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Posted: 8/8/2007 12:54:41 PM EDT
Will a high powered magnet taken to a HD erase it well enough to discard safely?
Link Posted: 8/8/2007 1:06:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2007 11:45:11 AM EDT by mic214]
Probably not.... It would take a pretty big magnet to securely erase all of the data off of a hard drive..... If you could find one that big, it would probably end up ripping all the fillings out of your teeth!

The best bet is to use a program specifically designed to do a "DoD" (Dept of Defense) level wipe (not just Format) of the hard drives. There are lots of programs out there that do a "DoD" level wipe. I use a program called "G-Disk" that works pretty well.......

Or you could take the hard drive out to the range and just shoot the crap out of it!



Link Posted: 8/8/2007 1:15:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mic214:
Probably not.... It would take a pretty big magnet to securely erase all of the data off of a hard drive..... If you could find one that big, it would probably end up ripping all the fillings out of your teeth!


Yea you need a degausser, more powerful magnetic field than you can produce with a simple magnet, and they are not cheap or easy to come by.
Best to go with other options.
Link Posted: 8/8/2007 3:48:51 PM EDT
last one I disposed of I took 2 of the platters out to use as signal mirrors in my BOBs, then I put it back together and put some .30-06 through it with my M1
Link Posted: 8/8/2007 3:55:05 PM EDT
burn that thing
Link Posted: 8/8/2007 3:58:28 PM EDT
Linux and specifically knoppix has a few disk erasure tools. For some reason I'm having a brain fart right now and cant remember the names. just remember to boot knoppix with the command:
knoppix dma

or it will take forever.

-Foxxz
Link Posted: 8/8/2007 7:20:36 PM EDT
Ok, Lets say you had to do this in a hurry. Is it better to run one of the above mentioned programs of physically remove it destroy it somehow. Would mere water work?
Link Posted: 8/8/2007 7:33:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Mr10anahaf:
Ok, Lets say you had to do this in a hurry. Is it better to run one of the above mentioned programs of physically remove it destroy it somehow. Would mere water work?


Water will not work. To physically destroy the disk you would need to destroy the magnetic coating on the platters.
But your going to spend 20minutes getting to the platters in some disks. Hitting it with a hammer will not do.
For physically destroying computer hardware with sensitive information the Airforce uses WP.
I personally use a power drill for drives that are dead and cannot be erased with software.

Link Posted: 8/8/2007 7:34:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Mr10anahaf:
Ok, Lets say you had to do this in a hurry. Is it better to run one of the above mentioned programs of physically remove it destroy it somehow. Would mere water work?


I don't believe water would work, at least, not as well as many other means but I'm not 100% sure.

I do have a bulk tape eraser (big ass electromagnet) that I can use as another fail-safe, or if I ever needed to erase something in a hurry (don't really have anything that would require it, but just in case).
Link Posted: 8/8/2007 8:05:08 PM EDT
NSA reccomends degaussing. in the field they say to use an electric drill to drill completely through the platters.
Link Posted: 8/8/2007 8:09:13 PM EDT
don't all libraries and bookstores have degaussers at the checkout line? Are those big enough to work on a HD?
Link Posted: 8/8/2007 8:11:41 PM EDT
here ya go:

degausser

dont think you'd want to wear anything metal around it...
Link Posted: 8/8/2007 10:44:19 PM EDT
In two of the jobs that I've been at, they used different methods. One place had this thing called the "cruncher", it was this old looking. It was basically a long handle, some gears and and two shears. You place the hard drive in this tray, and give the handle a good push down. It cuts the drive in two. Second place had a degausser, that actually made the hard drives warm to the touch after being on top of it for 10 seconds. But to be safe, they drilled through the platters a few times.

-d
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 4:02:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Silence:
here ya go:

degausser

dont think you'd want to wear anything metal around it...




3 grand NO THANKS


i'd rather shoot the harddrive, then buy 100 more of the same drive with that price
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 10:27:54 AM EDT
I have VHS Degaussers, can't use for more than 1 minute and going into some electromagnetic overload danger zone.

Good?

Figure 1 minute per side, direct contact?
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 10:34:08 AM EDT
I've used a program called Active Kill Disk. It's done a very good job of deleting data for me.

