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Windows 7: Can I update to a 1.5 TB internal HDD on a 6 year old Dell xps9000

01 Dec 2016   #51
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Itaregid View Post
Quote:
If tossing an SSD, wiping it with a single pass would be fine (so far all my SSDS I've put into service so far are still in service) but, if selling it or giving it to someone, secure erasing it would probably be better.
Why? With SSDs there is no "residual" magnetism (or any magnetic particles for that matter) representing any data that a bad guy can forensically recover. When it comes to SSDs, a single pass wipe does the same thing as a secure erase. If you "flip" a gate to now represent a "1", there's no way a badguy (or even Abby from NCIS) can tell there used to be a "0" there before.

On hard drives, yes a secure erase is necessary if you want to ensure all residual magnetism representing your 1s and 0s are totally obliterated and irretrievable.

That said, badguys are opportunists. Unless they have specifically targeted you personally (in which case, you have bigger problems), once he sees the disk has been wiped once, he's going to move on to easier pickings from the stack of other discarded drives he has.
You are confusing secure erase for SSDs with multiple passes when wiping a HDD. Wiping an SSD by writing ones and/or zeros to the entire SSD, will cause a reduction in write life. Multiple passes will, naturally, be even worse. Secure erase for SSDs (and it will work only with SSDs) will, instead of writing over the entire drive, reset the SSD to where it will no longer be able to read what is on the cells (the equivalent to HDDs' sectors), even forensically, with very little effect, if any, on the remaining write life of the SSD. One usually uses the SSDs manufacturer's software to perform a secure erase although there is a way to do it using Parted Magic. Read here for more on this (there are lots of good articles on this, I just found this one first).

Wiping an HDD, on the other hand, involves writing zeroes and/or ones (some wiping protocols use both) to every sector on the drive, obliterating any data that may be there. Since data gets so densely packed onto today's HDDs, residual magnetism after a single pass is so low, it would take the forensic capabilities of an entity like the NSA to maybe recover anything from the drive. And the NSA isn't going to go to the bother and expense of trying to recover anything from a single wiped drive unless they suspect you have really been misbehaving (and if you have been that naughty, then you should use three or more passes instead of just one).

The only reason I would ever use a wiping program to wipe an SSD is if I was going to discard it since I wouldn't care if I lost some of the "finite" number of writes left on the SDDs. But, if the SSD was going to be reused, then I would secure erase it.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Dec 2016   #52
Digerati

Windows 7 Profession 64-bit
 
 

Actually, I thought you were confused with your comment that secure erase would be "better". I took that as better for security, not for the life of the drive. But again, that is not the topic of this thread either so to prevent driving this further OT, I return control back to the OP.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Dec 2016   #53
Mega7User

Win 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
.....The only reason I would ever use a wiping program to wipe an SSD is if I was going to discard it since I wouldn't care if I lost some of the "finite" number of writes left on the SDDs.
I have completely destroyed platter HDD's when finished with them since I have come to learn there is a hidden part of platter HDD's that hold 'some sort' of record in that hidden (manufacturers) section, regardless if you mil wipe or single pass wipe them. If I was to ever own a SSD, I would just destroy it if I was discarding it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Dec 2016   #54
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

Hi,
After the latest political test of the nsa/.... free bleach bit works pretty well so far lol
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Dec 2016   #55
Digerati

Windows 7 Profession 64-bit
 
 

Quote:
since I have come to learn there is a hidden part of platter HDD's that hold 'some sort' of record in that hidden (manufacturers) section, regardless if you mil wipe or single pass wipe them.
Quite certain that's not true. Got a link to that information?

Note there will still be some formatting and partition information on the drive just because the drive has been formatted and partitioned (even if just one partition). But that data is used by the drive's interface card so it knows where the storage locations are, and if the space is used or available. There is NO user data left on the drive after a "wipe".

