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Thread: Removal of posts (2)

  1. #1
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    Removal of posts (2)

    I am concerned that two of my posts have been removed from the thread entitled "The easy way to securely erase data on old hard disc". These two posts have now been moved to "The Jail" and, rudely IMO, my first post has been renamed by a moderator as "nonsense"!

    The OP was requesting an "easy way to securely erase all data" on "40G hard drives which I'm prepared to dump". Although s(he) also implied that the drives may be given to friends, I doubt if a used 40G drive would actually be wanted. With the increasing threat of identity and data theft, the permanent removal of access to the data on the disks is, in my view, more important than the nominal financial value of a small (working) drive. On this basis, destruction of the drive is, IMO, a perfectly valid way of ensuring any remaining data can no longer be accessed.

    I have researched this problem in the past for my own purposes and, having tried various methods, have come to the conclusion that the fastest, most cost-effective and reliable method of data destruction is by applying a hammer several times to the disk, its mechanism and the associated PCB.

    While it may be true that some magnetic data could remain on the disk, I suggest that it is beyond the scope of all but a few very specialised governmental organisations and all criminals, to restore any useful data from the disk.

    On this basis, my first post suggestion was perfectly valid and should not have been removed.

    My second post regarding thermite was a more "tongue-in-cheek" pointer to methods of data destruction tried by others. Although I have not personally used this method, it did appear to give total data destruction and can therefore appear in the thread IMHO. As an aside, if it would give users a chuckle, as it did with me, then I don't believe it is that wrong to include it! Or do the Ubuntu Forum rules really prohibit humour?

    While other posts in the thread did give worthy (but rather "geeky") suggestions they did carry some risk for inexperienced users. It would be very easy, with some of the tools used, to mistype a command and end up wiping the entire working OS. In addition, all these methods required a working HDD and are very slow to run.

    OTOH, my suggestion is fast and foolproof in that the HDD has to first be disconnected and removed from the PC. One advantage of this is, of course, that it works equally well with both working and failed drives! The tools my method requires are generally available in every household. eg. a screwdriver, a lump hammer and a pair of safety goggles.

    I trust you will now reinstate my posts. An apology is optional!

  2. #2

    Re: Removal of posts (2)

    I have very little interest in the technical merit of your post.

    s(he) also implied that the drives may be given to friends, I doubt if a used 40G drive would actually be wanted.
    It is clearly stated:

    Quote Originally Posted by satimis View Post
    Before giving them to my friends what will be the easy way to securely erase all data on them.
    You have made an assumption and your method would destroy the drives.

    Your posts will remain in the Jail.

  3. #3
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    Re: Removal of posts (2)

    s.fox: The OP also clearly stated that...
    Quote Originally Posted by satimis View Post
    I have several 40G hard drives which I'm prepared to dump...
    I respectfully suggest that the OP (and other users) should be aware of all the options available, including secure destruction of the drives.

  4. #4

    Re: Removal of posts (2)

    Quote Originally Posted by satimis View Post
    I have several 40G hard drives which I'm prepared to dump...
    Dump, as in get rid of. Pass on.

    I would also ask why the poster would be looking to physically destroy the drives, when in the next sentence they want to pass them on to friends.

    Nobody has suggested that physical destruction isn't a viable means to destroy all data, but it isn't a solution for this situation.

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    Re: Removal of posts (2)

    s.fox: Dump, as in...

    I cannot find any dictionary reference to "Pass on"!

    Regarding passing on the drives, I made the point that it is quite likely no-one would actually want a used 40G drive! So, although the OP might have thought this was a possibility, in the end s(he) could be stuck with the drives. Rather than go through the long process of trying to securely delete data with software, the OP could determine that this isn't really worth while if the drives turn out to be unwanted.

    FOSS is all about choice. As secure destruction of a drive is a valid choice for a user this should be included in the thread IMO. I have been through this loop myself previously and did decide that destruction was the best approach for me, hence my post. I am not mandating this for all users, just saying that it should be worth considering.

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  7. #7
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    Re: Removal of posts (2)

    s.fox: Thank you for asking for a "second opinion" - much appreciated.

    I know that we are all trying to achieve the same objective here. i.e. helping other users out with their problems. I also realise that the Ubuntu Forums, as with many others, can be a magnet for spam posts and other pointless, or even harmful postings and, as such, it needs rigourous moderation.

    However, we don't want to fall into the trap of automatically removing any postings that a mod does not immediately see the point of. Many users here have considerable experience and can sometimes look sideways at a problem and offer solutions that may seem "unconventional". This does not necessarily mean that the solution is "wrong". By publishing a post, the OP then has more information available to help them judge the best way forward for them.

    In the case of this particular thread, it looks like my posts are becoming redundant as the OP seems to be going down the "dd" route.

    However, as a general comment, I do hope that mods will give more recognition to the work other users provide in posts and not be too quick to remove posts in future.

    On our side, as a user, I personally appreciate the work you all do in keeping the Forums running efficiently. Many thanks to you all.

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    Re: Removal of posts (2)

    If the post was humor, it was off-topic and should be removed.
    If the post was serious, it violates the CoC (Never instruct users to do anything that might break their system.) and should be removed.
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    Re: Removal of posts (2)

    I agree with my fellow admins. It goes under the rule Iowan is reffering to (like logging in as superuser and using the rm command). You may disagree that we have such policy, but it's there to protect newcommers to do something they'll regret or someone lured them into harm their system or computer.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Removal of posts (2)

    Iowan & Artificial Intelligence: Astonishing! Have you actually read these posts or anything written in this thread? My whole point was that the methods being suggested by other users could, potentially, break the working system. My alternative suggestion required removing the unwanted drive(s) from the system and then destroy it/them separately - thereby ensuring that the system could not be damaged.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zill View Post
    I am concerned that two of my posts have been removed from the thread entitled "The easy way to securely erase data on old hard disc". [URL="http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2035473"]...While other posts in the thread did give worthy (but rather "geeky") suggestions they did carry some risk for inexperienced users. It would be very easy, with some of the tools used, to mistype a command and end up wiping the entire working OS. In addition, all these methods required a working HDD and are very slow to run.

    OTOH, my suggestion is fast and foolproof in that the HDD has to first be disconnected and removed from the PC. One advantage of this is, of course, that it works equally well with both working and failed drives! The tools my method requires are generally available in every household. eg. a screwdriver, a lump hammer and a pair of safety goggles...
    From my postings record you should know by now that I would never give advice that would endanger a working system - indeed, I am probably more cautious than most to double-check everything first!

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