Active Kill Disk
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 2:41:48 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/10/2007 8:25:34 AM EDT
And thats a low end deguasser. My office has been working on getting one for destroying disks and tapes.

The low end ones have trouble completely erasing some of the newer drives that use perpendicular technologies.
Link Posted: 8/10/2007 5:42:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By tanstaafl99:
And thats a low end deguasser. My office has been working on getting one for destroying disks and tapes.

The low end ones have trouble completely erasing some of the newer drives that use perpendicular technologies.


These drives are from mid 1990's.
Link Posted: 8/10/2007 5:51:39 PM EDT
tannerite
Link Posted: 8/10/2007 5:57:59 PM EDT
Um.. Shoot it?
Link Posted: 8/10/2007 6:02:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/10/2007 6:04:31 PM EDT by ben72227]

Originally Posted By Lion_Dog:

Originally Posted By tanstaafl99:
And thats a low end deguasser. My office has been working on getting one for destroying disks and tapes.

The low end ones have trouble completely erasing some of the newer drives that use perpendicular technologies.


These drives are from mid 1990's.


Then a degausser should work. The way it essentially works is this - the magnetic Weiss domains in a hard drive (data is written to a drive using electro-magnetic 'heads') are all set to go a certain way, towards a certain magnetic field - just like how a compass points at the earth's magnetic field.

The degausser makes these magnetic domains go from being all in one direction to a bunch of random directions (like if you put a compass in the Bermuda triangle) except a compass is supposed to change direction; these hard drives are supposed to maintain their direction (which makes them readable) - when their direction is changed, the data is essentially 'disappeared'.

They use degaussers in TV's too - if you put a magnet up to a tv, it will change the color of the screen and it will look real messed up. The degausser gets rid of the outside magnetic interference. You know the old CRT tv's (what you probably still have if you haven't upgraded to an LCD/Plasma HDTV) - when you turn them on they 'pop' and take a while for the picture to show up - during that time the screen is being degaussed - that's where the loud pop comes from and why you don't see an image at first.

You can manually degauss your CRT computer monitor if you have one; as you can see in the picture, the screen gets 'shaken up' (the magnetic field is oscillating):



Link Posted: 8/11/2007 1:35:34 PM EDT
there is no easy way to make a drive safe. there are DOD standards for this, which involve various forms of physical destruction.

Me? I use high explosives.
Link Posted: 8/11/2007 3:57:08 PM EDT
would overwriting the entirety of it with garbage get rid of sensitive data?
Link Posted: 8/11/2007 4:11:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FortyFiveAutomatic:
would overwriting the entirety of it with garbage get rid of sensitive data?

No. It's better than nothing, but it doesn't get rid of it.
Link Posted: 8/11/2007 4:19:35 PM EDT
BC wipe.

The more passes, the better.

IF you don't need to salvage the hard drive, they make great targets!
Link Posted: 8/11/2007 4:21:53 PM EDT
How bout wrapping the drive with some heavy gauge copper wire & grounding the ends to a car battery?
It works on magnatizing screwdrivers & thought that might scramble the data on a hard drive!
Link Posted: 8/11/2007 4:32:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By VLODPG:
How bout wrapping the drive with some heavy gauge copper wire & grounding the ends to a car battery?
It works on magnatizing screwdrivers & thought that might scramble the data on a hard drive!


The DOD publishes guidelines for destruction of hard drives.
Link Posted: 8/12/2007 6:24:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Foxxz:
Linux and specifically knoppix has a few disk erasure tools. For some reason I'm having a brain fart right now and cant remember the names. just remember to boot knoppix with the command:
knoppix dma

or it will take forever.

-Foxxz


Yep, use one of the Linux live distros and the "shred" command. The more passes the better.
Link Posted: 8/12/2007 5:56:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ben72227:

Originally Posted By Lion_Dog:

Originally Posted By tanstaafl99:
And thats a low end deguasser. My office has been working on getting one for destroying disks and tapes.

The low end ones have trouble completely erasing some of the newer drives that use perpendicular technologies.


These drives are from mid 1990's.


Then a degausser should work. The way it essentially works is this - the magnetic Weiss domains in a hard drive (data is written to a drive using electro-magnetic 'heads') are all set to go a certain way, towards a certain magnetic field - just like how a compass points at the earth's magnetic field.

