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  1. #1

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    Default Computer guys needed here...

    Alright, so we bought a used Macbook and no longer have a need for the old laptop that we currently have. Is there a way to wipe the hard drive without having to load an OS on there? Trying to do Xubuntu Live isn't an option because I have already tried. This was my brother in laws old computer and I know it had some personal stuff on it that I just want to make sure is no longer accessible. I already downloaded Eraser for my own computer and another project I am working on, I just haven't run across anything yet that would suggest that I can do something like that.

    Thanks for the help.
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  2. #2

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    The only way to remove the data completely is to use a program that will wipe the data with at least 32 passes.

    I use Eraser http://www.heidi.ie/node/6

    You have to remove the drive from the laptop and install it as a secondary drive in your Desktop PC and then use eraser on it
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    If you plan to sell it, it would probably be beneficial to have an OS loaded, right?

    Seems like the best way is to put in the Windows install disk, do a full re-format, and just load the basic OS and drivers. That doesn't take too much time. Its the loading of Apps and customizing everything that takes forever.

    I mean, you could do the 'eraser' thing, but it seems like that is overkill unless you are dealing with 'classified' documents. The average person who is likely to use that laptop will not be looking to recover data from a reformatted drive.
    Last edited by billbillw; 01-14-2009 at 02:17 PM.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by billbillw View Post
    If you plan to sell it, it would probably be beneficial to have an OS loaded, right?

    Seems like the best way is to put in the Windows install disk, do a full re-format, and just load the basic OS and drivers. That doesn't take too much time. Its the loading of Apps and customizing everything that takes forever.

    If he's concerned with his brother's financial info or homemade porn then he needs to use a program that will wipe it with 32 passes.

    Otherwise somebody like me can get the data back very easily with a program like this one: http://www.diskinternals.com/product...data-recovery/
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  5. #5

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    I would just pop in a DOS disc and do an FDISK and format. Unless we're talking critical and very sensitive data that someone is going to want to go through the trouble to recover, there's probably not much need for anything more than that. Or if you don't have a DOS disc (which you could download), just launch the Windows CD and delete and reformat the partition -- you can turn the computer off when it's finished with the reformat and not continue with the rest of the install.
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    Remove hard drive. Bash with axe. Repeat until satisfied.
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  7. #7

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    Hard drives are unbelievably CHEAP nowadays ( So is ram ) ...pull it and destroy if your data is that critical...throw in a new drive and you are done.
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    I actually have Eraser Las. Color me stupid, but I can just hook up the laptop hard drive into my desktop? I thought they had different connections, but I guess I never really looked.

    Bill, we are actually donating it to a local charity that recent lost a lot of its computers in a fire. I will end up putting just the basic OS back on it and probably OpenOffice as well as any updates for either, I just want to have the whole hard drive wiped prior to even doing that just to make sure any old info is gone.

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    It's not that it is that crucial, but if I could do it easily then I was going to.


    FYI - I am not spending any money on this thing. For one, I don't have it, and two, it's not worth it.
    Last edited by edbert; 01-14-2009 at 02:34 PM.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by edbert View Post
    I actually have Eraser Las. Color me stupid, but I can just hook up the laptop hard drive into my desktop? I thought they had different connections, but I guess I never really looked.

    Bill, we are actually donating it to a local charity that recent lost a lot of its computers in a fire. I will end up putting just the basic OS back on it and probably OpenOffice as well as any updates for either, I just want to have the whole hard drive wiped prior to even doing that just to make sure any old info is gone.

    If it's IDE then you need one of these:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/40-pin-IDE-to-44...3A1%7C294%3A50

    If it's SATA then you dont need a convertor

    You can also use a kit like this:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/3-in-1-USB-2-0-T...3A1%7C294%3A50

    Being a computer guy I already have all these things.

    You can take apart a 2.5" external hard drive and remove it's hard drive and put yours in place.
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  11. #11

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    It is an IDE. I am pretty sure though that I have an IDE to PATA cable that came with my motherboard. Wouldn't that work? FYI - this laptop was built in 2000 and other than a battery that won't charge it works perfectly.

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    I use a program called autoclave. Load it on a floppy disk, boots off of a linux kernel, and lets you wipe it with however many passes you want. 32 passes is excessive, IMO... if I'm really concerned about the data, I'll do 3...

    And no need to hook the drive up to another machine.
    Ludicrous gibs!

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    Quote Originally Posted by edbert View Post
    Bill, we are actually donating it to a local charity that recent lost a lot of its computers in a fire. I will end up putting just the basic OS back on it and probably OpenOffice as well as any updates for either, I just want to have the whole hard drive wiped prior to even doing that just to make sure any old info is gone.
    That doesn't sound like the sort of user that would go through the effort of trying to recover personal data from the reformatted disk. If you're really concerned, I'd do what nadams suggests, then format and reload the OS.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by nadams View Post
    I use a program called autoclave. Load it on a floppy disk, boots off of a linux kernel, and lets you wipe it with however many passes you want. 32 passes is excessive, IMO... if I'm really concerned about the data, I'll do 3...

    And no need to hook the drive up to another machine.

    +1

    I've used that once, old brain, didn't think about it.
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    Thanks nadams, that sounds like the way to go. I may be being overly cautious, but it is just a little time of which most of it will be just the computer running. Thanks for the info guys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nadams View Post
    I use a program called autoclave. Load it on a floppy disk, boots off of a linux kernel, and lets you wipe it with however many passes you want. 32 passes is excessive, IMO... if I'm really concerned about the data, I'll do 3...

    And no need to hook the drive up to another machine.
    I used a small floppy-based program called WipeDrive to do 3 passes, then it writes gibberish data on it for a DoD contractor. Then I tried to get anything back from it using Encase, just as a controlled test. Nada.
    32 is ridiculous.

    The contractor was Boeing. That's how they do it.

  17. #17
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    Ultimate Boot CD, navigate through Hard Disk Tools and find Darik's Boot and Nuke and do a medium wipe. Worky good, last long time. :D

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