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How to completely clear a hard drive?

Old 04-25-2011, 07:22 AM
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Default How to completely clear a hard drive?

I have a computer that I am not using anymore. I want to give it to a friend but I want to completely wipe the hard drive clean so it is as it was when new.

How can I do this?
Old 04-25-2011, 07:26 AM
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http://www.dban.org/download
Old 04-25-2011, 12:18 PM
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Yep, dban. Painless and easy but make sure you are really done with that drive as you're never getting any data off of it after running that.
Old 04-25-2011, 12:21 PM
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I've had security people tell me they can get data off a hard drive after it has been scrubbed by any commercial software.

What would it cost your friend to install a new hard drive on your old computer?
Old 04-25-2011, 12:23 PM
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You can download datalifegaurd tools from western digital, it has a utility to write 0's to every sector. Or, just set it on a big magnet overnight.
Old 04-25-2011, 12:29 PM
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Just take it out and have fun with it - magnet,s gasoline, saws and other machinery and fireworks.
Old 04-25-2011, 12:33 PM
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A 2lb ball ping hammer can do some damage!
Old 04-25-2011, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Pierless View Post
I've had security people tell me they can get data off a hard drive after it has been scrubbed by any commercial software.

What would it cost your friend to install a new hard drive on your old computer?
Dban as suggested (Darik's Boot and Nuke) has a number of options to it. Essentially, it will write random data to every bit on your hard drive - and then do it again - and again - and again, as many times as you feel you have to do it. (it has some more sophisticated settings but that's the gist of it)

Realistically somewhere around the 1st or 2nd pass the data ain't coming back by a commercial recovery firm. By the 3rd or 4th, it's probably not coming back by any 3 letter agencies either.

Unless you have something to hide, one pass should do the trick. If you have a tinfoil hat on right now, something on the order of 10+ passes would likely be absolutely impossible to ever recover any recognizable original data from, much less an actual file.

Last edited by Flot; 04-25-2011 at 01:09 PM.
Old 04-25-2011, 12:56 PM
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boot and nuke is plenty good enough. your buddy must be NSA or DOD.
Old 04-25-2011, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by LI Sound Grunt View Post
Just take it out and have fun with it - magnet,s gasoline, saws and other machinery and fireworks.
Sheesh, what are you guys downloadin?
Old 04-25-2011, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by starmonk View Post
Sheesh, what are you guys downloadin?
Nothing that wouldn't normally be in a personal filing cabinet. I remove the hard drive from any electronic item that may have a remote possibility of recovery which is pretty much everything, destroy it. And then throw the device away.

I had my ebay password somehow stolen once and the fool went crazy with it. Nothing big, bad or serious but he/she/it left me answering angry emails for a while. I suspected it was a computer repair place so I've since made it difficult for anyone to get the info and risk discovery should they try.
Old 04-25-2011, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by starmonk View Post
Sheesh, what are you guys downloadin?
I am visualizing that scene form office space where they take turns smashing the fax/copy/printer or whatever it was Enjoy....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5orss3fAEU
Old 04-25-2011, 01:59 PM
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So can I download that dban thing and put it on a CD on my new computer then just run the disk on the computer I want to scrub?
Old 04-25-2011, 02:12 PM
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How big is the drive for all this bother.

Remove it and tell your friend to buy his own.

New ones are pretty reasonably priced, especially if your getting the PC for free.
Old 04-25-2011, 02:14 PM
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I don't remember how big the drive it. This is actually for the girlfriend of my buddy. She is a single mother and doesn't have much money. The computer will be for her 15 year old son.
Old 04-25-2011, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Pierless View Post
What would it cost your friend to install a new hard drive on your old computer?
I just replaced/upgraded HD's in 2 in my laptops and new HD's are super cheap today.
Old 04-25-2011, 02:45 PM
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I'm another member who suggests replacing the HD with a new one - they're cheap and the anxiety factor for you is zero - provided you destroy the old one.
Old 04-25-2011, 02:52 PM
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Buy a new one. Cheap. Take a hammer to the old drive if you don't want to save anything.
Old 04-25-2011, 02:53 PM
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All he is gonna do is fill it with porn so just do the kid a favor and leave it on there. I would probably change out the hard drive and destroy the old one if you don't want him to find anything of note.
Old 04-25-2011, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by ScarabChris View Post
So can I download that dban thing and put it on a CD on my new computer then just run the disk on the computer I want to scrub?
download, burn , (make sure you have a iso burning software(isoBurn), boot into BIOS to change boot to BOOT FROM CD(my laptop is turn power on, and before it flashes the windows screen hit F8,F10, or F12)--follow instructions...BAM wiped
Dban is all you need, 6 passes is GOVERNMENT STANDARD aka Dept of Defense. Dban can be configured to run 9 passes

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