truely Cleaning a hard disk

This is a discussion on truely Cleaning a hard disk within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Ive been thinking lately on ways to totally clean a hard disk to hide files or information. I know that ...

  1. #1
    Registered User xds4lx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    630

    truely Cleaning a hard disk

    Ive been thinking lately on ways to totally clean a hard disk to hide files or information. I know that you can download programs to do this that just dump meaningless information into the drive to cover up what was previously there. But does this really work good and provide an efficient method of covering up things? not that i have anything to hide but i bought a laptop from my dads company for $75 bucks, a pII 533 128mb pc133 22gb hd prettey decent, and they didnt even format the hd! I told my dad about that and they are looking into ways of taking care of this, i told him that formating doenst really work so is this a viable soloution?

  2. #2
    cereal killer dP munky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    655
    guns dont kill people, abortion clinics kill people.

  3. #3
    Registered User foniks munkee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    343
    Take the lid off - run it through a bulk eraser and fill the drive with epoxy resin. You would be surprised as to what they can get off a "formated disk".

    I know that it is possible to retrieve data from a disk which has been formated (even low level formatted) a number of times.
    "Queen and huntress, chaste and fair,
    Now the sun is laid to sleep,
    Seated in thy silver chair,
    State in wonted manner keep."

  4. #4
    Has a Masters in B.S.
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    2,267
    format 7 times. thats what the gov. says will clean it.
    ADVISORY: This users posts are rated CP-MA, for Mature Audiences only.

  5. #5
    RoD
    RoD is offline
    Redundantly Redundant RoD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    6,331
    Originally posted by no-one
    format 7 times. thats what the gov. says will clean it.
    ya lets listen to the goverment

    </sarcasm>

  6. #6
    Has a Masters in B.S.
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    2,267
    well then they did only format once the HDD's they sold to china from Los Alamos, that the chinese got an ass load of info from.

    so its a pretty good assumption that more than that makes it hard for you to accidentally give information to the enemy. Oh wait they're allies now right(sarcasm).

    ::edited for posterity::

    secondly, you'll all remember the Weekly World News report that hackers can make your computer physically explode and kill you remotely, so i'm sure nothings safe
    Last edited by no-one; 01-19-2003 at 02:55 PM.
    ADVISORY: This users posts are rated CP-MA, for Mature Audiences only.

  7. #7
    Just a Member ammar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    953
    Originally posted by foniks munkee
    Take the lid off - run it through a bulk eraser and fill the drive with epoxy resin. You would be surprised as to what they can get off a "formated disk".

    I know that it is possible to retrieve data from a disk which has been formated (even low level formatted) a number of times.
    Can you please explain more, I've never heard of this.
    none...

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    552
    just delete all the files, then fill up the HD with zeros a few times. Once the data has been written over, its gone for good
    C Code. C Code Run. Run Code Run... Please!

    "Love is like a blackhole, you fall into it... then you get ripped apart"

  9. #9
    Registered User foniks munkee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    343
    Can you please explain more, I've never heard of this.
    I am not sure of the techniques used exactly - but a (sort of) friend who works for the Australian federal police in a computer forensics lab described their ability to retrieve data from supposedly wiped disks. The way he described it was that a magnetic storage medium will contain residual traces of the data - even when overwritten, their job is to write programs and design hardware to retrieve this data and apparently it works.

    I have also seen a rather amazing case where a guy in the US was convicted of murder and one of the key peices of evidence used was a floppy disk that contained a letter to a man who was hired to kill his wife. They were able to reconstruct the data from a floppy that was formatted then cut up into tiny peices with serrated scissors.
    "Queen and huntress, chaste and fair,
    Now the sun is laid to sleep,
    Seated in thy silver chair,
    State in wonted manner keep."

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    178
    As a general rule, the data cannot be completely erased. No matter how many times you format, fdisk, etc, the data is still there until it is written over. Which is how the fbi, data recovery centers, and so forth can get data from formatted and damaged hard drives. There are some ways around this though, typically 3rd party software, i'm not sure about nowadays, but cleansweep used to do the job quite nicely, it would wipe the stuff clean off the drive, but then again who knows if it was legit, other than the fbi and such there's not much of a way to test this product, and if it did that they probably would not let it on the market, (typically speaking of the govt. in the states only, i'm not sure how that kind of stuff is overseas)

  11. #11
    Code Monkey Davros's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    812
    Some of you may find this interesting:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/2676461.stm
    OS: Windows XP
    Compilers: MinGW (Code::Blocks), BCB 5

    BigAngryDog.com

  12. #12
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    8,825
    >then fill up the HD with zeros a few times.

    That won't do it - if you just copy 0s over it every time, everything's just at a lower voltage than before - it's still recoverable.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    552
    >That won't do it - if you just copy 0s over it every time, everything's just at a lower voltage than before - it's still recoverable.

    Somehow i doubt that.... but okay, fill it up with random data!
    C Code. C Code Run. Run Code Run... Please!

    "Love is like a blackhole, you fall into it... then you get ripped apart"

  14. #14
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    8,825
    OK, to simplify things, let's say a HD thinks a bit's at 1 if the voltage is between 5-10 and 0 if the voltage is 0-5. if you write zeroes over it, it won't take it all the way down to zero, just closer to it. Some of the data will still be recoverable... (there was a story on /. yesterday about this exact same thing (and the suggestion foniks munkee posted was exactly the same as one of the suggestions there) - check on it for more info)

  15. #15
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    8,825

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Popular pages Recent additions subscribe to a feed

Similar Threads

  1. Debian on a system with Compact Flash, without Hard Disk
    By mynickmynick in forum Linux Programming
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 09-01-2008, 11:38 AM
  2. hard disk serial number
    By vijayaroli in forum Windows Programming
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-31-2006, 03:00 AM
  3. how to read hard disk serial number
    By toufiq_raja in forum C Programming
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-18-2005, 10:08 PM
  4. Formatting Output
    By Aakash Datt in forum C++ Programming
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-16-2003, 08:20 PM
  5. Strange hard disk
    By GanglyLamb in forum Tech Board
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 03-01-2003, 03:05 AM

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21