Disk/file WIPE utility for WinXP?

By DeviLduck ยท 5 replies
Feb 19, 2002
  1. What utility are you using for secure disk/file WIPING WinXP?

    I'm trying BCWipe, but it seems to add drag to overall system. Interested in secure file/disk wipe & removal of disk file slack.
  2. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    Did your men deactive the hyper drive on the Millenium Falcon?


    To tell you the truth, I've never bothered with that sort of thing.

    What Elite Police force computing lab is going to take my hard drive and reconstruct the data.... WHY? To find out how far I am getting on in "Emperor: Battle for Dune" from one of my deleted saved games? To rescue some of the megabytes of SPAM I am e-mailed every day? To find that picture of my bottom someone took last time we were all drinking with a digital camera??

    I am much more interested in finding out exactly why you want to do this. And since I am maybe about to be slightly rude, I want to apologise from the beginning if I offend you with my ideas as to why a normal computer user would want to do this, as you may indeed have a very valid (and legal) reason for wanting to do this.

    Why I think people would want to ensure that there was no recovery possible of deleted data on their hard drive (in my opinion):

    1. They have been downloading child porn.

    2. They have been hacking into other people's computers.

    3. They have been processing data involved with criminal activities such as bank robbery, drug smuggling, terrorism, etc.

    4. They are conspiring against their government.

    5. They are mentally ill, and think that the government, and / or aliens are spying on them.

    Forgive me, as I said, if I am being rude. I don't intent to be. I just can't figure out why someone would want to do that....

    If its as an intellectual exercise, then I find this interesting.

    But, like strong encryption, unless you have something WORTH encrypting, or in this case WORTH completely nuking from your hard drive, then why bother?? Why not just delete it normally, and then due to the normal processes of hard drive operation, the data will become completely lost over time...???

    Its different if you are selling the hard drive, and want all data gone from it. In this case, I suggest using a Linux boot CD and breaking off from the installation to a command prompt (or from a linux installation on another disk) and doing this:

    dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hdX

    where hdX is the device to be written with zeros.

    I can't wait to find out why you want to do this. As I said, I am not being sarcastic and am interested.... I can't figure out why someone would want to do this.
  3. DeviLduck

    DeviLduck TS Rookie Topic Starter

    What an interesting imaginative response.

    My motivation here is for cleaning some HDs, that will be recycled. They contained confidential company info & passwords, etc.. It's not unusual to clean data from a HD using a wipe progy.

    I suspect the examples you give constitute a very tiny proportion of such software use. Sort of a cynical viewpoint you're expressing here.
  4. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    The Force is strong with this one!

    You'll find that cynicism, the 21st Century and the internet kind of a go hand in hand. ;)

    That's a perfectly valid reason for such software.

    I would imagine that the majority of users, when presented with a formatted hard drive, would not have a clue as to how to go about reconstructing its previous contents.

    However, I guess one can (in cases like these) never be too careful. I suggest a linux CD boot and using the dd commands I listed. Will take some time for each disk, but you will be assured that all data is gone forever. Well, unless you have access to some pretty state of the art equipment (i.e. you work for NASA or something.)

    Linux is free, so this represents good buck for buck for your business. You don't even need a valid Linux installation, just the boot CD to do these tasks. Although, if you have many disks to get through, I suggest a seperate machine with removable hard drive bay on secondary IDE channel and linux installed on master drive for this purpose. Please remember when you attach a hard drive for wiping to use the same hard drive geometry as was previously being used in the machine which previously held the disk.

    There are perhaps some Windows orientated utilities for these purposes, I shall look and see. Perhaps some other 3DS members may have some ideas as well.

    Oh, and I liked your reply!
  5. Butterball

    Butterball TS Rookie Posts: 75

    there is also some freeware out called PGP (pretty good protection) that is a fun but fairly usless toy it will go over the deleted files and write 11111111111 then when done with that 000000000000 and this can be set to repeat as often as you like. however the main purpose of the software is secruity (4096 bit encrytion) there is also i niffty thing where you can use this level of encrytion to send emials and what not. not to practical, fun toy thought :cool:
  6. Mac_Bug

    Mac_Bug TS Rookie Posts: 57

    The US government writes their harddrives over with zeroes three times, then crunch them up and toss them into some sort of confidential trash site :)

    No amount of re-writes can stop a determined guy from sending your harddrive to pro shops to recover. You'll have better luck big bad magnets over them till you have enough fun then put it in liquid nitro and shatter it...

    So, how desperate are you to protect your data?

    As for the PGP and all the fancy term '4096 bit' encryption, it's only fancy words to sell. Anybody who understands cryptography (not that I know jack about it) knows that along with 'unbreakable', its just one of those marketing shams.

    Remember Netscape and its 128 bit encryption? In reality the entrophy (I think) strength was much, MUCH less. Hence it was so easily cracked (that and I think they didn't store it as a hash).
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