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Is it really gone??

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Romadoc, Sep 2, 2004.

  1. Romadoc

    Romadoc

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    I've emptied my "Recycle Bin". How can I be sure that what I
    wanted to delete is really gone from the disc? Additionally, is there any way to really check exactly what is on the hard drive?
     
  2. Furant

    Furant Millennium Member

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  3. Romadoc

    Romadoc

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    "Eraser" may take care of the future. But what about "stuff" that may be already on the disc?
     
  4. HerrGlock

    HerrGlock Scouts Out CLM

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    You can set a switch in eraser to wipe and rewipe empty space on the drive from 1 to 35 times. DoD suggests at least 3 passes with random characters or 0's and 1's

    DanH
     
  5. Toyman

    Toyman

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    Depends on how gone you really want it to be. Information can be extracted from swap files, temp files, and numerous other places.
     
  6. Romadoc

    Romadoc

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    I have "Window Washer" which I can use with "bleach". Would this be sufficient protection?
     
  7. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

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    If you just intend to keep personal info safely away from someone you sell the PC to, sure.

    From the FBI, probably not even close.

    Try 'bleaching' it and see if you can recover anything with a restoration utility....

    Best regards,

    FastVFR
     
  8. HerrGlock

    HerrGlock Scouts Out CLM

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    You want blunt? Okay.

    3. Degaussing Hard Drives for Sanitization: Degaussing is a process whereby the magnetic media are erased, (i.e., returned to a zero state). Degaussing (demagnetizing) reduces the magnetic flux to virtual zero by applying a reverse magnetizing field. Properly applied, degaussing renders any previously stored data on magnetic media unreadable by keyboard or laboratory attack.
    3.1 Degaussing hard drives often destroys the drive's timing tracks and servo motors, and usually demagnetizes the permanent magnets of the spindle motor on sealed (e.g., Winchester) drives, thus they can seldom be used after degaussing. In addition, the process of removing the hard drives from the computer, taking off the hard drive's housing, degaussing and placing the hard drive back into the computer, and testing to ensure it still operates and no longer contains its original data, may make reutilization after degaussing cost ineffective.
    3.2 Each type of magnetic media is distinguished by the rate of coercivity required to ensure the medium is brought back to its zero state. Due to the variation of media formats and their corresponding magnetic densities, a correct and effective degaussing process is often difficult to achieve, and it is essential that state responsible parties utilize a degausser with the right coercivity specifications to degauss the target media. Coercivity strength of an applied magnetic field determines which type of degausser should be applied to the particular magnetic media being targeted for sanitization. Higher coercivity rates are usually required to degauss hard disk storage media and many degaussers designed for commercial uses do not have the magnetic energy required to erase media with a higher coercivity rate.
    3.3 Degaussing standards and procedures:
    3.3.1 Degaussers used on state hard drives, must have a nominal rating of at least 1700 Oersted.
    3.3.2 Degaussers must be operated at their full magnetic field strength.
    3.3.3 Follow the product manufacturer's directions carefully. Deviations from an approved method or rate of coercivity could leave significant portions of data remaining on a hard drive.
    3.3.4 All shielding materials (e.g., castings, cabinets, and mounting brackets), which may interfere with the degausser's magnetic field, must be removed from the hard drive before degaussing.
    3.3.5 Hard disk platters must be in a horizontal direction during the degaussing process.
    3.3.6 For degaussing hard drives with very high coercivity ratings, it may be necessary to remove the magnetic platters from the hard drive's housing.

    _______________________________

    That is one of about four approved methods of getting rid of hard drives that have had classified on them. You cannot recover them.

    Other methods:
    Sanitization is not complete until the three overwrite passes and a verification pass are completed.

    Damaged Hard Disks: A hard disk platter may develop damaged or unusable tracks and sectors. However, sensitive data may have been recorded in areas of the disk that should be purged. If features or malfunctions of the storage media inhibit overwriting, the storage media should be degaussed or destroyed.

    Physical Destruction Procedures: Hard drives should be destroyed when they are defective or cannot be economically repaired or sanitized for reuse. As an added security measure, when practical, operable hard drives no longer deemed economically viable should be overwritten or degaussed prior to destruction. Physical destruction must be accomplished to an extent that precludes any possible further use of the hard drive. The following are acceptable means for destruction of hard disk storage media:

    4.1 Physical destruction/impairment beyond reasonable use: Remove the hard drive from the chassis or cabinet. Remove any steel shielding materials, mounting brackets, and cut any electrical connection to the hard drive unit. In a suitable facility with individuals wearing appropriate safety equipment, subject the hard drive to physical force (e.g., pounding with a sledgehammer) that will disfigure, bend, mangle, or otherwise mutilate the hard drive so that it cannot be re-inserted into a functioning computer. Sufficient force should be used directly on top of the hard drive unit to cause shock/damage to the disk surfaces. In addition, any connectors that interface into the computer must be mangled, bent, or otherwise damaged to the point that the hard drive could not be re-connected without significant rework
    4.2 Destruction at an approved metal destruction facility, i.e., smelting, disintegration, or pulverization.
    _____________________________________

    Overwriting three times makes it a real bear to get anything, ANYTHING reasonable off the drive.

    Temp files, slack space (portions that are part of the sector with written data but the data does not take up the whole sector), "free space" and cached writes are all places that can show data up that you thought you had deleted.
     
  9. David_G17

    David_G17 /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

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    ooooh, i like 4.2 :)
     
  10. Jtemple

    Jtemple Geek

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    This does a pretty good job of wiping your hard drive:

    BCWipe from PCWorld.com

    BCWipe will do a DoD standard 7-pass wiping scheme, a Peter Gutman 32-pass wiping scheme, or you can set up your own custom wiping schemes. On each pass, it writes random characters to all of the free space on your hard drive.

    You can also tie it to your recycle bin, having it wipe everything you empty from your recycle bin.
     
  11. ronin_asano

    ronin_asano

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