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How can I sucessfully erase and the format an external hdd thats in a case and on USB?

How can I successfully erase and the format an external hdd thats in a case and on USB?

I cant boot to it I think  well it has to be attached to a computer &.

Will Winternals do it?
Will Dban do it?

So having done it  how do I fdisk / format it? Is there a cool way?

2 Solutions
Just plug it in to your USB port. Right Click "My Computer" and select Manage
Go to Disk manager, right click on the new disk and select FORMAT

No need for any other utilities.
wordedAuthor Commented:

That fine ......... but say if there is customer info on the hdd and I want to erase.  I want a nuked hdd.

1) how do you nuke a hdd thats on the other end of a usb cable?
2) How do you fdisk / format it ntfs afterwards?


You can Zap the existing partitions, create new ones and reformat in NTFS all from Disk Management no other tools required.

If you want to use a secure erase method to make sure that data on the disk is not recoverable then you need a utility such as EastTec Eraser http://www.east-tec.com/consumer/eraser/ or Secure Delete (free) http://www.objmedia.demon.co.uk/freeSoftware/secureDelete.html or Sysinternals Sdelete (free) http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/Security/SDelete.mspx (yes it does work on XP)
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>>  1) how do you nuke a hdd thats on the other end of a usb cable?    <<  to my knowledge, there are no utilities that handle usb devices; you should take the disk out of the case, and hook it directly to the ide / sata connector of the mobo - then you can use dban : http://dban.sourceforge.net/      

>>  2) How do you fdisk / format it ntfs afterwards?   <<   as said by KCTS

Formatting the hard disk seven successive times ensure total data erasing but this is very exhausting to the hard disk there is another utility called killdisk this is also very secure and writes zeros all over the disk but it similar in some matter to low level format which is again very exhaustive to the hard disk. another method is to format the hard disk and then copy files till you fill it to its end (this overwrites all old data making them unrecoverable) then reformat it again
wordedAuthor Commented:

My thoughts.

Format the drive.
Get a big file of say 10 meg - some music .mp3
Get an ap that keeps copying that file until it fills the drive.

Ifs the drive is full of this one file - all the previous data is gone right?  
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