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Posted: 9/7/2004 8:34:11 AM EDT
I am going to donate an old computer I have laying around the house and I want to make sure that noone can recover the financial info that I have on there. I know that formatting doesn't completely erase everything.

Any ideas?

Link Posted: 9/7/2004 8:35:56 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 8:38:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2004 8:46:55 AM EDT by gotm4]

Originally Posted By sydney7629:
I am going to donate an old computer I have laying around the house and I want to make sure that noone can recover the financial info that I have on there. I know that formatting doesn't completely erase everything.

Any ideas?




Tannerite!

Seriously there are actually disc shreaders for HDD, DVDs and CDs that chew it up into very small bits. I'd do that then burn the bits. My wife works in INFOSEC and this is the only totally safe method of making sure data can't be retrieved. If the disc is in intact data can be retrieved and read.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 8:38:55 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 8:46:01 AM EDT
FDISK. It comes with your OS.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 8:52:37 AM EDT
.308 FMJ
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 8:56:12 AM EDT
Virus. ARRRGGGGHH!
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 8:56:43 AM EDT
Use a wipeing utility that wipes to DoD standards, if the utility allows you to do more than the 3 passes and you have a tinfoil urge, set the program to do like 20 passes (this might take a day depending on the hard drive size/speed).

BTW, Secret and above disks get wiped and where I work, we will go out with a 12 lb sledgehammer and smack the living shit out of them. (DoD, doesn't take any chances) Pretty tough to read data when the platters are smashed together and scratched to hell. But that still isn't enough, the disks are then sent to be litterally ground down into dust.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 8:58:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AtLarge:
FDISK. It comes with your OS.



+1

run FDISK to wipe out the partition, then format.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 8:58:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AtLarge:
FDISK. It comes with your OS.


Nope. Data cn be recovered if you only FDISK.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 9:02:32 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 9:05:56 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 9:17:33 AM EDT
Darik's Boot and Nuke

Darik's Boot and Nuke ("DBAN") is a self-contained boot floppy that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers. DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction.


dban.sourceforge.net
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 9:18:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By beernut:

Originally Posted By AtLarge:
FDISK. It comes with your OS.



+1

run FDISK to wipe out the partition, then format.




FDISK DOES NOT wipe out the data.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 9:27:26 AM EDT
I 2nd Active@'s Killdisk, the free version works good for most uses, but we have the pro version @ my work (a state govt agency) and have to run the damn thing like 9 times. Let it sit overnight.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 9:28:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2004 9:29:54 AM EDT by Daytona955i]

Originally Posted By Paul:
Government IT regulations requires us to use "GDisk" but be prepared as it takes a long long time.



Delete as much as you can and use G-Disk. Turn off auto-restore, reboot, delete anything you don't want them to see, then use G-Disk on it and reinstall the OS. G-Disk takes just about as long to work as it takes to install Windows.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 9:35:56 AM EDT
we use Wipedrive. dod standards are supposedly met with 3 runs of this- can do more or less- overwrites with random characters. Use it on all retiring PC's. I used to put bullets thru them but could not keep up....
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 9:39:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Cleatus:
we use Wipedrive. dod standards are supposedly met with 3 runs of this- can do more or less- overwrites with random characters. Use it on all retiring PC's. I used to put bullets thru them but could not keep up....



Good point... Running one thing a few times, or running different programs a few times will probably increase your chances of taking off all your information.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 9:40:11 AM EDT
Battery acid and a wire brush.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 9:40:34 AM EDT
I've donated several PCs over the years and I always tell them they'll not be getting a hard drive with it. I normally put a pair of nails through the platter and toss it in the garbage.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 9:47:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Daytona955i:

Originally Posted By Paul:
Government IT regulations requires us to use "GDisk" but be prepared as it takes a long long time.



Delete as much as you can and use G-Disk. Turn off auto-restore, reboot, delete anything you don't want them to see, then use G-Disk on it and reinstall the OS. G-Disk takes just about as long to work as it takes to install Windows.



Turn off "auto restore"...???

Thanks.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 10:31:58 AM EDT
If you want to be really 'Secret Squirrel' about your HD, you can do like we did at my last agency:
We'd disassemble the HDs, removing the platters, then taking the platters to a smelter where we
had to physically watch them be dropped into the sludge.

As EODTECH2000 stated, some we'd sledgehammer the shit out of, but for the upper level stuff,
it was off to the smelter. Damn I'm glad I don't have to do that shit anymore!
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 10:35:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TapperMan:
Darik's Boot and Nuke

Darik's Boot and Nuke ("DBAN") is a self-contained boot floppy that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers. DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction.


dban.sourceforge.net



+1
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 10:40:02 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 10:44:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2004 10:49:03 AM EDT by Mordak]
An interesting article about data and old hard drives.
www.bankrate.com/brm/news/advice/20030711a1.asp

ETA: I my experience, if you don't wipe the drive several times with something like PGP's wipe feature or something similar, you are allowing data to get out. Evidence Eliminator has a special feature that makes even forensic recovery extremely difficult if not impossible. (Disclaimer: maybe 99.9% impossible anyway).
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