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What products or best practices are there for completely removing all data from a hard drive? Is there a software based solution that is better than microwaving or physically disassembling the drive? What about with solid-state (flash) drives?

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asked May 02 '11 at 18:04

oliver's gravatar image

oliver
611

For non-SSDs I would use a tool like TrueCrypt full-disk encryption. You encrypt the entire disk, including all system partitions, and then change the key to a very long random string. Then format the drive.

If you even put sensitive data on a non-encrypted SSD then an good way to physically decommission the drive is to heat it with a propane torch until the PCB catches fire. At that point the magnetic domains aren't magnetic anymore.

3 years, 6 months ago
willyyam's gravatar image willyyam

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answered Jul 01 at 22:40

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tonyohare2014
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Visit this link to get Best solution to your problems http://www.manchester-datarecovery.co.uk

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answered Jul 01 at 22:38

tonyohare2014's gravatar image

tonyohare2014
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Visit this link to get Best solution to your problems http://www.easyrecovery.co.uk

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answered Dec 30 '13 at 23:04

anthonyohare's gravatar image

anthonyohare
0

edited Dec 30 '13 at 23:05

methylethylkeytone bath or and not, not simultaneously_, fire.

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answered Jun 07 '11 at 20:34

Chloe501's gravatar image

Chloe501
45

The only product I've found so far that can delete free space from SSD is O&O SafeErase 5:

http://www.oo-software.com/home/en/products/oosafeerase/

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answered Jun 07 '11 at 18:27

Stinklington's gravatar image

Stinklington
1

Go with the low-tech approach and proven method....just take a hammer to it and save yourself the uncertainty that the software worked.

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answered Jun 01 '11 at 18:01

hobbes's gravatar image

hobbes
61

The 7/35 pass options are called DoD standard but those were based on old paper about recovering data from MFM and RLL drives. Modern drives are completely different and can't be recovered as simply.

A single pass of zeros will be sufficient for spinning drives. Note that modern drives will automatically relocate bad sectors as it finds them and the zero pass won't write to those sectors, old data may remain on those sectors even with the 7/35 pass options as the drive skips over them anyway.

If you just want to keep people from using computer based recovery tools from getting data off your drive then a single zero pass will suffice. If you want to prevent more, then slag it, there are no ways to guarantee full erasure of absolutely all data.

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answered May 31 '11 at 10:01

kvanh's gravatar image

kvanh
46

a large hammer

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answered May 23 '11 at 22:53

Chloe501's gravatar image

Chloe501
45

Connect the drive to any Mac and use Disk Utility to do a single, 7 or 35 pass 0 fill of your drive. Attempting to restore the drive will just recover zeroes.

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answered May 23 '11 at 21:29

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Dave Dash
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Asked: May 02 '11 at 18:04

Seen: 10,599 times

Last updated: Jul 01 at 22:40

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