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Hard drive wipe


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#1
moscatomg1

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Hi, I've already done a search for other threads about hd wipes, but I'd still like some more info.

Is there a general how-to hd wipe thread on these boards that will help, or is the process really going to depend on specs?

As for specs: my sys. info is below. Also, let's just say this is business paranoia, but is there a free program that will do a reliable job to make recovery of wiped data near-impossible?

Related: A couple threads mentioned DBAN. And one said to just run dban several times for good measure. Does that sound about right?

Does it kind of defeat the purpose of a really thorough hd wipe to still keep/backup files though different than the ones you want wiped? I mean do these digital traces I've read about work that way--that data (deleted traces) of some files can still be found in completely different files just by virtue of having been on the same hd?

Yeah, I know this sounds extreme (and I've always been a paranoid personality), but there's some data I just want gone for good--though I'd rather not just chuck the hd in the dump.

Sys info: "Windows XP Home Ed., 2002, Service Pack 3 . . . Dell Dimension 3000, Pentium 4 CPU 3.00GHz, 2.99GHz, 512 MB RAM." HD: Western Digital, 465 GB capacity.

Thank you.

*Also, I had a different thread on another, unrelated topic from more than a few weeks ago, and nobody ever replied--so I had to seek help elsewhere. So hopefully someone will reply to this.

Edited by moscatomg1, 19 November 2010 - 10:59 AM.

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#2
rshaffer61

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Also, I had a different thread on another, unrelated topic from more than a few weeks ago, and nobody ever replied--so I had to seek help elsewhere. So hopefully someone will reply to this.

Did you post a topic in the Waiting Room as your topic may have been missed by us.

As far as method we use the most that would be Derricks Boot and Nuke located HERE. It is the best at competely wiping a drive clean.
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#3
moscatomg1

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-Thank you. You or anyone else: Any thoughts on those other questions/concerns?

-And, no, I didn't do the waiting room post. Good to remember for next time though.
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#4
rshaffer61

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Related: A couple threads mentioned DBAN. And one said to just run dban several times for good measure. Does that sound about right?

Yep then blow away the existing partition and setup everything just as it was new. This will erase all data on the drive for sure. ;)


Does it kind of defeat the purpose of a really thorough hd wipe to still keep/backup files though different than the ones you want wiped? I mean do these digital traces I've read about work that way--that data (deleted traces) of some files can still be found in completely different files just by virtue of having been on the same hd?


If you wipe the drive it won't matter about the backups as they should be on a different drive or media.
The point is to erase all data on the primary drive you would be working with.
Once you blow away the partition and repartition that effectively should wipe out any chance of getting any data off the drive.




Yeah, I know this sounds extreme (and I've always been a paranoid personality), but there's some data I just want gone for good--though I'd rather not just chuck the hd in the dump.

Just as I said above you will completely get rid of everything using DBAN and blowing the partition away. :D
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#5
moscatomg1

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Cool. Thank you so much--and for being so quick. One last thing: could you clarify "blow away the partition" and how I'd do that?

You mean if I made separate partitions when I initially formatted and set up the hd? (Which I can't remember if I did or not.)
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#6
rshaffer61

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By blow away I mean delete the existing partition or partitions depending on the system and reconstruct them during the OS installation process.
Being a Dell there may be a Recovery Partition already which in theory would format and reinstall the OS just as it was brand new from the factory.
Is the system you are typing from the system we are discussing?
If so please do the following.

Go to Start then to Run
Type in compmgmt.msc and click Enter
On left side click on Disk Management
On right side you will see you hard drive.
Now I need you to take a screenshot and attach it to your next reply. Do the following to take a screenshot while the above is open and showing on your desktop.

To do a screenshot please have click on your Print Screen on your keyboard. It is normally the key above your number pad between the F12 key and the Scroll Lock key
Now go to Start and then to All Programs
Scroll to Accessories and then click on Paint
In the Empty White Area click and hold the CTRL key and then click the V
Go to the File option at the top and click on Save as
Save as file type JPEG and save it to your Desktop


Attach it to your next reply
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#7
moscatomg1

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here's the screen shot. yes, it's a dell and the sys. I'm communicating from is the one in question. But from what you were saying and what I think I can tell, the main hd (the bigger one, 465 gb) was one I installed later and w/ a Norton Ghost copy of the other, smaller one also accounted for here in the disk mgmt screen shot. (Actually, I'd really like to eventually wipe both of these drives.)

Which brings me to yet another question: since you said the file traces are really only a problem w/ the actual disk, could I use Norton Ghost to help me make a backup before I wipe and then use that copy as my start point when starting w/ the blank drive? Or is that problematic b/c it is a "copy" and would retain the data traces I'm trying to get rid of?

I ask b/c back when I used Ghost to back up the smaller drive and put on this 465 gb hd, I remember that was preferable due to my limited tech. skills and how difficult I'd heard it can be to totally start from scratch w/ a blank drive, installing the OS, etc.

Thank you.
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#8
rshaffer61

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Which brings me to yet another question: since you said the file traces are really only a problem w/ the actual disk, could I use Norton Ghost to help me make a backup before I wipe and then use that copy as my start point when starting w/ the blank drive? Or is that problematic b/c it is a "copy" and would retain the data traces I'm trying to get rid of?

