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Old 12-27-2005, 11:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Government standards with zeroing out HDD?

So I've been reading up on zeroing out a HDD and keep reading about the Department of Defense 5220.22-M standards. What does the gov't have to do with me cleaning my HDD? Do they not allow programs to completely erase everything? Do they want some stuff to stay on there or what? If so, I want a program that completely erases every last thing on my HDD. I want to start from fresh with this 3 year old computer to get rid of it's little quirks and such.
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Old 12-27-2005, 01:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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??????????????...........................reformat your drive. Do not use quick format. The data remains regardless......The department of defense has nothing to do wiht HD format and OS data protocols...so you are confusing me here???? You sound a little paranoid there grasshopper!!!
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Old 12-27-2005, 01:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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No, reformating is not the same as zeroing out your HDD. Zeroing out writes all zeros to the HDD, destroying all information on it. Boot sectors and all. Reformating leaves tons of things behind.
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Old 12-27-2005, 02:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sorry to bust your bubble, but the FBI can read a "zeroed" drive unless the entire drive has been written over 27 + times (and then there are other data recovery techinques beyond that!! All you are doing is writing "blank" data to the drive. 27 times!! You must have some nasty porn on that puter!!! (Just kidding)
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Old 12-27-2005, 03:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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No, nothing like that here. I just want to start with a fresh "clean" hard drive. I just was reading about the gov't standard things and didn't really understand what they were for.
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Old 12-27-2005, 04:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If your like that guy in the movie "The Core" and you have ton of illegal crap on a drive. To make sure the data on a HD is never recovered by even the FBI you would need to reformat it Many times, Low level format it several times more. then Take a large sledge hammer and wack the drive into tiny little bits, then Spread the drive in its entirety over serval miles from an airplane some miles above the surface of the planet going some really fast speed.


Then and only then, can you consider that data "Lost".
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Old 12-27-2005, 04:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you want to fully erase everything then don't zero-fill it, instead use software that writes data using various algorithms to fill the drive several times.
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Old 12-27-2005, 04:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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like I said above. Just reformat and use the "slow" method. The install will be clean. Howevrer, if you are trying to destroy prior data, use software the writes blank data over the drive and then do it a bunch of times. That will not make your OS install any "cleaner", however.
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Old 12-27-2005, 04:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Digital Forensics is the newest sector of criminal justice.

You basically become a loser that sits in a lab all day trying to recover data from suspect PC's.

That job would suck. I don't care what anyone would say... No thanks.
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Old 12-27-2005, 04:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You must do a low level format.
A drive platter is made up of magnetic cells which shift, depending on what kind of charge the write head gives that particular cell.
Each cells can only be a 1 or 0.
A fully zeroed drive means it has been formatted at a low level.
During a low level format, every cell is set to 0.
During a quick format, only the boot record and the file structure tables are erased.

A manufacturers prep software may usually give you a low level format.
There are some apps out there that can do it also.
Formatting a drive from the dos prompt may or may not do it...im not sure...
Just google low level format or visit your manufacturer's site for utils.
A true low level format would delete completely everything on the drive, but the "low level" format utils out there will delete everything except servo, sector layout, and defect management.

A high level format will give you partitions, file systems....etc which can be done in dos using FDisk, partition magic, windows setup.....
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