The degausser makes these magnetic domains go from being all in one direction to a bunch of random directions (like if you put a compass in the Bermuda triangle) except a compass is supposed to change direction; these hard drives are supposed to maintain their direction (which makes them readable) - when their direction is changed, the data is essentially 'disappeared'.

They use degaussers in TV's too - if you put a magnet up to a tv, it will change the color of the screen and it will look real messed up. The degausser gets rid of the outside magnetic interference. You know the old CRT tv's (what you probably still have if you haven't upgraded to an LCD/Plasma HDTV) - when you turn them on they 'pop' and take a while for the picture to show up - during that time the screen is being degaussed - that's where the loud pop comes from and why you don't see an image at first.

You can manually degauss your CRT computer monitor if you have one; as you can see in the picture, the screen gets 'shaken up' (the magnetic field is oscillating):

upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/72/Degauss_in_progress.jpg




thats what my dell laptop screen looks like without help!
Link Posted: 8/12/2007 7:34:54 PM EDT
Good informatio about drive destruction:

www.tomcoughlin.com/Techpapers/DataSanitizeTutorial121206b.pdf
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 5:00:01 PM 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 is a means of ensuring due diligence in computer recycling, a way of preventing identity theft if you want to sell a computer, and a good way to totally clean a Microsoft Windows installation of viruses and spyware. DBAN prevents or thoroughly hinders all known techniques of hard disk forensic analysis.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 7:03:56 PM EDT
What about dunking the platters in acid? Wouldn't chemical corrosion render a disposed hard drive's data unrecoverable?
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 1:05:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FortyFiveAutomatic:
What about dunking the platters in acid? Wouldn't chemical corrosion render a disposed hard drive's data unrecoverable?


I would thinks so if the unit was opened.

If I could get thermite, that might be cool to! Just kidding.

Link Posted: 8/16/2007 4:02:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FormUnknown:
video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4147847319296070400

acid and thermite




Good shit.
Link Posted: 8/16/2007 4:46:01 AM EDT
Good lord people!

Get a hammer and beat the damned thing and be done with it.

Using a cannon to kill a fly comes to mind here.


Or you could soak it in citric acid concentrate for 23 minutes, take it out and cover it with flour. Once it dries wrap a ribbon of magnesium around it then bury it in the ground for 5 days. After 5 days dig up the drive and light the magnesium. When the fire goes out say 5 hail mary's spin around in a counter clockwise circle twice then 4 chants of hare krishna.
Link Posted: 8/16/2007 9:28:06 PM EDT

We tried this once.

I routinely harvest the neodymium magnets from hard drives. I have a stack of 40 server drives waiting to be dissected at work, in fact.

We had a computer at my university lab that was to be rebuilt with a new drive, but still had a functioning drive and OS...NT I think. All the panels were off, and the drive was available. We had it on and running, and set a neodymium magnet on the drive.

Have you ever heard of eddy currents?

Yeah, you could hear the 7200 rpm drive spin down and struggle against the massive drag from the neodymium magnet. The head was still seeking, sweeping back and forth through that mag field. I think the OS kept running for another two minutes or so, until it finally had tried to pull enough from disk that the system collapsed. It did so very graphically, with video defects followed by periodic freezing, and then permanant death.

The drive couldn't even be partitioned in another system. We didn't try any manufacturer's low-level tools, but it was not in good shape, that's for sure.
Link Posted: 8/16/2007 11:36:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/17/2007 1:38:40 AM EDT
Well call me a traditionalist. Wouldn't a can of gas, some matches and an 18 pound maul work?
Link Posted: 8/17/2007 1:23:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Cottonbaler:
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 is a means of ensuring due diligence in computer recycling, a way of preventing identity theft if you want to sell a computer, and a good way to totally clean a Microsoft Windows installation of viruses and spyware. DBAN prevents or thoroughly hinders all known techniques of hard disk forensic analysis.


DBAN is my recommendation for most drive wiping. It'll stop anyone short of the government from recovering any data, and it'll take them a LOT of time and cash to even have a small chance at success.

Really want to destroy the data? Shred it, melt it with thermite, or otherwise physically destroy the platters in their entirety. There's no other option. And no, gasoline won't work...not hot enough.
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