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Windows 7: Which Utility to "Erase" or Wipe external HD

21 Sep 2018   #1
tidybear12

Windows 7 Home x64
 
 
Which Utility to "Erase" or Wipe external HD

I am returning a Seagate portable back up drive that I'm disappointed in.



Unfortunately, instead of reading first on how to TRULY get rid of the one folder on it in such a way that it can't be retrieved, I simply deleted it and reformatted the drive. But that's not enough, I learned.



So I now have the Eraser from Portable Apps. But it tells me that (and the drive now has nothing on it, to the naked eye, maybe that's the problem?) it "failed to determine cluster size, and failed to create temporary file in that drive. So, it didn't do anything.


Is there a utility that will wipe this drive at this point? I tried DiskWipe, but it is extremely time consuming. It took about 8 hours just to reformat, and then I moved my laptop by a tiny smidgen and the reformatting was aborted because now the file was lost. It was at that point 82% done. After 8 hours. (in their user guide they talk about the "Fast format option" but they must have updated the app because there is no choice about the formatting speed.)


Any suggestions? I also downloaded the Eraser from Heidi Software but it doesn't come as a portable and I am nervous that it's the kind of app that might have a mind of its own. Anyone used this on an external drive? (I think this one is a shredder whereas the other things mentioned are wipers. Not sure if this matters.)



Has anyone used SafeWiper?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
21 Sep 2018   #2
Paul Black

7 HP SP1 64-bit Vista HB SP2 32-bit Linux Mint 18.3
 
 

Hi tidybear12,

I am pretty sure that you can use DISKPART clean all in Windows 10, but I am not sure if you can in Windows 7!

I hope this helps!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2018   #3
tidybear12

Windows 7 Home x64
 
 

Thanks Paul. I think it IS usable with Win7 though I never got around to it. There is actually a stunning number of utilities that wipe/erase anything you want. Not all are created equal!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

22 Sep 2018   #4
Snick

Win 10 x64, Linux Lite, Win 7 x64, BlackArch, Kali, VMWare Workstation Player, OpenVPN
 
 

CCleaner free has a wipe feature up to GUTMAN 35 passes, although two or three should suffice!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2018   #5
F22 Simpilot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Snick View Post
CCleaner free has a wipe feature up to GUTMAN 35 passes, although two or three should suffice!

I ran their tool, then ran Recuva and was still able to retrieve my data. YMMV.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2018   #6
F22 Simpilot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by tidybear12 View Post
I am returning a Seagate portable back up drive that I'm disappointed in.



Unfortunately, instead of reading first on how to TRULY get rid of the one folder on it in such a way that it can't be retrieved, I simply deleted it and reformatted the drive. But that's not enough, I learned.



So I now have the Eraser from Portable Apps. But it tells me that (and the drive now has nothing on it, to the naked eye, maybe that's the problem?) it "failed to determine cluster size, and failed to create temporary file in that drive. So, it didn't do anything.


Is there a utility that will wipe this drive at this point? I tried DiskWipe, but it is extremely time consuming. It took about 8 hours just to reformat, and then I moved my laptop by a tiny smidgen and the reformatting was aborted because now the file was lost. It was at that point 82% done. After 8 hours. (in their user guide they talk about the "Fast format option" but they must have updated the app because there is no choice about the formatting speed.)


Any suggestions? I also downloaded the Eraser from Heidi Software but it doesn't come as a portable and I am nervous that it's the kind of app that might have a mind of its own. Anyone used this on an external drive? (I think this one is a shredder whereas the other things mentioned are wipers. Not sure if this matters.)



Has anyone used SafeWiper?

Is this a SSD or platter?

You may have already wrote data over the previous folder data already. You can try Recuva and see if anything is recovered, but if you are really super paranoid, Recuva might not be as good enough. I mean, a crime lab probably has waaaay better solutions.

You could try Trucrypt, select the drive for encryption (make damn sure it's the right drive letter) and encrypt with the erase free space option. Prior to this I'd use H2testw to write data to the entire drive, then encrypt the drive. Now simply format. Data is gone.

Or pull a Clinton. Download | BleachBit

(Not being political so don't pull on my cape)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2018   #7
Snick

Win 10 x64, Linux Lite, Win 7 x64, BlackArch, Kali, VMWare Workstation Player, OpenVPN
 
 

If you use CCleaner, you have to click the Entire Drive, several passes!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Sep 2018   #8
F22 Simpilot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Been there done that. Have you ran Recuva afterwards? I'm curious about your results.

I've read that all those passes aren't necessary.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Sep 2018   #9
Paul Black

7 HP SP1 64-bit Vista HB SP2 32-bit Linux Mint 18.3
 
 

Hi tidybear12,

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Snick View Post
CCleaner free has a wipe feature up to GUTMAN 35 passes, although two or three should suffice!
Just for information!

I think if anybody decides to wipe their HDD then there are several methods available. I definately would use CCleaner with the GUTMAN 35 passes and DISKPART clean all. I have used CCleaner with the GUTMAN 35 passes on my FREE HDD space, and I have never had a problem with it! Because it takes a while to run I usually do it overnight.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Sep 2018   #10
Snick

Win 10 x64, Linux Lite, Win 7 x64, BlackArch, Kali, VMWare Workstation Player, OpenVPN
 
 

I didn't suggest/recommend GUTMAN. I stated it was available.
Usually a few passes 3-7 etc. works, which writes 1s and 0s to the disk. Gutman, 35 passes on say a 1TB drive would take a very long time.
I'd run the 7 passes. If your drive is SSD or Flash, it's a different ball game.
SSD drives difficult to wipe securely, researchers find
Nic
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Which Utility to "Erase" or Wipe external HD




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