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Windows 7: Software For Securely Deleting Data

16 Apr 2011   #1
wizkid

WINDOWS 7 HOME PREMIUM 64BIT
 
 
Software For Securely Deleting Data

Hi,

I have had one of these hard drives for about a week now and its turned faulty it does not always power up properly. When it worked okay it was used to make a back up of each computer in the house these backups included emails, letters, and other confidential information. I am now looking for some software to securely wipe the drive so I can return it for a replacement. I have found this software below has anyone had any experiences with this software? Or could someone recommend some alternative software.


Hard disk drive wipe software providing complete disk cleanup, erasing the whole partition or HDD files


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Apr 2011   #2
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Acronis generally has a decent reputation, but I don't know anything about that particular application.

I certainly would not pay a dime to erase a drive when there are free tools.

Other things you can do:

get DBAN here; i don't think it works from Windows:

Darik's Boot And Nuke | Hard Drive Disk Wipe and Data Clearing

Get eraser here; i do think it works from Windows:


Eraser


Or go to your hard drive manufacturer's web site and download their utility package for your hard drive. It certainly should contain a little application that can "write zeroes" to your drive. Use that. Run it maybe twice. Unless you turn the drive over to the CIA, no one is going to be able to get anything from it.

If you are really worried, don't turn it over, just replace it on your own without warranty.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2011   #3
wizkid

WINDOWS 7 HOME PREMIUM 64BIT
 
 

Hi ignatzatsonic

Thanks for your reply

I went for eraser in the end and set it on Gutman 35 passes it's going to take a while but at least no one will be able to recover the data.
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17 Apr 2011   #4
scrotiny

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by wizkid View Post
Hi ignatzatsonic

Thanks for your reply

I went for eraser in the end and set it on Gutman 35 passes it's going to take a while but at least no one will be able to recover the data.
I wouldn't bother with the 35 passes when one random pass is thought sufficient by most enlightened users and it will take far too long.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Apr 2011   #5
wizkid

WINDOWS 7 HOME PREMIUM 64BIT
 
 

Hi

Thanks for your reply.

I went for Eraser in the end and I have now set it up to do 7 passes over the drives free space I deleted the data that was stored on the disk first. Its been running for 12hours on 7 passes and has only over written about 160gb of the hard drive. Is there anything else I can do in order to speed this up but still use a good erase setting. The reason I ask is because the drive is going back this Thursday so I need to make sure that its done by that time.


Thanks in advance
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Apr 2011   #6
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

It depends on your level of paranoia.

Extreme paranoia: you don't send the drive back because you are afraid someone can read it, regardless of what you do.

High paranoia: you do what you are doing, making multiple passes. You don't send the drive back until the passes complete. Period. No exceptions.

Average paranoia: You go to the drive manufacturer's web site and download their disk utility. You have it write zeros to the drive. You make one to three passes. Going from memory it takes about 1 hour per 100 gigabytes per pass---maybe 24 hours per pass in your case.

Low paranoia: You just reformat the disk and send it back.

No paranoia: You delete your data and nothing else.

What you do depends on where you are on that scale. No one can force you to send the drive back.

I'd do "average paranoia", but do what makes you sleep easily.

You might use this test:

Suppose they can read it and do read it.

How much would you pay to avoid that?

If the answer is "more than the cost of the drive", then don't send it back.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Apr 2011   #7
WebMattR

W7 Professional x64
 
 

Darik's Boot and Nuke. We use it at work to wipe disks. There's nothing finer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2011   #8
wizkid

WINDOWS 7 HOME PREMIUM 64BIT
 
 

Hi. WebMattR

how long on average would you say Darik's Boot and Nuke takes to complete ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2011   #9
scrotiny

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Hi Wizlid

While ignatzatsonic has spelt out the options quite fairly - most government and businesses etc use multi-pass erasing techniques - for most purposes a single pass will suffice so there is an option missing from his list, format and do a single pass of random data. This is the quickest. Personally, when I want to erase data I combine a random pass with a zero write so that I can visually check that all data has gone. Not sure if Eraser allows you to make a custom algorithm but the Russian GOST algorithm of two passes might be the equivalent. There might be data left in badblocks which is always a risk but it does take more skill to access this if it actually exists. Use something like Recuva with deepscan to check that all data has gone. Anyone trying to retrieve your data will be using software to do this.

Steve
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2011   #10
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Hi,

A CLEAN ALL using DISKPART will do the tricky nicely.

Disk - Clean and Clean All with Diskpart Command

Regards,
Golden
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 Software For Securely Deleting Data




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