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Need help Wiping Hard Drive with DBAN or Kill Disk

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May 3, 2012 2:10:40 AM

I am selling 2 of my computers as soon as I get an offer. I already got one yesterday.

I want to make sure the Hard Drives are 110% wiped clean. Since I have learned from this forum, reformatting is not enough.

It's not like I am selling to the FBI and I have nothing illegal to hide, then again I like to be safe. I have work stuff, private emails, etc on here and I don't take chances.

I have never used DBAN or Kill Disk. I only know them by name.

Do I run these programs and THEN reformat the computer? Or do I format first?

One computer is Windows XP, the other is Windows 7 if it makes a difference.
a c 180 G Storage
May 3, 2012 12:20:54 PM

I prefer DBAN.Run Dban,then you format and reinstall with your OS media.
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May 3, 2012 8:11:24 PM

I also heard DBAN was better. It does a few "passees" or something? Killdisk only does one?
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a c 371 G Storage
May 3, 2012 8:16:40 PM

Secure erase is a function built into hard drives. You only need a progam to issue the drive the command.

Number of overwrites needed

Data on floppy disks can sometimes be recovered by forensic analysis even after the disks have been overwritten once with zeros (or random zeros and ones).[21] This is not the case with modern hard drives:

According to the 2006 NIST Special Publication 800-88 Section 2.3 (p. 6): "Basically the change in track density and the related changes in the storage medium have created a situation where the acts of clearing and purging the media have converged. That is, for ATA disk drives manufactured after 2001 (over 15 GB) clearing by overwriting the media once is adequate to protect the media from both keyboard and laboratory attack".

According to the 2006 CMRR Tutorial on Disk Drive Data Sanitization Document (p. 8): "Secure erase does a single on-track erasure of the data on the disk drive. The U.S. National Security Agency published an Information Assurance Approval of single pass overwrite, after technical testing at CMRR showed that multiple on-track overwrite passes gave no additional erasure." "Secure erase" is a utility built into modern ATA hard drives that overwrites all data on a disk, including remapped (error) sectors.

Further analysis by Wright et al. seems to also indicate that one overwrite is all that is generally required


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_erasure
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May 3, 2012 9:18:37 PM

So secure erase is better than DBAN?
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May 4, 2012 1:51:03 AM

I need help with DBAN.

I put it on a USB, started it for the 2 drives and it began. It was going on DoD 3 pass.

One of them was at 86%, the other 27%.

Everything was going fine but now some black is covering half the screen.

7998.01001 Run the message through ' mcelog - ascii' to decode.
This is not a software problem
machine check context corrupt
kernal panic - not synic fatal machine check on current CPU

and a bunch more crap. I can only see a small part of the blue screen of DBAN now, I don't think it's working.

It's been like this for 15 minutes.

Dban had 3 hours left to go.
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a c 180 G Storage
May 4, 2012 2:27:58 AM

DBAN Runs better from a disc
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May 4, 2012 2:40:02 AM

I might try that after Area51reopened. I gave it another 30 minutes but I guess it crashed.

I put it back on the USB and now I did custom settings. I set it for a 1 pass only. From the post above apparently 1 pass is good enough.

Last time estimated time was 5 and a half hours. Now it's 2 hours.

If it crashes again, I will burn it to a CD.
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a c 180 G Storage
May 4, 2012 2:43:22 AM

I use the 1 pass it's more than sufficient.
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May 4, 2012 3:09:29 AM

33 minutes in I have a similar error...

2276.010001 Run the message through mcelog
kernal panic not sync fatal machine check on current cpu
scsci_eh_0 tainted: g m 2.6.32.9-dban #3

etc etc etc

this is getting frustrated. Over 5 hours spent on this. I thought these programs would be simple.

Going to try burning it to a CD now.
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a b G Storage
May 4, 2012 3:20:54 AM

I hammer or a SW .45 will do wonders. :) 

If you're desperate, take video/pics or random content you have and fill the drive. Delete it (bypassing the recycle bin) and repeat that a couple times.
Or you could use synthetic data using the following commandline
fsutil file createnew FILENAME.TXT 1000000

replace FILENAME.txt for the file name you want
the 1000000 for the size in bytes of that file

It's not to DOD standards, but repeating this a few times is more than enough to thwart your average user. And as Area51reopened said, after reisntallation of Windows, it's toast for most.
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May 4, 2012 3:30:57 AM

Before I try that psaus I have burned Dban to a DVD. Hopefully this works.
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a b G Storage
May 4, 2012 3:36:40 AM

Understood. Dban is a good solution. But if that causes problems I was providing alternatives.

