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Old 08-18-2013, 03:41 PM   #21
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I think the platters are glass with a thin metal coating so they are easy to break as Erd suggests if you can get the disk open.
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:33 AM   #22
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I use the Ultimate Boot CD (Ultimate Boot CD - Overview) to wipe a hard drive. Last time I used it, there were several options for hard drive erasure utilities, including one that uses a SATA drive's built-in erasure command.

I've never donated or given away a hard drive, though. I either wipe them and reuse them myself, or if they're so old and obsolete, I wipe them and take them to a local shredding facility that has a machine that shreds hard drives. And they let you watch, so you can verify destruction.

Being in the IT field, and paranoid at the same time, I feel there's too much risk in giving away a hard drive that once held personal information. Nobody else needs a hard drive I've had. Once I'm done with it, it gets wiped and shredded.

They can have my old PCs, but not the hard drives.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:02 AM   #23
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...I wipe them and take them to a local shredding facility that has a machine that shreds hard drives. And they let you watch, so you can verify destruction.
That sounds like something fun to watch
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:49 AM   #24
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Millions of off-lease computers are sold with the hard drive intact. I realize that servers do most of the heavy lifting, but there must still be some sensitive data left on these drives. Many businesses must not share this paranoia.
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:00 PM   #25
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Millions of off-lease computers are sold with the hard drive intact. I realize that servers do most of the heavy lifting, but there must still be some sensitive data left on these drives. Many businesses must not share this paranoia.
I buy a lot of off leased PCs from refurb shops, the drives are wiped/low level reformatted. Now ones I pickup from individuals... all kinds of interesting stuff left behind
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:24 PM   #26
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Here's a pic of what I did to one just for fun.



Top is 9mm, middle is .22 Magnum, and bottom is .45.

Mike D.
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:04 PM   #27
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I think the platters are glass with a thin metal coating so they are easy to break as Erd suggests if you can get the disk open.
Platters are steel.What Does A Hard Disk Platter Look Like? - YouTube
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:49 PM   #28
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Is there a fast & free way to wipe a hard drive?

Yep. Same way I just eliminated a yellow jackets nest that was larger than a soccer ball and out of reach with insect spray or a garden hose - 12 gauge. Okay, not free. There was the cost of 1 trap load with #8 shot.
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:13 PM   #29
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You made me think my memory is failing me and I'm not old enough for that so I doubled checked. Apparently they can be made from several materials including aluminum, glass, and ceramic.
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:19 AM   #30
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+ 1 on Killdisk.
I have used it many times. Does a single pass write-over similar to doing a format - also a free option. Simply install the target drive as a slave and do a complete format. Don't forget to delete any partitions.
I also have Acronis ($) software that does a more complete wipe with multiple passes, but takes a long time. The larger the drive the more time it will take.
on a windows 95 computer, I used format c:\, however not sure if that still works today...

It is the obligation of your best friend to wipe your hard drive on death before the significant other discovers things no one should know about another person...
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:27 PM   #31
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Millions of off-lease computers are sold with the hard drive intact. I realize that servers do most of the heavy lifting, but there must still be some sensitive data left on these drives. Many businesses must not share this paranoia.
At Megacorp all hard drives were degaused, and shreaded.

Personally I'd trust the job to a 30.06.

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Old 08-22-2013, 04:14 PM   #32
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At Megacorp all hard drives were degaused, and shreaded.

Personally I'd trust the job to a 30.06.

MRG
I put all my extra hard drives to good use. I would never destroy a working drive or let it leave my possession. Its very easy to render a HD disc useless.
The OP asked for a FAST and FREE way to wipe a drive. I and others offered more than one solution that pretty well covered the spectrum.

PS - Thumbs up to your Megacorp for controlling data leak
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:04 PM   #33
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Had a few Drives. Needed secure erase.

One pic shows drives needing secure erase, the other is the erase process complete.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Canon photos 069.jpg (967.9 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg Canon photos 070.jpg (860.8 KB, 18 views)
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:33 PM   #34
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Hiren 's Boot Cd.
http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd

This is an amazing set of utilities. I just used it to recover all data files from a failed drive. There are many different ways to do it with the cd.

There is also a very long list of drive utilities for erase.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:19 PM   #35
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It would be interesting to hear from someone with first hand knowledge pertaining to recovery of data from a hard drive after a single pass over-write.
i.e. - how hard was it, how much time was required and how complete was the recovery.
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:01 AM   #36
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It would be interesting to hear from someone with first hand knowledge pertaining to recovery of data from a hard drive after a single pass over-write.
i.e. - how hard was it, how much time was required and how complete was the recovery.
I did this for DHs sister a few years ago. She had a hard drive issue of some kind and did a reformat on the drive just so it could be reused. She mentioned to DH that she lost a lot of family photos when she had to reformat. We had her send the drive to us, I hooked it up to an external drive housing and used a recapture program. I don't remember the name of it but it was one of the free ones.

The program would scan the drive and as it recovered pictures and documents I would save them. Each scan took about 1-1.5 hours. It was a clunky (but free) process and after a few scans I was able to recover about 80% of the contents. There were some pictures that would show as partially visible like the data was already gone. She was thrilled to have the pictures back.

Since this was a while ago I'm thinking you could find a better program for free or at a low cost.
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Old 09-05-2013, 03:53 PM   #37
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Thanks Sue J - I will keep my hard drives on a short leash
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:51 PM   #38
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It would be interesting to hear from someone with first hand knowledge pertaining to recovery of data from a hard drive after a single pass over-write.
i.e. - how hard was it, how much time was required and how complete was the recovery.
Several thing come into play. What type of file system ( FAT, FAT32, NTFS etc )
and what was done to erase/delete/reformat. For instance, a quick format with FAT/FAT32 just makes the space available by changing a bit in the File Allocation Table. NTFS does similar. You could use a disk editor like Norton Utilities to change the bit and make the files available again as the actual data was not touched.

This is the reason you use a third party tool that actually wipes the disk by overwriting each bit on the disk. Probably overkill for most home users though.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:55 PM   #39
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Here's a pic of what I did to one just for fun.



Top is 9mm, middle is .22 Magnum, and bottom is .45.

Mike D.
A former co-worker brought in a hard drive one Monday morning with three holes in it, just like your picture. Told us what caliber bullet made each hole. He said the hard drive failed a week after the warranty expired and he was pissed off at the manufacturer so he used it for target practice.

After that incident I tread a little more cautiously around that individual.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:03 PM   #40
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A former co-worker brought in a hard drive one Monday morning with three holes in it, just like your picture. Told us what caliber bullet made each hole. He said the hard drive failed a week after the warranty expired and he was pissed off at the manufacturer so he used it for target practice.

After that incident I tread a little more cautiously around that individual.
I used to joke to my fellow grad students that if they wanted to make sure they finish on time they should get a subscription to Guns & Ammo and have it delivered to their departmental mailbox.
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