hard drive scrubbers

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chrissiehope
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hard drive scrubbers

Postby chrissiehope » Fri May 24, 2019 11:06 am

I'm finally going to get rid of my surplus laptops ! I know someone who refurbishes them for donating to various charities, but I need to make sure I haven't left anything on them.

I have come across this -
https://www.lifewire.com/hard-disk-scrubber-review-2619136

anyone used this, or can recommend any other free software ?

TIA
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Re: hard drive scrubbers

Postby Enrique » Fri May 24, 2019 11:46 am

Hi chrissiehope,
Some light reading.................

https://askleo.com/how_should_i_erase_m ... e_it_away/

The summary.....you will build a bootable CD/DVD and write in every sector on the HDD.

It will take some time depending how large the HDD is.

Example a 1.5TB HDD took 6hrs to read every sector, writing patterns will take longer.

I usually use a bootable linux system to do the above.

I'm guess time is what you have plenty of............ :)
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Re: hard drive scrubbers

Postby chrissiehope » Fri May 24, 2019 1:07 pm

Thanks Enrique, I will print it out & have a read :-)

I don't know about having lots of time - there's always something cropping up ! The chances to get on with something creative are very few & far between, but at least I can hopefully set this program running & leave it to get on with it.... I hope !
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Re: hard drive scrubbers

Postby chrissiehope » Sat May 25, 2019 10:38 am

Hi again Enrique
I have now read the info, & found the link to download DBAN. I must admit, it sounds a bit scary (to a technophobe like me !), but I'll give it a go.
I'm currently moving/deleting files from one laptop, so I can be sure that I have everything I want/need, before having a go with DBAN, & then I'll repeat the exercise with the second laptop & the netbook. That just leaves one laptop with XP (mainly for my accounts) & one with W7 :-)
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Re: hard drive scrubbers

Postby 1bassleft » Sun May 26, 2019 5:35 am

Must be some 15yrs ago now, but I had a similar situation with the primary school I helped at wanting to donate off their PCs. I used a DoD (Department of Defense) program that wiped and multiply overwrote the HD. I would imagine (from that period) that I found it on the "Majorgeeks" site which has many free and useful utes. As Enrique says, though, I think the HDs back then were single-figure Gbs. So, even though it wasn't onerous and I just kicked them all off on their self-clean cycle, it might be a power-station sucker with the larger capacities of today. Depends on their read/write speed. Anyhoo, a look on Majorgeeks should also turn up something free and effective.

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Re: hard drive scrubbers

Postby chrissiehope » Sun May 26, 2019 1:51 pm

Thanks 1bassleft - I'll take a look. Been busy this morning chucking everything I can off the laptops in prep for a good scrub!
The only potential prob with Enriques suggestion is that one of the items I'm attacking is a netbook, which doesn't have a CD facility... maybe try with a USB...

Enrique, this is the link:
https://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/disk_wipe.html

I note it can be used on a USB as well, which would solve my netbook problem :thumbup:
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Re: hard drive scrubbers

Postby 1bassleft » Sun May 26, 2019 4:20 pm

Apols for sticking my nose in again. I had a quick look at the disk wipe link you put up. Looks like the sort of thing (DoD) I used back then, but this appears to be a Windows Wizard with the major disadvantage that it can't wipe the drive that Windows is installed on (almost certainly the one you want to wipe):
https://www.lifewire.com/disk-wipe-review-2619131

I used a wiper that worked outside of windows so that, basically, the PC is up and running enough to launch the (usually very small) program to do its job. DBAN does this, as do some others:
https://www.lifewire.com/free-data-dest ... ms-2626174

The thing is, although creating a CD is one option, booting from a USB stick containing the wiper is just as feasible, so DBAN, CBL, MHDD etc can do their work on all your devices including your netbook (most of my Lenovos lack portable drives). I'm very used to non-graphical DOS, but I appreciate that getting a monochrome text-only screen can be a bit unnerving. As long as you've done a little background reading and know what steps you're supposed to take you'll be ok. I haven't tried it, but I liked the review of MHDD (link above) pointing out its ease and support.

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Re: hard drive scrubbers

Postby Enrique » Sun May 26, 2019 4:31 pm

Hi chrissiehope,

Just use DBAN on a USB.................for all systems.

"DBAN is freely available in a ready-to-go ISO format, so all you need to do is burn it to a CD or flash drive and then boot from it.
The DBAN program's menu interface is also very easy to use."

You will need to change the BIOS in the systems to boot from USB............

Google your make and model "boot from USB"

usually TAP ........DEl or F2 keys on powerup to get into BIOS.........
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Re: hard drive scrubbers

Postby 1bassleft » Sun May 26, 2019 5:20 pm

EDIT: Enrique's replied while I (slowly, with many interruptions) typed this stuff, so it's probably not worth the read but I've done it now. Might perhaps be of some use to a passer-through who's wondering whether to wipe a drive or just a few files...

Had a look at your original link (which I should have done to begin with). The difference between that first program you linked and the others subsequently mentioned is that the latter(s) can make the entire HD blank (and all data cleared) for Windows to be re-installed. That program you first mentioned is just for overwriting the files (but not their folders) you want rid of. I confess, I haven't read up fully on all of them so this is just a generality, but it might help you choose based on what you want to achieve (as far as my brief reading goes; the detail, or Enrique's better/more recent experience, may prove me wrong).

