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Windows 7: erasing data by location on hdd


16 Feb 2012   #1

 
 
erasing data by location on hdd

so i have a job coming up that requires carefull erasing of data, i can't scrub the whole hard drive but need to be able to write over the data areas of one single user account location.

now i am wondering is there a way to find out the sector locations for all data on a hard drive for a given user so i can write over those areas to make them as unrecoverable as possible?

i am aware that i am probably asking for something that isn't possible but figured why not ask anyway someone might know of some software that does this.

payed software is not a problem i'm not looking for some cheap solution just looking for a solution.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Feb 2012   #2

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gazz9496 View Post
so i have a job coming up that requires carefull erasing of data, i can't scrub the whole hard drive but need to be able to write over the data areas of one single user account location.

now i am wondering is there a way to find out the sector locations for all data on a hard drive for a given user so i can write over those areas to make them as unrecoverable as possible?

i am aware that i am probably asking for something that isn't possible but figured why not ask anyway someone might know of some software that does this.

payed software is not a problem i'm not looking for some cheap solution just looking for a solution.

If you can, delete the user, make a backup image, format DES, then restore the image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2012   #3

 
 

that was one of my original ideas unfortunatly i can't do that, due to some legal stuff, i need to remove the data in situ and not touch in any way shape or form any other data on the drive, hence my problem.

i'll put it to those involved though as they may go for it but i'm not sure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Feb 2012   #4

32bit: XP, Win7 H.P. / 64bit: 2008R2, Win7 Pro, Ultimate / Several flavors of Linux
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zigzag3143 View Post
If you can, delete the user, make a backup image, format DES, then restore the image.
+1 on that method.

I'll add another couple notes -

After deleting the user, be sure to search the registry and remove references to that user. Also check that there aren't a bunch of TEMP files scattered about, which includes various browsers (and bookmarks). Normally this isn't a "problem" if the apps put the files under the user profile but double check.

When doing the backup, be SURE to incled the boot record area of the drive as some programs (such as Adobe RoboHelp) write license/key data there (restore without the mbr backup results in app not working).

Then do the backup/scrub/restore.

Regards,
GEWB
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2012   #5

32bit: XP, Win7 H.P. / 64bit: 2008R2, Win7 Pro, Ultimate / Several flavors of Linux
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gazz9496 View Post
that was one of my original ideas unfortunatly i can't do that, due to some legal stuff, i need to remove the data in situ and not touch in any way shape or form any other data on the drive, hence my problem.

i'll put it to those involved though as they may go for it but i'm not sure.
My first reply crossed your post in the ether!

This sounds, um, sensitive. If it involves legal authorities in any way, please consult legal counsel before doing anything.

That said, what you stated can be done but will take a great deal of time, a lot of skill and some disk editor software that writes to the byte level.

I suggest first using a forensic computer product to clone the drive in question in order to run an evaluation and "practice" before touching the source.

Here is the biggest problem: file framentation. Files you may need to wipe could be fragmented and scattered about. You need that disk editor to locate those fragments and display the file start/end markers so you can manually go in and zero out the bytes in between. You can see why this could take a long time and is very tricky.

Best of luck (glad it's not me doing it again),
GEWB
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 erasing data by location on hdd




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