1. #1
    Mechagnome
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    how to wipe my HDD

    to cut a long story short, i have an alienware laptop which is getting replaced but the catch is they want to take my old laptop. now this is fine, but i have some information on there that is a bit sensitive. now i know that simply formatting my HDD is not good enough as it is not too hard to recover it so i want to completely wipe it. im thinking of low level format but i have no idea how to do this. any help?

  2. #2
    I am Murloc! Cyanotical's Avatar
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    unless the person you are selling it to has training in computer forensics, a low level format is fine

    but otherwise http://www.dban.org/

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  3. #3
    Programs like SeaTools (http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/seatools/) will override the entire disk with data. so the data is really deleted, unlike a normal format will.

  4. #4
    Elemental Lord Hyve's Avatar
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    Microwave it!

    Most people won't be able to restore a HDD that has been formated. But, I know on my Mac I have the option to securely format, so I assume Windows has an option that is similar. Secure Format ensures that it is almost impossible to gain access again.

    Alternatively, just buy a new 500gb and replace it, and keep your one filled with sensitive data, and destroy it.
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  5. #5
    Mechagnome
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    ok thanks ill have a look. and its alienware thats taking the laptop back. i know its very unlikely that they will look at it but if they did choose to im sure they could recover the info. and better safe than sorry.

    also - any idea roughly how long this process will take? even a ballpark figure would be really helpful
    Last edited by Viggers; 2013-01-18 at 12:47 PM.

  6. #6
    I am Murloc! Cyanotical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viggers View Post
    ok thanks ill have a look. and its alienware thats taking the laptop back. i know its very unlikely that they will look at it but if they did choose to im sure they could recover the info. and better safe than sorry.

    also - any idea roughly how long this process will take? even a ballpark figure would be really helpful
    for a dban wipe, about 8 hours

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  7. #7
    Mechagnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyanotical View Post
    for a dban wipe, about 8 hours
    awsome. thanks!

  8. #8
    Herald of the Titans shroudster's Avatar
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    i used eraser on my last mini netbook that i sold, i just picked the most extensive options possible. (did something like 27 full writes/deletes)

  9. #9
    There are plenty of software that writes over you info, and the rewrites over it and so over, and over again, as many times as you configure it to.

    That software is called "Data shredders"

    For instance: http://eraser.heidi.ie/download.php

    Edit: Arg! Shroudster beat me into it.

  10. #10
    Legendary! Sigma's Avatar
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    Store your porn on an external hard drive.

    Dban is proberbly the best tool to use.

  11. #11
    Mechagnome Ridesdel's Avatar
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    could always just get a nice powerful magnet and do 2-5 pass overs on both sides after a full format

  12. #12
    Mechagnome Stravs's Avatar
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    DBAN is the tool for the job as others have said. I have used it many times with wheeling and dealing in old PC parts over the years though it can take some time to wipe depending on how many passes and HDD space.
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