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Old 08-08-2004, 02:03 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Over-Write Hard Drive

Hi,

I've read it all. That being said, which software out there really works in over-writting your hard drive? I have personal information on my hard drive such as taxes. I'd like to over-write my hard drive so no person(not even an expert) can recover my taxes and credit card information.

Please help me. Thanks.
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Old 08-08-2004, 11:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would just do a intensive format from bios, if your PC can do that, but im not worried about that too much, i just make sure that people dont nick my PC/laptop!

You can chuck the hard drive into another PC and format it from there, that would also rid every last bit of info, but the format can take a while, (couple hours)
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Old 08-08-2004, 12:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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or you can do this. You dont need to pay anything for software or none of that bullcrap. Just get a blank floppy. Before doing this, make sure you hav a Operating System your going to install on this hard drive, or if its juss a data hard drive, no need to worry. 1)Go here http://ouraynet.com/files/windows/ut...sks/boot98.exe and run that. It may say its for Windows 98, but dont mind that. 2)Then, shut down your computer. With the computer still turned off, insert the windows 98 bootdisk you just made. Turn on your computer.
3)Boot up your BIOS. it should me done by pressing either F1, F2, F7,F8,F9,F10,F11,F12 or DEL on your Keyboard simultaneously. If one doesnt work, just restart your computer and try the other one. When your have booted up your BIOS, go to the sector where it says BOOT. Set the primary boot device to your floppy drive. Exit and save your changes.

Now just follow these instructions.
1.) Insert the Startup disk in the floppy disk drive, restart your computer. When the Microsoft Windows 98 Startup menu is displayed, select the Start computer without CD-ROM support menu option, and then press Enter.

At a command prompt, type fdisk, and then press Enter.

2.) Do you wish to enable large disk support?

Press Y and then press Enter. This will enable the FAT32 file system

3.) After you press Enter, the following fdisk options menu is displayed:

1. Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive
2. Set active partition
3. Delete partition or Logical DOS Drive
4. Display partition information
5. Change current fixed disk drive

**Note** that option 5 is available only if you have two physical hard disks in the computer.

4.) Press 1 to select the Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive menu option, and then press Enter.

5.) Press 1 to select the Create Primary DOS Partition menu option, and then press Enter.

6.) After you press Enter, you receive the following message: Do you wish to use the maximum available size for primary DOS partition?

A.) After you receive this message, use the following method:

B.) Press Y if you want all of the space on the hard disk to be assigned to drive C, press Y, and then press Enter. Go to Step 7

C.) Press N if you do not want all of the space on the hard disk to be assigned to drive C.

a.) If you select N then continue to follow these instructions.

b.) Enter the size of the partition you wish to make and then press Enter.

c.) Press ESC.

d.) Press 1 to select the Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive menu option, and then press Enter.

e.) Press 2 to select the Create Extended Partition menu option, and then press Enter.

f.) Press Enter to create an extended DOS partition that uses up the rest of the hard drive.

g.) Press ESC. After pressing ESC fdisk will automatically try to create a logical DOS drive.

h.) Enter the size of the second partition you wish to create and then press Enter.

i.) If you created your second partition to use the entire size of the Extended DOS Partition then go to Step 7.

J.) If not then repeat step h until you have used up the rest of the Extended DOS Partition then go to Step 7.

7.) Press ESC, and then press ESC to quit the fdisk tool and return to a command prompt.

8.) Reboot. You are now ready to format the partitions that you just created.

The next step which is how to format the partitions you just created.
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Old 08-08-2004, 05:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This does NOT remove all information!! Even writing zero, or low level, will not remove sensitive information! It will to the average person, but the post stated even experts, and an expert can do this with the right equipment! When righting a zero, there is STILL residual charge remaining from previous information that can be picked up by sensitive computer forensics equipment. The ONLY way to make sure data is unretrievable is with a utility like killdisk or the sort which essentially writes the disk in a pattern or 1111 0000 1111 0000 over and over then reverses that. Then will write zero. The reason is this, forensics can still get data but it will be unintelligible.
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Old 08-08-2004, 05:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i would just destroy it . . .

1. crush it with a steam roller
2. chuck it a fire
3. put it in a buiding that is going to be demolished

really, thats what i guy i know did . . . he smacked it with a baseball bat for almost 10 minutes

it was a $40 hard drive though
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Old 08-08-2004, 06:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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yeh that would work to tho
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Old 08-09-2004, 06:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yep, using a win98 boot disk and formating it only removes the boot sector area, and the bit that tells your hard drive where eveything is (cant think of name at the moment) this is where the problem arrises. Even though it may say there is nothing on the hard drive there is! This is how poeple can read information of of it even though you have formated it. They just recompile your ugimaflip. Just check if you can do it in your bios, or put it into another PC and format it in windows, using an intesive full format, that is the highest level of farmat you can do, and i think it would be pretty near impossible to get your info.

Other than that, how about passwords, or encryption software??
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Old 08-09-2004, 09:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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when doing that it just removes the table. the only way to make data unrecoverable is by special utilities. to further illustrate, and I know many already know this, but I'll spell it out. info on drive is listed by either 1 or 0, binary. done by charge, for ease just say positive charge and negative charge and not get to indepth about how it does this because thats not important. when writing 0's or llf everything is zero's out. thats why it was destructive to older HDD because the HDD info was contained in a special partition and unless you had the specific HDD info, you would have some problems newer HDD have this hard encoded. now, most HDD read/write heads are NOT sensitive enough to pick up residual charges, however using special tunneling techniques and hyper sensitive equipment, computer forensics can take any formated drive and pull the info that was on it by finding residual charges. as in a bit that was a 1 changed to a zero would have a slightly higher charge then a 0 that was not changed. The only way to make it next to impossible, and I'm still not sure if its not completely unrecoverable with advances in tech, is to alternatley write stipes of 0's and 1's across the HDD and then repeat the process in different order. like 0000 11111 11111 0000 on the first pass then 11111 0000 0000 1111 on the second and maybe 1010 1010 1010 on the 3rd and so on. that way the data they get will be utter garbage. so not wanting to step on your feet there horris1st, but even then it is possible. expensive as hell, but possible
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