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How do I confirm a post-wiped hard drive is wiped clean

Posted on 2010-08-27
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I have wiped a hard-drive with dban (quick setting), and I need to confirm the hard drive contains all 0's (or close to it).  Is there a free tool/utility out there that will somehow display/report the contents of the physical clean drive?

Thanks in advance for the help.
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Question by:GoPack
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Expert Comment

by:Brainstormer
ID: 33546699
You can try Winhex http://www.winhex.com/winhex/
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by:GoPack
ID: 33546774
Thanks Brainstormer,

As I'm looking through the tool, it looks like it needs to run on an OS.  I'm looking for something that I can boot (CD iso file) into the "just cleaned" system.  From there it would somehow analyze the disk and display/report the disk contents...or lack there of.  Is this functionality in Winhex?  
Thanks
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Accepted Solution

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SantiagoA earned 664 total points
ID: 33546939
What brand is the disk? WesternDigital and Seagate have their own tools (.iso bootable CD images) with an application that let you analyze and wipe your disk writing "0" on it, among other stuff.
Go to the brand website, look for your HDD model and then look for the support tab (somewhere), some sites call it "download".
Here you have the place to download the free software for the WesternDigital disks:
 http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=613&lang=en
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by:gikkel
gikkel earned 668 total points
ID: 33547354
Try a recovery utility...if it doesn't see anything, you're good to go.  Getdataback from runtime.org should do the trick - and its free to try (does not recover data), which in your case is free to use :)
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Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 668 total points
ID: 33548591
for a start -  dban does not write all zero's, but rather patterns...
you can boot from a live cd, to confirm it is clean :
 ftp://ftp.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V5.0.1CD-2006-06-01-EN.iso           Knoppix      
www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/                               BartPe

or just delete any partitions...but after running DBAN, i never saw a cleaner disk -  any reason you want to confirm it??
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Expert Comment

by:c661jmb
ID: 33556178
A couple of questions.

Are you data wiping these drives for resale?

Is there SENSITIVE data on these drives?

If the answer to both of these are NO then you should be ok.

However of the answer to these is YES then you have a problem. Data can be forensicly recovered from a HDD even from as many as 85 low level format cycles.

There are plenty of utilities out there that will wipe the HDD securely but they are extremely slow and repetitive. A single pass simply is not good enough.

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