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Re: OT: Can Reformatting A Hard Drive To ext3 Destroy All the Data On It?



On Thursday 28 May 2009, Robert L Cochran wrote:
>I have a hard drive that I need to destroy the data on. What is the most
>dependable way to do this? Can reformatting the drive as ext3 or ext4 or
>some other filesystem effectively destroy the existing data?
>
>Is there free software that can write zeroes or some form of nonsense to
>every storage location?
>
dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/(ice) repeated 3 or so times should pretty well 
destroy any attempts to recover any valid data from that drive.  Don't use the 
partition, such as /dev/sda1, but the whole drive, /dev/sda which should also 
get the partition tables.

Formatting a hard drive just installs a new inode framework and root 
directory.  The data itself is still there for something as simple as:
dd if=/dev/sdX
which will spit it all out to the screen with only the holes created by the 
installation of a new filesystem framework being invalid.

But /dev/urandom written to everything 3 or more times should render the data 
unrecoverable unless they wanna call out the guys with the electron 
microscopes to read the edges of the track byte by byte.
>Thanks
>
>Bob Cochran


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