What exactly are you wanting to backup?
Data as in office data, music, movies?
Programs have to be reinstalled so no use backing them up.
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#9
moscatomg1

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"Data as in office data, music, movies?" Exactly.

"Programs have to be reinstalled so no use backing them up." Yeah, which is why I wonder if Ghost is appropriate for what I want to do?

B/c when I used Ghost last time, it copied the OS, programs, etc.--so I'm curious about using it again for this, BUT obviously I don't want to use Ghost again if it's going to transmit/copy those deleted traces I want rid of.
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#10
rshaffer61

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The data then should be easy to backup using a flash drive, cd or dvd media or another hd.
Then wipe the drive and reinstall OS and programs. Once you verify everything is working correctly then add your data back again a little at a time testing in between to make sure the issue does not reappear. If it does then the last thing you copied back would be the culprit.
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#11
moscatomg1

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-I think we moved away from it somehow, but what about how to "blow away" a separate partition on a hd when wiping it? Will there be clear instructions w/ DBAN on how to do that, or is that a separate issue???

-Also, here's the thread/discussion I alluded to some posts ago about some of the other difficulties I'm concerned about after the wipe (http://www.geekstogo...ing-windows-xp/). As it mentions, I don't want to jump into this w/out caution.

-But the main thing from that thread: do I still need to go though collecting the sys. components info beforehand if the sys. is a laptop???
(I ask b/c I have an ancient (in tech. terms) laptop I may want to test all this on first, in case I screw up.)
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#12
rshaffer61

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But the main thing from that thread: do I still need to go though collecting the sys. components info beforehand if the sys. is a laptop??

No all we need is the make and model and we can get the original drivers from the manufacturer.
Being a Dell Dimension 3000 the drivers are all located HERE for XP.

Now I may have confused you a little with the DBAN and the partitioning and i apologize.
To clarify what you actually want to do is to wipe the drive clean correct?
If you want to return the system to factory default settings and programs installed you should be able to do that through the recovery partition. This will format the drive and reinstall everything back to factory new settings.

You wouldn't need DBAN at that point since all data will be erased and overwritten thus causing the old data to be gone for good. Unless you have a government agency with all the latest recovery software out there they won't be able to get much and even then it will only be fragments of data.

You can make sure by running DBAN on the OS partition being careful not to touch the recovery partition.
I would suggest honestly just accessing the recovery partition and doing a full system recovery.
I can give you the instructions for accessing the Recovery Partition if you would like.
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#13
moscatomg1

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No all we need is the make and model and we can get the original drivers from the manufacturer.
Being . . .

--Great!

To clarify what you actually want to do is to wipe the drive clean correct?

--Yes, exactly.

Unless you have a government agency with all the latest recovery software out there they won't be able to get much and even then it will only be fragments of data.

You can make sure by running DBAN on the OS partition

--Yeah, like I said, I'm paranoid. I want to be sure (though a few steps short of a hammer & chisel) and go w/ DBAN.

being careful not to touch the recovery partition

--sorry? even if I want to wipe the whole hd, I still need to be careful not to wipe this partition?

I can give you the instructions for accessing the Recovery Partition if you would like.

--well Any instructions would be great--but preferably for how to wipe the whole [bleep] thing. But from what you said in an earlier post and when you asked for the disk mgmt screen shot, I guess there's an issue w/ not wiping some partition(s) until after an initial wipe? I'm still confused about that.

-Ultimately,
1: the primary, 465 gb hd on the Dell Dimension 3000 I want to wipe. And, from disk mgmt and b/c of the way this drive began as a norton ghost copy, it does not appear there are any separate partitions.
2: I am very concerned about my limited tech skills in this realm, so I want to first try all of this wiping and reinstall on my "dinosaur" dell inspiron 8100.

It'd be awesome if you could help me w/ either or both (and I'd have no shortage of appreciation), but I understand if you think I should start a new thread.
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#14
rshaffer61

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It'd be awesome if you could help me w/ either or both (and I'd have no shortage of appreciation), but I understand if you think I should start a new thread.

No we can do them both here but lets finish with one first. This will make it easier to keep things straight.

OK I looked at your disk management pic again and it seems the main drive is not going to be hard to fix. DBAN it and that should take vare of everything on the drive.
Just make sure you have the data you want to save backed up first.
The a reload of the OS on it and everything should be working as soon as we get all the drivers again.
Now a way to help is if you download all the drivers form the link I gave you to a folder on your desktop.
Once you have them all then burn that folder to a cd or flash drive and you will have them for future needs.
Once the system has been reloaded and everything is running right we will take care of the smaller drive and get rid of all the partitions and make it one partitions. Any data on it will be lost unless there is something on it you would like to keep. Let me know when we get to that point.
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#15
123Runner

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Just a little clarification on DBAN.
DBAN security wipes to DOD specs the drive. It writes 1's and 0's to the drive.
One pass should be enough, but multiple passes will wipe it better for you.

As Rshaffer61 stated, the 465gb drive will be no problem.
The smaller drive looks to have a recovery partition on it. I assume you want that gone also.
Running DBAN on that we can wipe just a partition, or the entire drive.
DBAN will remove all the partitions.
We can take care of that drive when you are up and running on the other drive.
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