Solved

can i reuse an external hard drive after its been completely wiped?

Posted on 2014-10-23
6
767 Views
Last Modified: 2014-10-27
I wanted to completely wipe out a hard drive because of viruses on it . I managed to save everything I need from it.  But I wanted to know if I can reuse it after it has been wiped
0
Comment
Question by:Christopher Redmond
6 Comments
 
LVL 74

Expert Comment

by:käµfm³d 👽
ID: 40399391
If the drive is mechanically sound, certainly.

I managed to save everything I need from it.
You did scan those files, yes?
0
 
LVL 46

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 40399394
Yes, you can. Wiping deletes the partition structure and data from the drive.
After you connect the drive to PC press right click on My Computer - Manage - Disk Management.
There right click on free space and select - Create Partition - follow the wizard and press ok. Use quick format.
Since then you are able to use the USB HDD (all HDDs as well).
1
 
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Rafael
ID: 40399761
I concur with both above so make sure you scan those files.  However, how did you wipe it would be the question.  According to most standards there are three basic methods to wiping a hard drive as formatting is a true wipe. 1. Use a free data destruction software like DBan; 2. Use a degausser if you have access to one to disrupt the magnetic domains on the drive that store your data; 3. Physically, destroy the drive. However, naturally since you want to re-deploy it again #3 is out and I personally would go with #1 and then redeploy it as everyone here agrees on.

-HTH
-Rafael
0
What Is Threat Intelligence?

Threat intelligence is often discussed, but rarely understood. Starting with a precise definition, along with clear business goals, is essential.

 
LVL 70

Accepted Solution

by:
garycase earned 500 total points
ID: 40400553
The comment above clearly intended to say "... formatting is NOT a true wipe"  (he forgot the "NOT").

Also, while DBan is an excellent way to completely wipe a drive to ensure absolutely no remnants of any prior data are on the drive, you can NOT degauss it (#2 above).   Using a degausser will indeed wipe the drive -- but will also wipe the low-level structure information that is necessary for the drive to function.   It would no longer be useable.

Just deleting the data; deleting the partitions; and recreating a new structure will get rid of MOST viruses, but not all.    I'd install a copy of Western Digital's free Data Lifeguard on your system; connect the drive;  and do a FULL Write Zeroes pass on the drive.   THEN you can go to Disk Management; re-initialize the drive; and create a new partition.
0
 
LVL 46

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 40400579
I think the author is not asking how to wipe properly the drive. His question is - can I use it again after it is being wiped.
0
 
LVL 91

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40401184
YES - you cna use the drive, as USB, or internal, but some steps should be taken :

first - scan and remove virus with :
http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php                         MBAM
http://majorgeeks.com/RogueKiller_d6983.html                  Roguekiller

then delete all the info on it  - after you have a proper backup
if needed, delete , and recreate the partition

only if still problems after that - the use of a 3rd party wiper is necessary (most disk manufacturers have such a tool for free)
0

Featured Post

How to run any project with ease

Manage projects of all sizes how you want. Great for personal to-do lists, project milestones, team priorities and launch plans.
- Combine task lists, docs, spreadsheets, and chat in one
- View and edit from mobile/offline
- Cut down on emails

Join & Write a Comment

Many people don't really know what the difference is between memory and storage. And most regular users don't understand the relationship between any of those fancy words printed on the front of their new computer. Of course, it's perfectly fine -- …
Computer running slow? Taking forever to open a folder, documents, or any programs that you didn't have an issue with before? Here are a few steps to help speed it up. The programs mentioned below ALL have free versions, you can buy them if you w…
This video shows how to remove a single email address from the Outlook 2010 Auto Suggestion memory. NOTE: For Outlook 2016 and 2013 perform the exact same steps. Open a new email: Click the New email button in Outlook. Start typing the address: …
When you create an app prototype with Adobe XD, you can insert system screens -- sharing or Control Center, for example -- with just a few clicks. This video shows you how. You can take the full course on Experts Exchange at http://bit.ly/XDcourse.

760 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

19 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now