mailing list archives
RE: Suggestions on free XP hard drive wiping utilities?
From: "MacFerrin, Ken" <Ken_MacFerrin () csgsystems com>
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2003 11:20:16 -0600
There are dozens of tools that will "clean" your hard drive by overwriting your data in various patterns and such and
most any of those will give you "decent" security, but.. none of those are going to make the data irretrievable to
someone with the right equipment.
I'm no expert but the basics of being able to retrieve data stem from the fact that when the HDD head overwrites the
data it's never able to perfectly write along the same track that it did when writing the original data. This leaves
an "edge" of data that wasn't quite overwritten and that "edge" is enough for someone with a basic setup (about 1500
USD) of specific equipment to go back and pull the original 1's and 0's off the disk.. The only way to truly "clean"
the disk is using equipment specifically designed to drive the head at a higher voltage to create a wider write track
and re-write random patterns many times. From what I understand though even these re-writes will leave some residue
that could be picked up by some high-end gear and a skilled operator.
Essentially, if the data was really that sensitive, you need to physically destroy the disk..
From: Joris De Donder [mailto:joris () digitaldefense be]
Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2003 6:21 AM
To: 'security-basics () securityfocus com'
Cc: Champion, Steve
Subject: Suggestions on free XP hard drive wiping utilities?
Would someone please throw out a URL and suggestions for free Windows XP,
hard drive wiping utility's?
"Eraser is a secure data removal tool, which allows you to remove
sensitive data from your hard drive by overwriting it with carefully
The program is free software, which means that everyone has
access to the source code,..."
Joris De Donder