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Thread: ZeroFill, a good idea?

  1. #101
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    Default Re: ZeroFill, a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    On 2013-02-15 15:16, amarildojr wrote:
    >
    > robin_listas;2527090 Wrote:


    >> Hold on. That's a MASTER Boot Sector virus you are talking about, not a
    >> boot sector virus. There is a difference.


    > Yes, the first one doesn't die so easy. Seccond one, maybe just a
    > formatting will kill the plague.


    Yes, my recollection is that a normal Windows format does replace the
    boot record, same as it initializes both FAT zones and the master
    directory entry, or the equivalents for NTFS. It doesn't have to touch
    the MBR, obviously, it is not its task. What they don't do is rewriting
    the data sections (on hard disks), thus the format is undoable
    (unpredictable results, of course).

    At least for floppies there was the option of fast or full format; the
    later wrote all data sectors, and was used really for surface verification.

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 12.1 x86_64 "Asparagus" at Telcontar)
    Isn't that option on WXP as well? Fast and long formats? If I recall the long format does kind of a CHKDSK for errors.

  2. #102
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    Default Re: ZeroFill, a good idea?

    On 2013-02-15 21:36, amarildojr wrote:
    > Isn't that option on WXP as well? Fast and long formats? If I recall
    > the long format does kind of a CHKDSK for errors.


    Yes, they have been doing it that way for a long time.

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 12.1 x86_64 "Asparagus" at Telcontar)

  3. #103
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    Default Re: ZeroFill, a good idea?

    On Thu, 07 Feb 2013 03:46:01 +0000, vazhavandan wrote:

    > please_try_again;2525152 Wrote:
    >> or set your computer on fire immediately!

    > Get a powerful magnet from nearby hardware store and place it on your
    > hard drive for probably overnight and it should do the trick. No more
    > old data :-)


    Generally, no, that's not the case.

    If you want to get rid of old data, the only guaranteed solution is
    physical destruction of the disk. Take it to a place that guarantees
    that by grinding the disk platters into dust.

    That's the equivalent of "nuk[ing] the entire site from orbit. It's the
    only way to be sure." (Shamelessly stolen from the movie _Aliens_).

    Jim
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    Jim Henderson
    openSUSE Forums Administrator
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  4. #104
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    Default Re: ZeroFill, a good idea?

    On 2013-02-16 04:17, Jim Henderson wrote:
    > On Thu, 07 Feb 2013 03:46:01 +0000, vazhavandan wrote:
    >
    >> please_try_again;2525152 Wrote:
    >>> or set your computer on fire immediately!

    >> Get a powerful magnet from nearby hardware store and place it on your
    >> hard drive for probably overnight and it should do the trick. No more
    >> old data :-)

    >
    > Generally, no, that's not the case.
    >
    > If you want to get rid of old data, the only guaranteed solution is
    > physical destruction of the disk. Take it to a place that guarantees
    > that by grinding the disk platters into dust.


    I don't think that any information can survive a direct rubbing of the
    platter surface with, say, a speaker magnet.

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 12.1 x86_64 "Asparagus" at Telcontar)

  5. #105
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    Default Re: ZeroFill, a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by hendersj View Post
    On Thu, 07 Feb 2013 03:46:01 +0000, vazhavandan wrote:

    That's the equivalent of "nuk[ing] the entire site from orbit. It's the
    only way to be sure." (Shamelessly stolen from the movie _Aliens_).
    I prefer the eco friendly solar ray system from "Die Another day" rather than nukes :-)
    GNOME Version 3.20.2
    openSUSE Leap 42.3 64-bit

    www.vazhavandan.blogspot.com

  6. #106
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    Default Re: ZeroFill, a good idea?

