21
   

BEST WAY TO DESTROY A HARD DRIVE

 
 
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 May, 2009 09:59 am
@High Seas,
PS lots more info and programs listed here
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2005/06/before_you_get_rid_of_that_har.html
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 May, 2009 01:58 pm
@High Seas,
I really appreciate everybody's advice. I actually have software that is supposed to thoroughly clean a hardrive, but to use it I have to bring in the computers from the garage, find a power cord, find a monitor to hook them up to, and load and run the program. This is more trouble than the computers are worth--one of these is an old 486 with whatever preceded Windows 95. Even Good Will doesn't want it. I'm not even sure they would work with our current 'hi tech' monitors and we have long ago donated all our old ones.

So, I especially appreciate the advice on how to remove, dismantle, and render the hard drive useless. Also was interested in those magnets--we didn't even know they HAD magnets not being hi tech types ourselves. (We did know to keep magnets away from our computers.)

But all the advice should come in handy when we get ready to upgrade the current working computers if we don't die first.
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 May, 2009 05:23 pm
@Foxfyre,
You don't need to hook up the computers if you are removing the hard drives.

Simply hook up the hard drive to your existing computer using something like this which costs about $15-20... Google USB to ide convertor
http://the-gadgeteer.com/assets/brando-usb2ide-cable-v2-1.jpg
Your computer should recognize it as a USB drive and you can then wipe it.
0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 01:18 am
The only sure way is to keep using the drive for a while, and store all your really important stuff on it, and make sure it isn't backed up elsewhere.
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 12:20 pm
@Eorl,
Laughing
0 Replies
 
BorisKitten
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 01:50 pm
@Eorl,
Completely agreed! Works for me every single time.
0 Replies
 
Nick Ashley
 
  2  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 11:00 am
@High Seas,
Quote:
It's been done, on a number of occasions


Really? Do you happen to know of any places where I could read about it? I know recovery has been done on failed hard drives, damaged hard drives, and partially erased hard drives. I haven't heard of anyone pulling of data from a zeroed out hard drive. That's impressive.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 11:18 am
@High Seas,
High Seas wrote:
It's been done, on a number of occasions;


I too would like to see evidence for this claim.

Quote:
Helix3 (a forensic enterprise cybersecurity program) works that way.


No, it doesn't. It doesn't even do anything similar.
Smiles4Miles222
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 12:17 pm
@Foxfyre,
Physically destroying the hard drives would be the easiest and least time consuming method.
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 12:53 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Sorry about Helix, I had a different program in mind. As to the general electromagnetic detection for data retrieval, I'll get you a reference from DARPA.
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 12:54 pm
@Nick Ashley,
Sorry, missed these posts. Yes, DARPA is the answer to your Q. I'll see if I can find something public, or you could try the new cybersecurity command, or other federal agencies, but at any rate my own source was the one I named.
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 01:03 pm
@High Seas,
neither of those is exactly it, but I'll keep looking:
Quote:

NShred 2.3 build 2165 (Windows)
Definitively erase and destroy any Windows folder or file using low level overwrite and standard procedures such as US Department of Defense DOD 5220.22-M (5 overwrites ) or Gutmann (32 overwrites). With NShred you can eliminate confidential information and data from PC drives. Name, size, and contents of erased file...
Tags: U.S. Department Of Defense, LittleLite Software, Microsoft Windows, 64-Bit, Operating Systems..., Software, Processors, Semiconductors, Hardware, Components


[email protected] ZDelete 5.7.01 (Windows)
ZDelete is an eraser and cleanup utility that allows the elimination of selected files, folders, and subfolders, as well as Internet browser cache, surfing histories, and cookies. The files will be deleted without any possibility of subsequent data recovery. The integrated Disk Wiper can also wipe the free space on...
Tags: File, U.S. Department Of Defense, LSoft Technologies, ZDelete, Microsoft Windows..., Operating Systems, Software
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 01:37 pm
@High Seas,
ps I finally called and asked, it's a data recovery technique using "magnetic force microscopy", supposed to recover electromagnetic traces no matter how destroyed the disk is - including pulverized, dunked in acid, etc.

data can still be recovered via "magnetic remanence techniques"
http://www.infosecwriters.com/text_resources/pdf/Magnetic_Data_Recovery_JSawyer.pdf
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 02:19 pm
@High Seas,
I'm a bit leery of taking advice from a paper that rather obviously has its terminology wrong.

The paper states that the data on a disk is recorded by charges; this is not the case.
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 02:27 pm
@DrewDad,
Drew - the terms I placed in quotes came from DARPA, the article did not, it's just something I looked up in a search using their terms in the quotes. I should have made it clear, sorry.
0 Replies
 
Nick Ashley
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 10:08 pm
@High Seas,
Quote:
it's a data recovery technique using "magnetic force microscopy", supposed to recover electromagnetic traces no matter how destroyed the disk is - including pulverized, dunked in acid, etc.

Destroyed, pulverized hard disks aren't what we are talking about here. If you hit a drive with a hammer, its just going to dent it and stop it from operating - not erase the data. This is why you can use specialized tools to still read the contents.

I scanned the contents of the document you linked, and it seems to only discuss the theory of reading wiped data. I get the theory of reading the space in between tracks to get an idea of what was there previously. While you will find data there, I haven't heard of anyone successfully deciphering any relevant information from it.

Lets say you find a trace of a magnetic field which suggests a 1 was previously stored. This could very well have occurred from either of the 2 tracks you are between. It could also potentially contain remnants from 2 bits on each track. More then likely, this section of the hard drive has stored more then one piece of data over its lifespan. So how do you know if it was overwritten with a zero just once, or perhaps more times? If it was overwritten with a zero, was that zero relevant data, or the result of wiping? Also, which bit did this data come from? Finally, there is the distinct possibility that each individual bit was a zero, but the magnetic remnants from all 4 bits added up to enough magnetism in the 'gutter' between tracks that it gives the illusion of a 1.

And all this is for 1 bit. Just do it 7 more times, and assuming you didn't mess up on any of those bits, you have deciphered 1 ASCII character.
Foxfyre
 
  2  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 10:19 pm
@Nick Ashley,
The amazing thing to me is you probably understand what you just said. Smile
Nick Ashley
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 10:22 pm
@Foxfyre,
Haha, yeah sorry Foxfyre. We kinda veered off from your original question.

Hope you don't mind us "geeking up" your thread Smile
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 11:23 pm
@Nick Ashley,
Not at all. I'm loving every minute of it. Smile
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Jun, 2009 09:38 am
@Nick Ashley,
Nick - everything you say sounds reasonable to me, but I'm no specialist in data recovery from crashed satellites' computers and/or other exotic occasions in which whatever the guys at darpa were doing worked. I carefully wrote down (and even had to ask for spelling for one word I hadn't heard before) the terms and unless you can get to some publicly available info based on those terms that's the end of that inquiry for now. Well we did answer Foxfyre's question, at least, and I, also, learned from this thread. Thanks.
 

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