Does zeroing out a hard drive guarantee total file elimination?



KGIII

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No it's not good for the creatures most likely.

I'm pretty diligent about cleaning up after I shoot. (Including policing my brass.) I have a sandpit on my property and mostly shoot there, unless I'm hunting. A number of other people will go there to shoot and they've been pretty decent about keeping it clean.
 

VP9KS

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So basically...losing is better than destroying, and rewrites work but nobody knows how many times...Rewrite, smash, then landfill far away from where you live...or just a hole in the ground
Well, if you remove the platters, and melt them down in your home forge, that Might just do the trick!:p
 

VP9KS

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I don't think any data recovery would be possible from these hard drives.


But, but, but, but that only took out the hub area. That is not where the data is. You need a nice tight pattern of about 5 more rounds, just to make sure you really killed it!
 
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CrazedNerd

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Well, if you remove the platters, and melt them down in your home forge, that Might just do the trick!:p
melting would certainly do it, any sort of structural of structural compromise of materials used in memory would prevent any forensics of exactly what you used it for. The police don't always need that though, a lot of that practice revolves around social engineering, which is why it's optimal to never do anything you will regret in the future.
 

KGIII

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Well, if you remove the platters, and melt them down in your home forge, that Might just do the trick!:p

I would love to get into smithing. It's a long story, but I actually own a bunch of the tools for it and technically own what's left of a forge that was left to decompose for like 30 years.

Alas, I will absolutely never have the free time to do so.

Heck, I'd settle for just being good enough to do farrier tasks.
 

VP9KS

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I would love to get into smithing. It's a long story, but I actually own a bunch of the tools for it and technically own what's left of a forge that was left to decompose for like 30 years.

Alas, I will absolutely never have the free time to do so.

Heck, I'd settle for just being good enough to do farrier tasks.
As long as you do not get kicked by one of your clients :p!
 

KGIII

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As long as you do not get kicked by one of your clients :p!

I assume that eventually comes with the job, but it's mostly avoided from what I've seen. I've seen 'em do it many times. It seems like a useful skill to have.
 

VP9KS

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I assume that eventually comes with the job, but it's mostly avoided from what I've seen. I've seen 'em do it many times. It seems like a useful skill to have.
When I was but a wee lad of 15 or so, I assisted an elderly gentleman in my home town who boarded horses. Bill had a pair of beautiful Belgian mares, Belle and June, which were "gentle Giants" and the perfect team. We used them for mowing, raking, and collecting the hay from the many fields which he owned. I learned to put them in harness, and drive them. Keep in mind that I was just 5 ft 2 inches at the time. I needed a step ladder to reach their backs to brush them. Bill also used them to pull during the winter, and since he had his own complete blacksmith shop, he shod them himself. During the winter their shoes had very sharp cleats embedded in them. I was brushing down Bell one day, during the winter, and she suddenly stomped her left front foot right on top of my left foot. Fortunately, when her foot came down, the cleats were positioned on both sides of my foot, but I was finished brushing her that day. I shudder to think how badly those cleats would have mangled my foot. I still don't know why she did that, but I had to go home and change my underwear.

Happy Trails,
Paul
 

KGIII

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he shod them himself.

See? That sounds like a skill pretty much everyone should know!

Well, not anymore, but it's a skill I'd like to have. There are horses on the farm (long story) so I've seen it done a bunch of times.
 

VP9KS

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See? That sounds like a skill pretty much everyone should know!

Well, not anymore, but it's a skill I'd like to have. There are horses on the farm (long story) so I've seen it done a bunch of times.
Well, since he was about 75 or 80 years old at the time, he had a lot of experience, and he had Belle and June for a long time also. I'm not really sure how old they were, but they were both Magnificent Animals. He also could make blade sections for the horse drawn mower, from scratch, very quickly. I hand cranked the blower for his forge more than once. It was fascinating to watch him at work.
 

KGIII

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Well, since he was about 75 or 80 years old at the time, he had a lot of experience, and he had Belle and June for a long time also. I'm not really sure how old they were, but they were both Magnificent Animals. He also could make blade sections for the horse drawn mower, from scratch, very quickly. I hand cranked the blower for his forge more than once. It was fascinating to watch him at work.

I've actually done the manual haying. Where you ride along with a rake behind you and pull the hay into lines before you drive perpendicular to the original lines and scoop them up with pitch forks (not the same as dung forks) and toss the hay into the wagon where someone on top (usually kids like myself) would tramp the hay down so you could compress it and bring more to the barn.

I was one of the kids in this operation, but big enough to get kicked off the 'hay rick' and down on the ground to pitch fork duty. I was pretty poor growing up, so took what jobs were available. I was like 9 or 10 when I was doing this. We'd do it like three times in the summer, in 90° plus temps. Our respite was a visit to the lake just prior to dusk and all the food we could eat for lunch and dinner.