    On Sat, 16 Feb 2013 12:58:05 +0000, Carlos E. R. wrote:

    > On 2013-02-16 04:17, Jim Henderson wrote:
    >> On Thu, 07 Feb 2013 03:46:01 +0000, vazhavandan wrote:
    >>
    >>> please_try_again;2525152 Wrote:
    >>>> or set your computer on fire immediately!
    >>> Get a powerful magnet from nearby hardware store and place it on your
    >>> hard drive for probably overnight and it should do the trick. No more
    >>> old data :-)

    >>
    >> Generally, no, that's not the case.
    >>
    >> If you want to get rid of old data, the only guaranteed solution is
    >> physical destruction of the disk. Take it to a place that guarantees
    >> that by grinding the disk platters into dust.

    >
    > I don't think that any information can survive a direct rubbing of the
    > platter surface with, say, a speaker magnet.


    I've used bulk erasers on hard drives in the past and they were fully
    readable afterwards. (And yes, the bulk eraser was not faulty - I'd used
    it to erase traditional magnetic media and not had a problem there).

    Now, I didn't disassemble the drive and physically touch the magnet to
    the drive, but if it survives an bulk eraser, I'm not going to trust
    anything other than a complete device destruction as a guarantee that the
    drive has been destroyed.

    If you want the data gone, there's no more certain way than grinding the
    device to dust. At least here in Utah, there are places that will do
    that at no charge and provide a certificate of destruction when the job
    is done.

    Jim
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    Jim Henderson
    openSUSE Forums Administrator
    Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

  7. #107
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    Default Re: ZeroFill, a good idea?

    On 2013-02-16 23:01, Jim Henderson wrote:

    >> I don't think that any information can survive a direct rubbing of the
    >> platter surface with, say, a speaker magnet.

    >
    > I've used bulk erasers on hard drives in the past and they were fully
    > readable afterwards. (And yes, the bulk eraser was not faulty - I'd used
    > it to erase traditional magnetic media and not had a problem there).


    I don't know what a bulk eraser is nor how it works.

    > Now, I didn't disassemble the drive and physically touch the magnet to
    > the drive, but if it survives an bulk eraser, I'm not going to trust
    > anything other than a complete device destruction as a guarantee that the
    > drive has been destroyed.


    Not knowing how those bulk erasers work, I can't comment on that.

    Although I can guess that a strong magnetic field applied from the
    outside of the disk does very little, because the casing is designed to
    isolate outside magnetic fields. Which is why I mentioned a strong
    magnet applied directly to the surface of the plate inside.


    > If you want the data gone, there's no more certain way than grinding the
    > device to dust. At least here in Utah, there are places that will do
    > that at no charge and provide a certificate of destruction when the job
    > is done.


    Obviously converting the device to dust is absolute.

    I don't know if there are such services here.

    But I know that there are services to destroy paper, used by businesses,
    and that there are other people specializing in recovering those
    destroyed paper trunks. And also destroyer companies that lied and gave
    the papers intact to interested parties, after writing a certificate of
    destruction...

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 12.1 x86_64 "Asparagus" at Telcontar)

  8. #108
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    Default Re: ZeroFill, a good idea?

    On Sat, 16 Feb 2013 22:53:06 +0000, Carlos E. R. wrote:

    > On 2013-02-16 23:01, Jim Henderson wrote:
    >
    >>> I don't think that any information can survive a direct rubbing of the
    >>> platter surface with, say, a speaker magnet.

    >>
    >> I've used bulk erasers on hard drives in the past and they were fully
    >> readable afterwards. (And yes, the bulk eraser was not faulty - I'd
    >> used it to erase traditional magnetic media and not had a problem
    >> there).

    >
    > I don't know what a bulk eraser is nor how it works.


    Big electronmagnet, used for erasing large numbers of cassettes and other
    magnetic media.

    > Although I can guess that a strong magnetic field applied from the
    > outside of the disk does very little, because the casing is designed to
    > isolate outside magnetic fields. Which is why I mentioned a strong
    > magnet applied directly to the surface of the plate inside.


    Yes, but that requires disassembly, something not many people are
    comfortable doing.

    >> If you want the data gone, there's no more certain way than grinding
    >> the device to dust. At least here in Utah, there are places that will
    >> do that at no charge and provide a certificate of destruction when the
    >> job is done.