The only time I will destroy a drive is when it has failed to the point you cannot access it to run a wipe on it. When I was in the military and after when I worked for a defense contractor, we used drive shredders to destroy drives that at one time, contained classified information on them. These machines ripped the drives to tiny pieces like those big tree shredders that turned mighty oaks into mulch.

When I need to destroy a drive, I drill 3 holes all the way through the drive (and platters) using 1/4" cobalt bits. Since no drive I will ever have access to again will contain incriminating or classified information, 3 holes through the drive will be enough incentive to persuade even the most determined bad guy to move on to easier pickings.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Dec 2016   #56
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

LOL! I think you guys just like destroying things. Ever try explosives?

All seriousness (?) aside, destroying HDDs is a practical way to ensure remaining data on them is gone forever, especially if there are very many being permanently "retired" since wiping does take a certain amount of time (and time is money). The only time I ever feel a need to destroy something being retired is because I hated it so much when I was using it, such as the Epson inkjet printer and the Epson flatbed scanner I had (I took great pleasure in "killing" those worthless pieces of misbegotten junk!). Otherwise, it's too much work. I'm going to be retiring several HDDs in the not too distant future (I'm replacing them with SSDs) and I will go to the trouble of wiping each one since I will try to find new homes for them (why toss or kill perfectly good drives?). If were to destroy one, I have an 8 lb. double jack sledge hammer that will make short work of them (actually, I'll probably do that to the two dead 3.5" drives I have that I kept around for making up ladder style SATA power cables).

I'm also curious about that hidden part of platter drives that can't be wiped.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Dec 2016   #57
Mega7User

Win 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Itaregid View Post
Quote:
since I have come to learn there is a hidden part of platter HDD's that hold 'some sort' of record in that hidden (manufacturers) section, regardless if you mil wipe or single pass wipe them.
Quite certain that's not true. Got a link to that information?

Note there will still be some formatting and partition information on the drive just because the drive has been formatted and partitioned (even if just one partition). But that data is used by the drive's interface card so it knows where the storage locations are, and if the space is used or available. There is NO user data left on the drive after a "wipe".

The only time I will destroy a drive is when it has failed to the point you cannot access it to run a wipe on it. When I was in the military and after when I worked for a defense contractor, we used drive shredders to destroy drives that at one time, contained classified information on them. These machines ripped the drives to tiny pieces like those big tree shredders that turned mighty oaks into mulch.

When I need to destroy a drive, I drill 3 holes all the way through the drive (and platters) using 1/4" cobalt bits. Since no drive I will ever have access to again will contain incriminating or classified information, 3 holes through the drive will be enough incentive to persuade even the most determined bad guy to move on to easier pickings.
Absolutely, AND, the information is OVER 1 decade old. Read on ( https://www.utica.edu/academic/insti...46864A2671.pdf ). Feel free to comment. I have heard of this for years, and this stuff is very old in terms of hardware, don't you agree? Time to 'update' your experience, if you believe this information.

MS Lady Fitz..., didn't see your post until I hit send, LOVE your mindset on enjoyment of distroying older hardware, have done that myself on occasion. Being ex-military myself, have many times blown up stuff here and there (am Vietnam-era and Desert Shield/Storm experienced). Please check out the link, am always willing to help others learn since I have so much to learn.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Dec 2016   #58
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mega7User View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Itaregid View Post
Quote:
since I have come to learn there is a hidden part of platter HDD's that hold 'some sort' of record in that hidden (manufacturers) section, regardless if you mil wipe or single pass wipe them.
Quite certain that's not true. Got a link to that information?

Note there will still be some formatting and partition information on the drive just because the drive has been formatted and partitioned (even if just one partition). But that data is used by the drive's interface card so it knows where the storage locations are, and if the space is used or available. There is NO user data left on the drive after a "wipe".

