Total Hard drive Wipe

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Slowdown

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What are the best software programs for a total Hard Drive wipe, i understand that several of them have a back door for gov agents to recover stuff from? Also is it true everyplace we surf is captured and saved in some sort of Drop Down cache all, for later recovery, is that deletable and how? - thanks
 

Miz

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Jul 1, 2002
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First of all, there is no "back door for gov agents to recover stuff." Anybody with the knowhow and software can recover data from a "totally wiped" drive. There are a number of private businesses which make their money by doing just that. If you check their prices, though, you'll find theirs is not a service for anybody with an idle interest in seeing if you've downloaded some porn pics. It can, and does, cost thousands to retrieve data from a formatted drive.

There is software out there which will write zeros to a drive, thereby overwriting the data left by a format. Writing zeros a dozen or more times to a drive will usually get mostly all traces of former data removed....usually and mostly. ;)

Yes, all the browsers I know about have a cache. They keep copies of the pages visited in that cache for faster retrieval later. Very handy on a slow dialup connection since loading a page from the harddrive is faster than getting off the net on a slow connection. Not all that helpful on a broadband (high speed) connection.

To empty the browser's cache, in Internet Explorer, for example, go to Tools>Internet Options and click on the "Delete files" button.

To eliminate the highly incriminating history of the dark and secret places you've visited online, also click the Clear History button.

To further make sure your nefarious deeds online will be more or less safe from the CIA, FBI, NSA and Homeland Security agents who may be pounding on your door at this very minute, dump all the temporary internet files as well. Start>Accessories>System Tools>Disk Cleanup.
 
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Norton Speed Disk (defrag) will lets you write zeros to the free space.
 
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Originally posted by Miz:
First of all, there is no "back door for gov agents to recover stuff."
Are you sure? James Bond has some pretty cool toys :p :D

Slowdown - Norton System works has a "Info Wipe" feature which cleans your hard drive with a military grade encryption. There are other programs that do the same thing on the net. You should be able to see some of them by going to Tucows.com. I would be more worried about all of the information that is being sent to Microsoft every time that you log onto the net with Win XP (unless you have zonealarm) ;)
 
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"Info Wipe" and "file compare" are not on Norton System works 2001.
 
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Apr 2, 2002
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The previous posts have just about covered all the bases but, for a detailed explanation of what is involved, read this article;
http://computer.org/security/v1n1/garfinkel.htm

What you need, if you want to totally clean your HDD,is a disk sanitization program as discussed in the article.

If you only want to delete web tracks you could use a commercial program like Window Washer, which overwrites what it removes, or one of the freeware equivalents. Try doing a Google search on 'disk cleaners' or some similar wording but, remember to be careful how you use such software.
 

Squashman

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Apr 4, 2003
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[email protected] KillDisk Professional version conforms to US Department of Defense clearing and sanitizing standard DoD 5220.22-M. The most secure Gutmann's data destruction method is also implemented. You can be sure that once you clean up with Activ[email protected] KillDisk, sensitive information is purged out forever.
So what you need to do is overwrite the whole harddisk several times with different patterns. Peter Gutmann recomends 35 passes with different patterns. The DoD 5220.22-M NISPOM recomends 3 passes.

Secure Harddisk Eraser implements these 35 or 3 passes on a single floppy.
 
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