    >
    > Obviously converting the device to dust is absolute.
    >
    > I don't know if there are such services here.
    >
    > But I know that there are services to destroy paper, used by businesses,
    > and that there are other people specializing in recovering those
    > destroyed paper trunks. And also destroyer companies that lied and gave
    > the papers intact to interested parties, after writing a certificate of
    > destruction...


    Sure, which is why you need to go with someone reputable.

    Jim



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    Jim Henderson
    openSUSE Forums Administrator
    Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

  9. #109
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    Default Re: ZeroFill, a good idea?

    On 2013-02-17 01:05, Jim Henderson wrote:
    > On Sat, 16 Feb 2013 22:53:06 +0000, Carlos E. R. wrote:


    >> I don't know what a bulk eraser is nor how it works.

    >
    > Big electronmagnet, used for erasing large numbers of cassettes and other
    > magnetic media.


    Ah, I see. Workable on tapes, not so much on good hard disks, built for
    data safety after all...


    >> Although I can guess that a strong magnetic field applied from the
    >> outside of the disk does very little, because the casing is designed to
    >> isolate outside magnetic fields. Which is why I mentioned a strong
    >> magnet applied directly to the surface of the plate inside.

    >
    > Yes, but that requires disassembly, something not many people are
    > comfortable doing.


    But it is the only thing I can safely do here, even more as a private
    person.

    Opening a hard disk is not a big deal. Closing it and getting it to work
    again reliably _IS_ a big deal. But we do not need to close it again...
    only grind the surfaces (both) with sand paper, or thoroughly wiping it
    with a strong magnet...

    >> But I know that there are services to destroy paper, used by businesses,
    >> and that there are other people specializing in recovering those
    >> destroyed paper trunks. And also destroyer companies that lied and gave
    >> the papers intact to interested parties, after writing a certificate of
    >> destruction...

    >
    > Sure, which is why you need to go with someone reputable.


    Then you find they are not too late. It has happened here...

    The last scandal on the local news is one political party hiring private
    detectives to listen and record conversations of others, even of the
    same political party. It appears an entire restaurant was wired, hunting
    randomly whatever turned out to be of interest. Of course, now they deny
    all knowledge of it, but the conversations are in print (the press), and
    one of the person recorded recognized the contents as correct, that is
    what they talked.

    (On the USA a president had to resign for some thing like that, did he
    not? Here nothing will happen, I'm sure).

    How can I trust a business in this country to destroy hard disks without
    looking at them? Impossible.

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 12.1 x86_64 "Asparagus" at Telcontar)

  10. #110
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    Default Re: ZeroFill, a good idea?

    On Sun, 17 Feb 2013 00:38:06 +0000, Carlos E. R. wrote:

    > On 2013-02-17 01:05, Jim Henderson wrote:
    >> On Sat, 16 Feb 2013 22:53:06 +0000, Carlos E. R. wrote:

    >
    >>> I don't know what a bulk eraser is nor how it works.

    >>
    >> Big electronmagnet, used for erasing large numbers of cassettes and
    >> other magnetic media.

    >
    > Ah, I see. Workable on tapes, not so much on good hard disks, built for
    > data safety after all...


    Well, depends on the drive. Ideally yes.

    >> Yes, but that requires disassembly, something not many people are
    >> comfortable doing.

    >
    > But it is the only thing I can safely do here, even more as a private
    > person.


    Fine, whatever. I'm describing my experiences. The place I went let me
    see them be destroyed, and the certificate of destruction is provided as
    a legal document, so you can follow the entire chain of custody of the
    drive if you need to for legal purposes.

    >> Sure, which is why you need to go with someone reputable.

    >
    > Then you find they are not too late. It has happened here...


    That's why you go with a place that lets you follow the device's physical
    journey to the grinder.

    > How can I trust a business in this country to destroy hard disks without
    > looking at them? Impossible.


    Not impossible, as I said, you go through the full chain of custody of
    the drive and observe it being ground down if you need that level of
    validation.

    Jim



    --
    Jim Henderson
    openSUSE Forums Administrator
    Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

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