you still need some help with that?
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PriyasuttyAuthor Commented:
I figured out how to make a ghost cd.

Thanks again,
Priya.
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