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HDD - making it 100% formatted

Posted on 2012-03-30
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Last Modified: 2012-04-02
it is said that even if you format a hdd.. some may have tools to read anything from the past on it and recover.. how to make sure if there is a way to make sure the hdd is 100% formatted before selling the pc.?
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Question by:25112
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9 Comments
 
LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:Anuroopsundd
Anuroopsundd earned 252 total points
ID: 37786909
you can use low level software like HDD wipe tool
http://hddguru.com/software/2006.04.13-HDD-Wipe-Tool/
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by:tlabus
tlabus earned 252 total points
ID: 37786945
Anuroopsundd's option is good, another option is using dban, which can be found here: http://www.dban.org/. This is a bootable linux CD that can "zero out" a hard drive by writing zeros to every bit.
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LVL 98

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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 252 total points
ID: 37787011
The above tools are just fine for most cases.

>>> how to make sure if there is a way to make sure the hdd is 100%

There is no way to assure 100.0% data erasure because forensic methods can recover the data from the tracks.

So you need to know what is on your hard drive. Mostly, the low level formats take care of things. If you have sensitive information that would cause problems in the off-chance the information fell into the wrong hands, then it is best to get a new drive for the machine and destroy the old one.

Me? I just do low level formats. Clients?  They generally want the drives destroyed.

.... Thinkpads_User
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LVL 9

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by:newmath
newmath earned 248 total points
ID: 37787401
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LVL 3

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by:BobRalph
BobRalph earned 248 total points
ID: 37788115
I second what tlabus suggested and also recommend DBAN. Burn the .iso image to a disc (make sure to create a disc image, and not just burn the file as data) and set BIOS to boot from disc drive. When it loads, type "autonuke" in the prompt and let it run. It will make 3 passes writing random data over the entire drive. Be careful and make sure that the drive you want to erase is the only drive in the computer, because DBAN will automatically erase every drive that it finds. So unplug your USB drives and extra hard drives!! Nothing will be recoverable, even using forensic methods. Take a look at this link and rest assured that the data will be gone forever:

http://www.anti-forensics.com/disk-wiping-one-pass-is-enough
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Assisted Solution

by:mohan16
mohan16 earned 248 total points
ID: 37790714
install DOS with Win 98 Cd
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LVL 93

Accepted Solution

by:
nobus earned 252 total points
ID: 37792488
as said - there is no 100% guarantee -  if they want to invest enough for recovery  -it can be done; but it will cost a lot of time and money
for average users, the suggested DBAN and alike are sufficient
many people offer a .45 through it -  but even then....
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LVL 13

Assisted Solution

by:Sandy
Sandy earned 248 total points
ID: 37793228
Go with linux and run

#shred /dev/hdd

Thats all, Now challenge to recover the data.

;-)
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LVL 5

Author Comment

by:25112
ID: 37796086
thanks all!
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