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Erasing a hard drive manually

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I have a hard drive that is broken. It is clicking a lot, and BIOS won't recognize it, etc. It's still under warranty, so I am sending it back to the company for a replacement. However, since it won't be recognized by the computer, I can't fromat it. The data on it might very well already be corrupted, but i can't be sure. Is there anything I can do to assure that the data is deleted?

thank you,
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Hi diggeryo

Whether the data on the drive is actually intact or not depends on the nature of the fault. For example, if the drive has suffered a head crash, then certainly large parts of the data area are likely to have been corrupted. If its a mechanical fault however, then the data is likely to be intact.

Either way though, if the bios can't recognise the drive then there is no way for you to format it. If the drive is that badly damaged (and it sounds like it is) then the company who you are returning the drive to won't be able to access the data using normal procedures either. Once they are satisfied that the drive is indeed faulty, it will almost certainly be disposed of.
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    Portlock - Oahu

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I would call the manufacture and see what they say. While your disk is unaccessible, the data is probably still there. If you have privacy issues, I can understand your concern. I have heard that using a very strong magnet will muck up a hard drive, but then again, you still wouldn't be able to tell if anything happened if you couldn't access the drive.

I would do a few things before I shipped the hard drive...

1) clean the hard drive connector really well with some Isopropyl Alcohol... if you use rubbing alcohol, be careful as rubbing alcohol contains water and you need to absolutely use it sparingly and make sure the connector is absolutely dry before connecting it to the ide cable. In fact, blow out the connector with canned compressed air, if possible.

2) use a different ide cable to connect to the drive. If you have a bad ide cable, then what you're seeing can happen.

3) if you haven't tried it, slave the drive in another computer... again, use a different ide cable.

4) if somehow, you can gain access to the drive, write zeros to it with the manufactures disk utility. You can download the utilities from the drive manufacture's website. Of course, if it turns out to be just a bad ide cable, you wouldn't want to do this! :tazz:

Other than that, I can't think of anything else.
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