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Old 02-09-2007, 04:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is it possible to "restore" a hard drive to like-new?

I know you can re-format hard drives, but I am under the impression that the HD is never really completely clean again after files have been installed on them. So, is there a way to restore them to new condition with advanced software? Or am I wrong, and re-formatting does completely clean them...?

Anyways, thank for the help
joe
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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a hard drive will never truely be clean again. the only way to erase data is to write over it with new data. formating a drive kinda just pretends to delete the data. Advance formating tools like the ones the department of defence uses and etc., write to the hard drive with a series of 1's and 0's for fake data so that the hard drive is now taken up with those instead of documents. but there will always be something on your hard drive either those 1's or 0's or your actual data.
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If you do a full-HD erase through the operating system install disc, it will wipe out everything.
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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like i said no. the data will be there and you will be able to fully recover every file on your hard drive with data recovery software doing it that way. even if you do the long full format, your data will still be recoverable.

writting 1's and 0's is the only way for your old data to not be recovered and even then it has still been possible to pick up traces of your data. short of putting a drill through your hard drive you will always have data on it in some form.
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Is there any free software that you can recommend, for overwriting the hard drive with 0s and 1s?
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Old 02-09-2007, 12:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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killdisk, over at killdisk.com should do the trick. lot's of software can "zero" a drive, doing that does a pretty reasonable job of destroying data but like was said the only true way is for it to be written over several times.
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Old 02-09-2007, 12:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Gparted

Do a low level format, it will be 100% erased.

Or to fill a harddrive with 0's or 1's you can use dd, but that gets a bit more complicated.
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