The only time I will destroy a drive is when it has failed to the point you cannot access it to run a wipe on it. When I was in the military and after when I worked for a defense contractor, we used drive shredders to destroy drives that at one time, contained classified information on them. These machines ripped the drives to tiny pieces like those big tree shredders that turned mighty oaks into mulch.

When I need to destroy a drive, I drill 3 holes all the way through the drive (and platters) using 1/4" cobalt bits. Since no drive I will ever have access to again will contain incriminating or classified information, 3 holes through the drive will be enough incentive to persuade even the most determined bad guy to move on to easier pickings.
Absolutely, AND, the information is OVER 1 decade old. Read on ( https://www.utica.edu/academic/insti...46864A2671.pdf ). Feel free to comment. I have heard of this for years, and this stuff is very old in terms of hardware, don't you agree? Time to 'update' your experience, if you believe this information.
Thanks for the link! I almost blew this article off as a joke when I saw the acronyms PARTIES and BEER. However, after quickly reading through the whole thing, it became apparent the only way those hidden areas would be of concern to me is if I had written critical data in them, which I will have not (heck, I'm not even going to bother to try to learn how) so a single pass wipe will be sufficient for me as long as I can access the drive itself.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Dec 2016   #59
Mega7User

Win 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
Thanks for the link! I almost blew this article off as a joke when I saw the acronyms PARTIES and BEER. However, after quickly reading through the whole thing, it became apparent the only way those hidden areas would be of concern to me is if I had written critical data in them, which I will have not (heck, I'm not even going to bother to try to learn how) so a single pass wipe will be sufficient for me as long as I can access the drive itself.
Haaaaaaaaa, funny, I am an avid partier and brew consumer, and NEVER associated the two as I read the article. Goes to show there IS a time and place, for PARTIES and BEER outside of the post-hangovers!

I am just not ready to believe that both Microsoft nor HDD manufacturers (notwithstanding malware software writers) aren't 'using' any platter space for whatever they want too. Information acquisition is BIG business, and many pay good money to acquire it by whatever means they can. Too bad I have no way of knowing when, if, and why (anyone) has access into (or on) any of my HDD's.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Dec 2016   #60
Digerati

Windows 7 Profession 64-bit
 
 

Quote:
Ever try explosives?
Well not for drives, but I did used to work 2015 feet underground at the San Manual, Arizona copper mine - at the time, the world's largest underground copper mine. And I used to set a of bunch dynamite (about 20lbs worth) charges twice a day (at lunch and end of shift). Quite fun - except for the "NG" or "bang heads" - (really horrific nitroglycerin induced headaches) you got every time you handled the stuff. After I was there for awhile I moved to driving an underground train (80 miles of track on that 2015ft level!) and hauled several tons of dynamite every day. Because I handled that stuff, I got hazard pay bonus so I was paid $12/hour - and that was in 1971 - BIG money for a 18 - 19 year old back then.

@Mega7User - Thanks for posting that and yeah, I remember seeing that years ago. But it is important to understand it does not apply today or here. First, that was for ancient "ATA" specification drives. That is the legacy drive technology used before EIDE drives. And EIDE drives have since been superseded by today's SATA drives. While all 3 technologies use spinning platters, R/W heads and the alignment of magnetic particles to represent 1s and 0s, the similarities between antique ATA drives and today's SATA drives pretty much ends there.

Second, as noted in that white paper, those hidden areas could only be accessed and used by knowledgeable users (primarily bad guys) and only by using "specific open source tools" to hide data in those locations from forensic investigators. Normal users could not see it.

Therefore, no normal user, no drive maker, no operating system would ever stuff user data into those locations. It could not even be done by accident! So don't worry about destroying your drives to protect your personal data from prying eyes. A simple one-pass wipe is plenty - unless you really do have something "incriminating" to hide from law enforcement! Bad guys are lazy. No bad guy is going to waste his or her time if he or she has to work at it that hard.
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 Can I update to a 1.5 TB internal HDD on a 6 year old Dell xps9000




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