Your question
Solved

Open source program to wipe hard drive

Tags:
  • Open Source
  • Hard Drives
Last response: in Antivirus / Security / Privacy
December 10, 2014 10:34:01 AM

I'm looking for a fully open-source program to use to wipe the hard drive on a used laptop I'm planning on buying before installing Linux. I've heard Dban is no longer open source and I only trust open source for this sort of thing. Any recommendations?

More about : open source program wipe hard drive

Related resources
December 10, 2014 11:05:35 AM

Hi
Thoughts on erasing hard drives
------------------------------------

I believe old versions of dban are still open source , the company behind dban produced a new product which is not freeware


I don't know why you are so worried about open source
Few people can understand c , c++ or what ever code programs are produced in

You normally only worry about wiping disks on disposal unless particularly paranoid

The hard disk manufacturers hard disk diagnostics usually include a wipe hard drive option

The ata specification includes a means of wiping hard drives

If you format in fat or NTFS (Windows)
Then program ccleaner can wipe the free space of a drive

eraser is another usefull data destruction program (Heidi)

There is a program designed to fill a usb memory stick with 1 GB files then verify the files have the correct checksum. This can be run on any hard drive , do a format first
H2testw. V1.4

I tried format full not quick, which is supposed to erase the hard drive but there was a few fragments of data left at the beginning of the disk

Some programs write 00 to all sectors which makes checking the success of the erase
Some write random data to hide the fact that the disk has been erased

The problem for those who are paranoid is relocated sectors which may contain some data , but are no longer accessible ,this is more of a problem with SSD or hybrid hard drives
Then a hammer and chisel or power drill come in handy

Regards
Mike Barnes
m
0
l
December 11, 2014 1:15:38 AM

If you delete the partition(s), and allow Linux to reformat/intall/create new chosen file system when installing, unless you are worried about the NSA doing a forensic search of your drive of old file fragments, it is already more than enough 'wiped'....

(However, even from within Windows, Glary Utilities allows the free space to be 'wiped', which should certainly deter/foil any hypothetical efforts to extract any old file remnants after a subsequent deletion of partitions/reformat/installation of a Linux file system)
m
0
l
December 11, 2014 9:31:22 AM

Thanks for the replies. I think I'll give eraser a try. Maybe I'm being a bit paranoid, but buying a used laptop off of craigslist is reason enough to be paranoid. Want to make sure nobody put anything on there to try to steal my data :) 
m
0
l
December 11, 2014 10:21:59 AM

you could always made a virus scan and delete ther personnal info also use malwarebytes and ccleaner .
m
0
l

Best solution

December 16, 2014 5:32:23 PM

COLGeek said:
When you install Linux and install a new filesystem structure, you will effectively wipe the underlying data as well. DBAN is still a solid choice.

mdd1963 said:
If you delete the partition(s), and allow Linux to reformat/intall/create new chosen file system when installing, unless you are worried about the NSA doing a forensic search of your drive of old file fragments, it is already more than enough 'wiped'....

I think people misunderstand what happens when you format hard drive. Formatting does (roughly) the same thing that deleting a file does... it deletes the file name, location, and so on. The data remains, which is why you can format a computer, and still manage to read the majority of the contents that were "erased" (if not all of the contents).

I haven't seen anything pertaining to persistent infections of spyware, malware, trojans, or viruses, that come back after a format. Does that mean it is impossible? Not really; however, the only way I can think of a persistent infection to stick around after formatting would be an infection that isn't on the hard drive itself.

Valence said:
Thanks for the replies. I think I'll give eraser a try. Maybe I'm being a bit paranoid, but buying a used laptop off of craigslist is reason enough to be paranoid. Want to make sure nobody put anything on there to try to steal my data :) 

Yes, a CL laptop can definitely be reason enough to be paranoid. The majority of attacks that you would find from a CL hacker would be ones that are easily removed; and formatting would most likely take care of them. Unless the person selling the computer was hacked, or targeted for surveillance by the authorities, the likelihood of your data being compromised after a format is extremely slim. Still, I don't blame you. When I got a laptop off CL, I wiped it for one reason- I didn't want their data to stay on the HDD. The real reason is simple: If I own the computer, and there is incriminating evidence of something from the previous owner still on the computer, and my computer gets a proper forensic search for any reason, then I might be the new suspect in some investigation by random chance.

Wiping the drive of a used computer you just purchased makes a lot of sense. There's no reason for you to have their data on your HDD, so get rid of it. The chance of things going tits up are slimmer than winning the lottery, but why not avoid potential problems if you can with relatively minimal effort?
Share
December 19, 2014 12:36:44 AM

To be sure, a quick format does not overwrite previous data...but in light of intent to reformat (likely something other than NTFS) for a Linux install, it seems pointless worrying too much about previous user's leftover files.

I would think deleting existing partitions, creating new Linux partitions, and installing Linux more than sufficient enough to alleviate someone's fears of hostile Windows-ware, although one could certainly do a full 2-4 hour NTFS format beforehand, but, seems pointless if OP has intent to delete NTFS partitions and reformat for ext3/ext4 and install Linux right afterwards....
m
0
l
Tom’s guide in the world
  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • UK
Follow Tom’s guide
Subscribe to our newsletter
  • add to twitter
  • add to facebook
  • ajouter un flux RSS