Actually, just thought of something. TrueCrypt. Create a volume that spans the entire capacity of the drive fill it with what ever, rinse repeat 2 or 3 times. Much better than my last post
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May 4, 2012 4:06:31 AM

sigh it crashed again. Seriously what is wrong with this thing.
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May 4, 2012 4:12:40 AM

Federal Agent Kensingtron,

Since I cannot clear these stupid hard drives I might as well just give up and mail you them. Please give me your home address and PO Box.

Yours Truly

Zyzz
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May 4, 2012 4:34:36 AM

about to give up tonight... Spent my whole day off doing this and just wasted 4 DVDS trying to use HDDerase a program suggested above.
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May 4, 2012 5:04:26 AM

I am running HDDerase now. With this program you can only do 1 hard drive at a time.

So I am going to leave it and go to bed. I will post back here tomorrow.

I really hope it doesn't crash...
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a c 371 G Storage
May 4, 2012 11:48:49 AM

Secure erase doesn't depend on any software. It just needs a program to send it the secure erase command. The drive will take care of the rest.
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a c 371 G Storage
May 4, 2012 11:50:49 AM

zyzz said:
So secure erase is better than DBAN?


Supposedly, yes.
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May 4, 2012 10:44:37 PM

Just got home from work.

Both Hard Drives were wiped successfully.

However until I get no results found of old files from recuva, getbackdata, or restoration I won't say I am done!

Windows XP is installing right now, 61%.

Reporting back later.
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May 5, 2012 7:48:27 PM

Ok I ran Recuva while sleeping.

I did a deep scan of all drives. It came back with 1106 files found. More than 50% in Excellent condition.

Most of the files were in these locations...

c:\documents and settings\computer\local settings\temp - for example toc_collapsed.gif


system 32

software distrubtion

c:\windows

c:\?\

before I ran recuva I updated the computers drivers and updated to Service Pack 3.

Should I be worried that most of this stuff is leftover from the old HD, or is this just from updating?

Should I run getdataback and restoration?

This recuva deep scan took 6 hours.
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May 6, 2012 1:44:54 AM

anyone? I have some people looking at it tomorrow if it sells then I can't check it again.

I don't recognize anything, could most of this stuff be from just installing windows automatic updates?
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May 6, 2012 6:49:36 PM

still looking for a response. If there are any other good checks I can do besides recuva. The computer is all updated now and ready to sell.
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a c 371 G Storage
May 7, 2012 11:43:59 AM

I'm familiar with dban and secure erase, not HDDerase, so can't offer up any new info. If HDDearse writes zeroes to all sectors of the drive, then it's most likely fine.
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a b G Storage
May 7, 2012 4:47:25 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
I'm familiar with dban and secure erase, not HDDerase, so can't offer up any new info. If HDDearse writes zeroes to all sectors of the drive, then it's most likely fine.


HDDErase is written by someone (people?) in the Computer Science department of UCSD. It's sole purpose is to invoke a Secure Erase on drives that support it.
http://cmrr.ucsd.edu/people/Hughes/SecureErase.shtml
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a c 371 G Storage
May 7, 2012 6:24:06 PM

psaus said:
HDDErase is written by someone (people?) in the Computer Science department of UCSD. It's sole purpose is to invoke a Secure Erase on drives that support it.
http://cmrr.ucsd.edu/people/Hughes/SecureErase.shtml



Ah, so it's a secure erase client. I don't see why drive manufactures don't use/make their own clients. After all they build the secure erase function into the drive, but give you no way to access it.
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May 7, 2012 11:33:07 PM

secure erase is HDDerase.

what other tests can I run?

I probably should have ran recuva before updating.

I don't recognize anything, but still, if there is anything else I can do.
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a b G Storage
May 8, 2012 9:02:07 AM

Fill the empty space with a TrueCrypt volume. In the wizard select:
1. Encrypted File Container
2. Standard TrueCrypt volume
3a. Serpent-Twofish-AES
3b. Whirlpool
4. Select the size (probably best to go just a few MB short of the available capacity)
5. chose a password over 20 characters.
6. shake your mouse
Wizard finished
Mount and Copy data into the new container.

This is putting scrambled data on your disk. Not the ideal solution, but the best wiping method if you've got other data on the volume.

You can rinse and repeat the above a few times if you're worried.
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May 9, 2012 10:15:42 PM

thank for suggestion psaus. I have already reformatted and ran HDDerase though.

Now I need some programs other than recuva to see if nothing was left over.

any suggestions?
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a b G Storage
May 10, 2012 11:09:51 AM

OnTrack is a really good recovery software, but I'm not sure you'll be able to obtain it for free...
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!