Wiping your hard drive? One pass will do it

Yahoo Tech writes, "One of the most tenacious myths in the tech world has involved how to delete the data off your hard drive. First off, it's common knowledge that putting a file in the Recycle Bin and emptying the trash does nothing to actually delete the file, you have to overwrite the space where the file once was with something else. But with what?

Paranoid techies will tell you a drive or file has to be overwritten numerous times with random data in order to "securely" delete it. Some say seven times. I've even heard 13 and a whopping 35 times -- just to be sure, they say. (The real nuts don't mess with software and instead tell you to drill holes in the drive to kill it for good... which is awfully wasteful if you ask me.)"

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TOO PAWNED3558d ago

this is not new. this has been know for years.

gaffyh3558d ago

Actually it is more secure to do about 7 passes, but i don't think you'd ever need more than that. There is always the chance that some data will be left on the disc if you do a 1 pass format

btw I didn't disagree with you

thezuur3558d ago

peace of mind? i don't want my financial docs getting out.

LightofDarkness3558d ago

Is this about zero-filling? Because almost every tech-minded PC user knows that. That's what those HDD killer programs do.

pixelsword3558d ago

...but some people need to see this I guess.

I still would do it a few times personally, as the US gvt. does it a few times to gvt. discs being erased (about 15-25 times to be exact), so they might know something we might not know about recovery techniques.

BIGELLOW3558d ago

...the idea of writing zeros to the empty space multiple times is not to prevent CURRENT technology from being able to find the deleted files, but to prevent FUTURE technologies from being able to find the deleted files.

Just because today's data recovery bureaus have a difficult time retrieving some deleted data, this doesn't mean that they don't advance their techniques every year.

So, the part of this article declaring that multiple writes is a waste of time ignores the fact that "waste" is subjective. If the data is very sensitive, no amount of time making sure it is kept from prying eyes is a "waste."

I am sure there was a time when people thought that shredders were good enough for paper documents. Then, they came out with diamond-cut shredders. In the future, people will wonder why we ever wasted our time with diamond-cut shredders and will likely have devices that turn the paper into a fine powder and mix water with it to create a pulp before disposal.

Just like viruses and antivirus software... there is a constant battle between those who want to delete information and those who want to find deleted information.

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