Even the mower was a mechanical pull-behind - but they pulled it behind a beat up Jeep Willy instead of pulling those same tools by horses. They'd work equally well (or equally poorly, depending on your perspective) regardless of what was pulling them. But, no... No, horses had been removed from the equation with this venture.
 

VP9KS

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I've actually done the manual haying. Where you ride along with a rake behind you and pull the hay into lines before you drive perpendicular to the original lines and scoop them up with pitch forks (not the same as dung forks) and toss the hay into the wagon where someone on top (usually kids like myself) would tramp the hay down so you could compress it and bring more to the barn.

I was one of the kids in this operation, but big enough to get kicked off the 'hay rick' and down on the ground to pitch fork duty. I was pretty poor growing up, so took what jobs were available. I was like 9 or 10 when I was doing this. We'd do it like three times in the summer, in 90° plus temps. Our respite was a visit to the lake just prior to dusk and all the food we could eat for lunch and dinner.

Even the mower was a mechanical pull-behind - but they pulled it behind a beat up Jeep Willy instead of pulling those same tools by horses. They'd work equally well (or equally poorly, depending on your perspective) regardless of what was pulling them. But, no... No, horses had been removed from the equation with this venture.
Yeah, we packed the hay loosely, instead of bailing it. You had to know just how to lay it on the hay rack, to get the most on it. Standing on the top rail of the hay rack, and pitching the hay, over your shoulder, into the loft was a good workout also. It really built up your shoulder muscles, and developed your balance too. The rail was about 4 inches wide. Those were the days, my friend!:)

Happy Trails,
Paul
 

Vrai

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while re-formatting [by creating a new file system] does restructure the data on the drive, i would think that going for max binary digits altered would have the best chance of making it impossible to recover your data. Theoretically, scrambling (writing jibberish to the drive) and zeroing out the data twice each would make it impossible to recover. It already take a lot of coding to make your files human visible, i would think significantly less to make them invisible...but i'm fine leaving this open for discussion since there's clearly still some mystery here for forum members.
Multiple overwrites will generally make the data unrecoverable for all practical purposes.
The site "MyHardDriveDied" has some very good and interesting information regarding this. He does forensic file recovery.

But here is the thing I have not seen mentioned here and which many people forget: unallocated drive space (sectors and clusters). All drives, both HDD and SSD, have "empty" sectors for use when the drives sectors in use become problematic and difficult to read. The drives firmware will automatically swap out the "bad" sector with a good one held in reserve. Could be a lot - could be a little. Those sectors are not normally accessible to the user. It takes special software to get at it. Drive wiping tools cannot wipe the sectors they are not aware of. There could be much data on those sectors taken out of use.

The site "Center For Magnetic Resonance & Research" (or something like that) has more information and a tool to access all the sectors on a drive.

Fascinating topic.
 

VP9KS

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Multiple overwrites will generally make the data unrecoverable for all practical purposes.
The site "MyHardDriveDied" has some very good and interesting information regarding this. He does forensic file recovery.

But here is the thing I have not seen mentioned here and which many people forget: unallocated drive space (sectors and clusters). All drives, both HDD and SSD, have "empty" sectors for use when the drives sectors in use become problematic and difficult to read. The drives firmware will automatically swap out the "bad" sector with a good one held in reserve. Could be a lot - could be a little. Those sectors are not normally accessible to the user. It takes special software to get at it. Drive wiping tools cannot wipe the sectors they are not aware of. There could be much data on those sectors taken out of use.

The site "Center For Magnetic Resonance & Research" (or something like that) has more information and a tool to access all the sectors on a drive.

Fascinating topic.
An interesting point, and yes we have not addressed that possibility. Good on ya, mate!:cool:
 

KGIII

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Those were the days, my friend

While I have fond memories, I'd definitely not want to do it again. Jobs like that made me very grateful for the career choices I made. Sure, I still worked a ton of hours, but it's not like those hours were punctuated with things like carrying concrete forms in and out of a hole in the ground.
 

MIDI01

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I think you're better off taking a screw driver and removing the disk platters and destroying those instead of leaving such a huge mess. Maybe the other parts can go to some kind of e waste facility. Since we are still dealing with a microchip shortage, I would hope for something more environmental.

Also what about Parted Magic OS with it's application to securely erase your hard disks and ssd's?
 

forester

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@Vrai -- in Minnesota? You would not have a bookmark, would you? Been wondering about inability to access such portions of a drive after partitioning!
 

Bartman

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Had a couple of hard drives crap out today on two different computers.

I'll take them out to my farm and shoot them full of 357 magnum bullet holes so that no personal data can be extracted.
 

Dart

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If I'm particularly board I'll disassemble them, take an sander to the disks (ya don't need to sand much), toss the platters and casing in the recycle bin, and keep the magnets. They will hold a decent thickness of whatever you want to a refrigerator, toolbox, et al.

I had a set that I screwed together, magnets facing in. I tossed them on a window pain in the garage. A month or so later I noticed that one of the magnets had torn off, taking the chrome with it and was stuck to the other magnet. That thar's some strong pullin' power.
 
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