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Thread: Shred or wipe an old hard drive?

  1. #31
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    Re: Shred or wipe?

    Good grief, this thread will never end it seems.

    The hdparm utility can invoke a secure erase command that is built into the device driver of all hard disk controllers for the past ten years or more. Only the disk drive controller itself can erase the whole disk - including the spaces between tracks. Ordinary software cannot do that.

    So if you want to really erase the data (short of melting the disk with a torch) then use hdparm. Any other method is just playing.

  2. #32
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    Re: Shred or wipe?

    Quote Originally Posted by KegHead View Post
    Hi!

    I'm just trying to figure out the correct terminal command using wipe three (3) times and an final wipe with zeros, only for free space.

    Can anyone advise, I don't want to make a mistake!

    Thanks!

    KegHead
    Quote Originally Posted by HermanAB View Post
    Good grief, this thread will never end it seems.

    The hdparm utility can invoke a secure erase command that is built into the device driver of all hard disk controllers for the past ten years or more. Only the disk drive controller itself can erase the whole disk - including the spaces between tracks. Ordinary software cannot do that.

    So if you want to really erase the data (short of melting the disk with a torch) then use hdparm. Any other method is just playing.
    HermanAB, you can state your opinion, but you need not mock people who want help with a particular task, and people who help with this particular task.

  3. #33
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    Re: Shred or wipe?

    Quote Originally Posted by KegHead View Post
    Hi!

    I'm recycling my old 140 gb hd.

    I want to completely wipe the data off.

    Which is better;

    Wipe or shred

    or something else?

    Thanks!

    KegHead
    Quote Originally Posted by KegHead View Post
    Hi!

    I'm just trying to figure out the correct terminal command using wipe three (3) times and an final wipe with zeros, only for free space.

    Can anyone advise, I don't want to make a mistake!

    Thanks!

    KegHead
    Quote Originally Posted by HermanAB View Post
    Good grief, this thread will never end it seems.

    The hdparm utility can invoke a secure erase command that is built into the device driver of all hard disk controllers for the past ten years or more. Only the disk drive controller itself can erase the whole disk - including the spaces between tracks. Ordinary software cannot do that.

    So if you want to really erase the data (short of melting the disk with a torch) then use hdparm. Any other method is just playing.
    @HermanAB,

    I guess you are writing about the 'ATA Security Feature Set' described in
    Code:
    man hdparm
    This manual is rather intimidating with a lot of warnings: DANGEROUS, USE AT YOUR OWN RISK, VERY DANGEROUS, EXCEPTIONALLY DANGEROUS. DO NOT USE THIS OPTION!! You cannot expect people to use it without a lot of hand-holding. It is not enough to write a general comment about hdparm. If you want people to use it, you need to explain in detail how to do it or at least link to a good tutorial.

    I have a few questions to you:

    - What you think of the following link (is it good enough to recommend in this thread)?

    https://ata.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/ATA_Secure_Erase

    - Is this method with hdparm good for the first quoted post (the OP), asking for completely wiping a hdd?

    (I would think so, but I want your opinion.)

    - Is there a method with hdparm for the second quoted post, asking for wiping only the free space?

    I can't find any way to do that except indirectly: first make an image of the drive with for example Clonezilla, then wipe the whole drive and finally restore the partition(s) from the image. So I suggested the old way with dd. Please explain what you would advice in this situation!

    - And finally, do you think it is worth the time and wear to check if the wipe was successful?

  4. #34
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    Re: Shred or wipe?

    i agree with Olle Wiklund

  5. #35
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    Re: Shred or wipe?

    If you find hdparm intimidating, then get the free Windows utility here:
    http://cmrr.ucsd.edu/people/Hughes/SecureErase.shtml

  6. #36
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    Re: Shred or wipe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Olle Wiklund View Post
    - What you think of the following link (is it good enough to recommend in this thread)?

    https://ata.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/ATA_Secure_Erase

    - Is this method with hdparm good for the first quoted post (the OP), asking for completely wiping a hdd?
    (I would think so, but I want your opinion.)
    ...
    - And finally, do you think it is worth the time and wear to check if the wipe was successful?
    I wiped a drive successfully using that ata wiki link (at least I think so). View my thread and give feedback, if you wish

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2124829

    I checked with xxd but I won't do it again, at least not the whole drive. It is very slow.

  7. #37
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    Re: Shred or wipe?

    Yup, that is the right way to do it.

  8. #38
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    Re: Shred or wipe?

    After a couple of days I'll summarize my findings about these questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Olle Wiklund View Post
    ... about the 'ATA Security Feature Set' described in
    Code:
    man hdparm
    ...
    https://ata.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/ATA_Secure_Erase

    - Is this method with hdparm good for the first quoted post (the OP), asking for completely wiping a hdd?
    Yes
    - Is there a method with hdparm for the second quoted post, asking for wiping only the free space?
    No
    - And finally, do you think it is worth the time and wear to check if the wipe was successful?
    Maybe the first time to learn, or maybe you interrupt it after a while, or if you need to be 100% sure it's all wiped, otherwise no.

    Finally, thank you for sharing your experiences, roten
    Last edited by Olle Wiklund; March 14th, 2013 at 11:05 AM. Reason: thanks, roten

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