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Old 09-05-2013, 10:32 PM   #41
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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.
Thanks for the clarification -
I was attempting to get to the heart of the OP. That is, if she were to use a fast and free utility to over-write a hard drive with a single pass of 1's or 0's, what is the practical risk to her when the computer is then passed off to the general public.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:52 PM   #42
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What ever you use, check to make sure everything is really gone. We bought a used PC from a fellow who worked on them part time. His wife worked at a local bank, and he told us it had belonged to her bank, but he had cleaned the hard drive. When we got home and booted it up, it still had hundreds of bank documents on it. My DW called the wife of this fellow and she told us to delete the stuff, but not to call the bank. I did read one of the letters that caught my eye. It was to one of the richest men in the county about non payment on a loan. We zapped them all. But we never used the PC much, so I would guess it is still on the hard drive.
Just great , you baited the hook. Now, who is the rich deadbeat ? Trump?
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:40 PM   #43
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Thanks for the clarification -
I was attempting to get to the heart of the OP. That is, if she were to use a fast and free utility to over-write a hard drive with a single pass of 1's or 0's, what is the practical risk to her when the computer is then passed off to the general public.
A single pass should be sufficient. Supposedly it was possible by putting the platters under an electron microscope you could see previous states of the magnetic bits which could then be reassembled...

Here's some general info that is pretty good, How To Completely Erase a Hard Drive

This more interesting, discusses the need for multiple passes https://www.anti-forensics.com/disk-...ass-is-enough/
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:14 AM   #44
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Wasn't aware newer was better.

I do remember being at a briefing at a vendor that provides DASD solutions. They had a 'Distinguished Engineer' come in to talk to us about this subject. He claimed(with their current technology) it took a minimum of 7 passes. He gave solid reasons, 50% was engineering geek speak(I did software, not hardware), some that went right over my head.

My policy of the 30.06 cleaning is all I will ever trust my data to, remains unchanged.

MRG
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For those that encrypt...
Old 09-06-2013, 02:45 PM   #45
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For those that encrypt...

For those that encrypt their data.....

Looks like the NSA can hack it....

Report: US military cracked most online encryption - Yahoo! Finance
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