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Do a couple more full formats. When you format a drive, the hexadecimal number F6 is written continuously along each sector. Afterward no data is left that can be read by normal means. Deleting the info will leave it readable but a format will not.
 

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http://www.dban.org/

Simple, effective


Quote:
DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction. ... DBAN prevents or thoroughly hinders all known techniques of hard disk forensic analysis.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by t_russell View Post
Do a couple more full formats. When you format a drive, the hexadecimal number F6 is written continuously along each sector. Afterward no data is left that can be read by normal means. Deleting the info will leave it readable but a format will not.
that still wouldn't get rid of the data though. It would just tell the hard drive how to write new data, and wouldn't alter what was already written.
 

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You can always use a speaker magnet to gauss the platters. Then repartition and reformat. Plus reformating 32 times is still quicker than some data wipe programs.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by slngsht View Post
formatting doesn't really erase the data. It's comparable to ripping the index out of a book. The data is still there, but you just have to go look for it. You have to get a program to overwrite all the data to zeros multiple times.

edit: Try this: http://majorgeeks.com/DP_Wiper_d4916.html
I believe it depends on the type of reformatting you do. If you do a quick format you are correct. It just deletes all the paths to the information so it cannot be found. A full reformat, which takes about 30mins, will wipe out everything.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by elson View Post
so i want to sell an old Samsung HD. i popped it into my real computer and reformatted and everything was wiped. Is there anything else i can do to make sure all the info is gone before i sell it?
Any good disk management/partition software has secure wipe functions (I use Acronis Disk Director, others swear by other brands). You will need it if you're selling your HDD to strangers, as anyone with snoop ware can read the data that wasn't totally wiped (and just wiping with 00000 isn't enough).

Typically secure wipes write over the HD about 3x, ensuring no bit or byte can be read again (well at least without forensic software -- which is why in security the only way to be sure that a drive is free of data is destroying the platters so they can never be read again).
 

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Alright now that the paranoid have spoken. A one pass zero-fill will prevent data recovery by any commercially available method.

If it is the government you are concerned about you should really not consider selling. Investing in a hammer some gasoline and matches would be your best option.

They to at some level cannot recover after a certain number of passes. But if any sectors have been deemed bad by the HDD firmware these zero fills whether 1 time or 100 will not be overwritten and yes the government could likely be able to recover.
 
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