Hard Drive Scrubber - pros
Securely deletes only the files you want rid of.
Leaves Windows, or whatever OS, in place nicely set up for whoever is the next user
The familiarity of using a Windows-based program
cons
Could be initially time-consuming to select all the data you want rid of.
Folders themselves would either have to be left or presumably manually deleted
You might have missed scrubbing something sensitive

MHDD et al - pros
Securely clears the whole drive(s) so no chance of leaving something sensitive
"Fire and forget" setup requires little initial work
A simple plug in USB, start it off, move on to the next one procedure
cons
Windows will need to be re-installed (no biggy if a CD is available and the CoA sticker on the laptop base clearly has the xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx code)
Possibility that some drivers for add-ons like wifi might be tricky for the next user (a bugbear of mine when I've bought wiped 2nd hand machines)
Coping with an unfamiliar (though not difficult) text based "choose drive" type environment and you might not even be able to use a mouse but have to rely on arrow keys+Enter or F-keys instead.

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Re: hard drive scrubbers

Postby Enrique » Sun May 26, 2019 5:41 pm

Hi,
As chrissiehope is wanting to give the units away all data must be wiped from the disk, no good leaving Windows on as things will be stored in Registry.

OK.........
I downloaded DBAN
I used Rufus to "burn" the image to USB drive

https://rufus.ie/

I shutdown my system , change BIOS to boot from USB and DBAN loaded..........I stopped there as don't have a drive to "NUKE"

This took inside of 5 mins.........

It takes a few mins to Boot and load ready to select the Disk you want to NUKE...........be patient :) Done on 2005 IBM ThinkCentre
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Re: hard drive scrubbers

Postby chrissiehope » Sun May 26, 2019 10:14 pm

OK (deep breath) I was feeling fairly confident until you started talking about BIOS !!
I hope 'rufus' is idiot proof, as I think I have only burned maybe a couple of CDs in the long ago !

I'm currently deleting old documents & programs from the 2nd laptop (having done one & the netbook), so I'll get the info together & have a good read before messing about with anything. I suppose the plus side is that if I mess it up, there's no lost files to worry
about ;-) !
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Re: hard drive scrubbers

Postby 1bassleft » Mon May 27, 2019 3:07 am

Don't worry, chrissiehope (1) as you say, messing up causes no drama anyway (2) it's straightforward, as Enrique demoed. Once you have your wiper set up on a pen drive or CD, you just need to interrupt the computer's normal routine on powering on. If you don't, it'll look to the hard drive and launch Windows. As said, find out what you need to do for your machine (press F1 or whatever) that stops this and allows you to choose, amongst other things, the order that the PC looks to boot from. Choose either the CD or USB (whichever you prepared) first over the HD and you'll be good to go.

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Re: hard drive scrubbers

Postby Enrique » Mon May 27, 2019 6:14 am

Hi chrissiehope,

"'m currently deleting old documents & programs from the 2nd laptop "..........no you're not....you are deleting the Pointers to the files.
The files will remain on there until over written.

Best spend your time finding how to Boot the USB in the BIOS..................then run DBAN...........pronto........ :D
UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity.

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Re: hard drive scrubbers

Postby gerryh » Mon May 27, 2019 7:58 am

Another option is to remove the hard drive and give away the laptop without a hard drive. New 500GB hard drives can be bought for less than €30 these days.
You can bash your old hard driver with a hammer, drill holes through it etc to make it unreadable.
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Re: hard drive scrubbers

Postby Enrique » Mon May 27, 2019 10:04 am

Hi chrissiehope,

The DBAN program is very intuitive....... i.e. idiot proof

Timings............

As an Example ..wiping a 80GB IDE drive (all the flavour at the turn of the century) will take circa 4 -5 hrs..........currently doing one at the moment.

I'm expecting more positive vibs as you have been dipping in and out of my "computer classes" for some years now......... :D
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Re: hard drive scrubbers

Postby chrissiehope » Mon May 27, 2019 10:12 am

Hi Enrique,
Just taken a look at the rufus site, and it is only suitable for W7 & later - I'm clearing XP machines ! Or if I download it using my W7 computer, will it work on XP ?
I must admit I'm very tempted by gerryh's suggestion !

I might contact the person I'm planning to give them to & see if he needs to have a hard drive...
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Re: hard drive scrubbers

Postby chrissiehope » Mon May 27, 2019 10:20 am

Enrique - you said the files will still be there (which I knew) but does that mean there is no point in going thro it all, deleting stuff to reduce the space on the main drive?
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Re: hard drive scrubbers

Postby Enrique » Mon May 27, 2019 10:28 am

Hi chrissiehope,
Use your Win 7 system, build the USB using Rufus from the dban .iso

When you boot it up and enter to run it will show in your case two disks the USB (that you booted from) and the windows one...........select the windows one. F10 and away it goes.

Why are you deleting stuff.........no need..........as all will get NUKED with DBAN.........

As a exercise I'll run my forensic system over my disk when finished.................I maybe some time......... 8)
UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity.

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Re: hard drive scrubbers

Postby chrissiehope » Mon May 27, 2019 10:54 am

Sorry to be thick, but what is "dban.iso" ? And when you say "boot it up", do you mean the laptop ? Yes, I know I'm technouseless!
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Re: hard drive scrubbers

Postby Enrique » Mon May 27, 2019 11:54 am

I'm out at moment, if the systems still have TeamViewer on I'll come on line, build the USB
UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity.


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