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


I have used this utility before with good success 

I have used this one with greater success 

both are free utilities

-----Original Message-----
From: fedora-list-bounces redhat com [mailto:fedora-list-bounces redhat com]
On Behalf Of Gene Heskett
Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2009 10:54 PM
To: Community assistance, encouragement, and advice for using Fedora.
Subject: 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
partition, such as /dev/sda1, but the whole drive, /dev/sda which should
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
unrecoverable unless they wanna call out the guys with the electron 
microscopes to read the edges of the track byte by byte.
>Bob Cochran

Cheers, Gene
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