Completely erasing files off an external hdd?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by L Shaped Ambush, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. L Shaped Ambush

    L Shaped Ambush New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    Messages:
    11,311
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    [So*Cal]
    I'm planning to do a system recovery on my hp laptop, but before I do that I would like to transfer some files to a Seagate Plug-n-play external hdd. After the recovery process is complete, I'll delete the files off the hdd by... right-clicking > delete ?

    I'm not familiar with those things, is there a format option.. Whats the most effective way to erase everything?

    Sorry if this is a stupid question :hs:
     
  2. CodeX

    CodeX Guest

    Quick format if you don't care about security. Deleting old system files might be a pain, I know win7 makes you take ownership of the file and set permissions even from the admin account
     
  3. kimsland

    kimsland New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    0
    You cannot format your Windows system drive whilst in Windows.

    The HP recovery process may provide you with an option to format first. But re-imaging the drive will remove all data just as much as a quick format (performed outside Windows) will do.
    Therefore there is no reason to "delete" anything before hand

    The best way to "erase everything" securely (if that's what you are asking?) Is by wiping. There are free "wiping" tools available on the Net. But you would need to be extremely careful in not wiping your Recovery partition (also on the drive) You are best to just clean Restore the HP image.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2010
  4. cbanta

    cbanta New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    0
    Kimsland, He just wants to erase the information from the External.

    if your not worried about security of the files I'd just do a quick format of the drive, if you want to make sure that the information on it is never recoverable, then I'd use one of the many free disk wipe tools (I go to download.com for software)
     
  5. who_me_said_i

    who_me_said_i OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Messages:
    753
    Likes Received:
    0

    Physically destroy the drive
    http://driveslag.eecue.com/
     
  6. CodeX

    CodeX Guest

    Microwave for about a half second will do it :mamoru:

    *edit*

    Nevermind, those nuts are talking about recovering bits at a time using a tunneling electron microscope... but honestly no one would do that...
     
  7. L Shaped Ambush

    L Shaped Ambush New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    Messages:
    11,311
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    [So*Cal]
    Thanks bro.
     
  8. cbanta

    cbanta New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    0
  9. Graham

    Graham OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Messages:
    21,230
    Likes Received:
    374
    Location:
    This close to 88mph
    :werd:

    If someone's that paranoid, or has data that is that private, take the drive apart and run the platters across a belt sander.
     
  10. kimsland

    kimsland New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    0
    As the OP is copying data to the external drive and then deciding to wipe? the external drive, it won't make much difference anyway.
    Since the files were already on the main drive!

    You can use "Darik's Boot And Nuke" (dban.org)
    But as I stated you do not want to erase the Recovery Partition.

    One way around this, would be to purchase (if not already owned) a Recovery Disc.
    Then you can wipe both drives ;) If that is what you want? (still unsure?)

    Generally most users do just right click and delete. Low level format (or more secure "wiping" of the drive) is meant if you want totally (as much as possible anyway) destroy all previous data on the drive(s).

    I agree that the only secure method of fully confirming your data is unrecoverable is to physically destroy the drive.
    This is also relevant to things such as your hard drive serial number being the same if you don't format (start > Run > CMD > VOL > enter).
    But there is still the physical Hard Drive serial number (as even typed on the Hard Drive label) that does not change.

    I hope this helps you (and others!)
     
  11. cbanta

    cbanta New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    0
    the main drive that he's reinstalling the operating system and copying the same files onto.
     
  12. kimsland

    kimsland New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh yeah !

    i'm out :bigthumb:
     
  13. Graham

    Graham OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Messages:
    21,230
    Likes Received:
    374
    Location:
    This close to 88mph
    the tip on Run > CMD > VOL > enter, is :cool:
     
  14. kimsland

    kimsland New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    0
    Some Users believe that wiping their drive of sensitive data is all they need to do.
    When your hard drive serial number may have been recorded on sites that are otherwise unsavory.
    The only way to trust that all sensitive data is unrecoverable is by physically destroying the hard drive platter.

    In this case. Since the OP is returning the data, just right click > delete is enough.
     
  15. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have the guts from an old SCSI hard drive sitting on my desk, where the drive got physically damaged and over time the entire metal coating on the platters got chewed off, leaving only the polycarbonate substrate behind. See-through hard drive platters.

    It's a good reminder why it's important to run backups on a regular basis. Ain't no software that can save that data now, it's all poofed across the inside of the hard drive casing.
     
  16. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Who gives a shit if the hard drive serial number has been propagated across the internet? That's just used for identifying the machine; it doesn't actually contain any personal info.
     
  17. Graham

    Graham OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Messages:
    21,230
    Likes Received:
    374
    Location:
    This close to 88mph
    I think the idea is that if it were say a terrorist organization site, that they could prove you visited there.

    This is news to me that a site can read that number.
    But if that's the case, the feds would be able to find enough sites that had logged the number from your ip address to show that you'd been using that drive, regardless of whether you still had the drive or not.
     
  18. Graham

    Graham OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Messages:
    21,230
    Likes Received:
    374
    Location:
    This close to 88mph
    That's one of the most bizarre things i've ever heard of.

    :eek3::eek3:
     
  19. White Stormy

    White Stormy Take that, subspace!

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2002
    Messages:
    85,489
    Likes Received:
    70
    Location:
    Sparkopolis
    CCleaner has a Secure Delete option that should work for you.. and it's pretty easy to use.
     
  20. kimsland

    kimsland New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    0
    Plus CCleaner has just updated yesterday to new version 2.29 (I subscribed to CCleaner to get emailed of updates.

    Since its free, and I use it most days, may as well get it :)
    www .piriform.com/ccleaner/download
    Note: I have one space after www in the above link because I don't have 100 posts yet to post links.
     

Share This Page