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Re: Fdisk screwup

On Sat, May 9, 2009 at 11:28 AM, Tom Horsley <tom horsley att net> wrote:
> On Sat, 09 May 2009 13:26:29 -0400
> Bill Davidsen wrote:
>> Definitely what you do before scrapping old drives.
> The trouble is I never scrap drives until they have
> physically stopped working, and it is too late to
> write on them at that point.
> I have taken some apart though - almost as good, especially
> after the platters get all scratched, mixed up, and scattered
> around - and you get some really powerful refrigerator
> magnets that way as well :-).

My Oh My.... If you have stuff that needs to be 'erased' after a
disk dies you also have stuff that needs to be 'erased' on
the live disk.    It pays to be attentive and scrub files
anytime you intend to delete them.

Since most file systems manage meta data and when
a file is deleted the data blocks are unchanged until they
are recycled.  In today's litigious world it may pay to
think about how to cause free data blocks to
contain only "safe" data.

One possible way to clean up these old blocks
 is to make a lot of copies of something largish
like a fedora iso image so the filesystem recycles
data blocks as it fills.  Then remove the extra copies  in the
normal way.    This can work on windows too.

Sadly a mistyped URL or other security problem
not of your doing can cause questionable stuff to
flow into your machine and onto the disk (WindowZ or Linux) .
In the workplace this is a modest but real concern so
some care and cautious habits may be justified.

I am not concerned about the extreme recovery tricks that
the NSA and FBI might employ but I do erase/ reformat if I can
and always wreck any disk I discard.  I use a big hammer...

        T o m   M i t c h e l l

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