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Disposing of old HDD, need to format it?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Misfit45, Feb 4, 2007.

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  1. Misfit45

    Misfit45 Thread Starter

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    I am selling a Maxtor 40g HDD that has been fitted into an USB external case to my girlfriend's work. I have deleted everything from the drive, but want to make sure that everything HAS GONE before it goes to it's new owner.

    It is going to be used to back up data, and will not be having an operating system on it. I have searched google for help on formatting the drive, but this has not helped at all.

    Please could someone help on this.

    I run a DELL Dimension 1100, XP (SP2) - NO WINDOWS DISK, it came pre-installed.

    Any help would be very much appretiated.:)
     
  2. BlueBelton

    BlueBelton

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    The only way to be 100% sure you cannot be passing information on is to physically destroy it.

    Various free and costly programmes are available which attempt to destroy data for your purpose. They all operate by extensively over-writing the media with new data - often many times. The better ones off at least united States Department of Defence (DOD) standard. If it's good enough for them...

    There is a suggestion that previous data leaves "impressions" rather as archaeology leaves marks on the landscape - however this possibility has not really been exploited yet in forensic software and it may be impossible. (Unless the latest research etc proves me wrong).

    In reality is it likely that whoever you are selling the PC to will be interested or will they simply use the HDD for their own data?

    In the end it depends how critical security is to you. If it is imperative then take the financial hit and sell the PC without a HDD (or with a cheap one bought second hand from someone who doesn't care, maybe). If it doesn't matter "that much" download a free software over-writer from somewhere like Tucows.com or shareware.com and over-write the disc many times.

    All the best, BB.
     
  3. bigbear

    bigbear

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  4. BlueBelton

    BlueBelton

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    Yes, Killdisc is another over-writing programme - again to US DOD standards. It does, however, work as they all do - by over-writing data very many times. If you wish to use this very good method then Killdisc is as good a option than anuy and better than many.

    The last PC I finished with, I attacked the hard disc with an angle-grinder but this method can cause injury! I did, however, cut it into small pieces. Then again, I shredded bank statements before identity theft had been invented :)

    All the best.
     
  5. DCM1519

    DCM1519

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    Eraser is another program (free) that does this.
     
  6. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    DBAN is yet another option. :)

    Any one of these applications will render any data unreadable for anyone except perhaps a three letter government agency.
     
  7. BlueBelton

    BlueBelton

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    But they are always watching, you know! (which, if one sends e-mails, is true).

    BB.
     
  8. Misfit45

    Misfit45 Thread Starter

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    Thanks you guys, I will certainly look into these. This has helped alot.

    Thank you.
     
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