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Thread: Cleaning private data off of a drive to return it

  1. #1
    swerdna NNTP User

    Default Cleaning private data off of a drive to return it


    Hi

    I have an external usb hard drive 500GB. It's faulty and if I return it
    to the supplier it will be replaced. I used it to store years of data,
    some of it sensitive like banking data etc.

    I have formatted it but I understand that doesn't remove the underlying
    files.

    Is there an app in openSUSE thet removes the underlying files or wipes
    the drive so they can't be reconstructed?

    Thanks
    Swerdna


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  2. #2
    caf4926 NNTP User

    Default Re: Cleaning private data off of a drive to return it


    Will parted magic wipe it?

    Not sure if that's enough. I know it takes an age


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  3. #3
    KaptRoger NNTP User

    Default Re: Cleaning private data off of a drive to return it


    Ah! An easy one.

    Look for /usr/bin/shred

    Use it something like this (as root):

    shred -vfz -n 100 /dev/hda

    It can take a long time.

    Cheers

    BTW It can take a very long time if the drive is faulty.


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  4. #4
    KaptRoger NNTP User

    Default Re: Cleaning private data off of a drive to return it


    dban can be foudn at

    linux.softpedia.com/get/System/Hardware/DBAN-6081.shtml


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  5. #5
    1michael1 NNTP User

    Default Re: Cleaning private data off of a drive to return it


    KaptRoger;1937391 Wrote:
    > dban can be foudn at
    >
    > linux.softpedia.com/get/System/Hardware/DBAN-6081.shtml


    That is very good info
    Thank you it help me in the future.


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  6. #6
    BenderBendingRodriguez NNTP User

    Default Re: Cleaning private data off of a drive to return it


    There is an easier solution, 'Encrypted Root File System - openSUSE'
    (http://en.opensuse.org/Encrypted_Roo...ith_SUSE_HOWTO)

    Use
    dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sda3

    Any tool used will work like **** if the disk is damaged so it doesn't
    make any difference what You use.


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  7. #7
    mattm3a NNTP User

    Default Re: Cleaning private data off of a drive to return it


    There is no problem using shred on a drive that is formatted. You just
    make sure you run shred for the entire drive and not for a single file.


    The number of overwrite iterations you use is related to your paranoia.
    100 is overkill. Some sources say that as few as one may now be
    acceptable. More reading on the subject:
    'Data remanence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia'
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_remanence)

    The trouble with failing drives is that you never know how the drive
    firmware will treat failed sectors. If you are extremely paranoid, you
    have to physically destroy the drive because it's always possible the
    firmware will stop writing to failed sectors entirely, and your data
    will be left after running an operation like shred.


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  8. #8
    BenderBendingRodriguez NNTP User

    Default Re: Cleaning private data off of a drive to return it


    I wouldn't be that sure about that article, professional ways to recover
    data from a disk involve some magnetic shadowing or something (you can
    see 7 or 8 writes back) so 100 may be an overkill but 20 would be quite
    sure but it will still take hell lot of time.


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  9. #9
    conram NNTP User

    Default Re: Cleaning private data off of a drive to return it


    swerdna;1937367 Wrote:
    > Hi
    >
    > I have an external usb hard drive 500GB. It's faulty and if I return it
    > to the supplier it will be replaced. I used it to store years of data,
    > some of it sensitive like banking data etc.
    >
    > I have formatted it but I understand that doesn't remove the underlying
    > files.
    >
    > Is there an app in openSUSE thet removes the underlying files or wipes
    > the drive so they can't be reconstructed?
    >
    > Thanks
    > Swerdna


    Not being sarcastic, how much the usb drive cost vs. sensitive banking
    data.
    In this circumstances and if your paranoid that someone can obtain
    information from this hardware better to just use the hammer. My feeling
    is if the drive is faulty there is a big chance that there will be a
    failure in erasing the datas stored.


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  10. #10
    swerdna NNTP User

    Default Re: Cleaning private data off of a drive to return it


    Thanks folks. The fault is in the spin-up process, not the surface
    itself, so I feel I can shred it with confidence in the result.

    I have to power it on 10-15 times to get a result, and bang the case
    each time. It's going now at last. I've set it to shred with 25
    iterations. It will run all night.


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