Wipe hard drive?

By good_2_go ยท 7 replies
Aug 21, 2008
  1. hey i have a 40gb hard drive that i took out of an old comp and i put it in an enclosure. When i open it it shows program files, documents etc.. all the crap that was on it before. when i try to delete it, it says acess denied..Whats the easiest way to clear/format the drive??
  2. Ultiweap

    Ultiweap TS Enthusiast Posts: 606

    Ok so easily when you find it in My computer just right click on it a click format and do a Quick format. That's it.

    If it still don't work download this software Acronis Disk Director Suite that will help to you fomat it easily.
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Or use Kill Disk, a free download.
    Or change your boot order to the CD or floppy as the case may be, then run full format in FAT (floppy) or NTFS from Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Vista CD.
  4. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    Since this is a secondary drive from the sound of it, the first response (A quick format) should work just fine.

    If you want to make sure the data is actually gone then do not use the "Full Format" option in Windows - it does not actually erase any data, no moreso than a Quick Format does. For that, you will need a 3rd party utility to step in. The absolute best, in my opinion, is free - DBAN. You can get it at http://www.dban.org/ . Letting that run will pretty much guarantee you'll never get that data back.

    Still, though, I would go with a quick format.
  5. Ultiweap

    Ultiweap TS Enthusiast Posts: 606

    Normally when talking about format everything is erase so even windows format will erase all so the program you mentionned will not too much difference.
  6. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    To clear up the significance of what Soul said, formatting makes the data *appear* removed, but it is still on the drive itself. The data is recoverable and this is unacceptable for sensitive information.

    dban wipes the data by writing zeros over every sector. *That* removes the data permanently and there is literally no chance of recovery.

    All in all, good_2_go probably doesn't care, but its nice to know and good of Soul to share that with us.
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    It is possible to recover data from files that have had zerios written to every sector... not easy but can be done.... The files have to be overwritten many times to make them secure and non-recoverable... on overwrite with zeros... or with any other one time write of one letter or digit will not protect from FBI, IRS, CIA, Good company security investigates if they really want the data badly enough to do the work.
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,967   +2,524

    It's Not a Secret, I just Want It Gone........

    Guys, it sounds like he just wants to use the drive, not do a military double secret NSA approved CIA data delete. A quick format will do that. Besides, after you fill the drive with new data, that should make recovering the original data unlikely.

    This wiping program "Darik's Boot and Nuke" was recommended in an earlier thread, I've never used it myself. ( I use Iolo "Drive Scrubber 3", but it costs money) I suppose it's worth a shot; http://www.dban.org/

    It seems that you could disconnect the system drive, plug the "new" drive into it's port, then boot directly from the CD, which of course you're going to burn from the download. This just so as you don't screw up and wipe the OS drive.
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