Linux Format forums Forum Index Linux Format forums
Help, discussion, magazine feedback and more
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Secure file eraser?

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Linux Format forums Forum Index -> Other OS
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
JS
LXF regular


Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:27 am
Posts: 116

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 1:15 pm    Post subject: Secure file eraser? Reply with quote

A colleague is getting rid of her PC for a new laptop. Is there a GPL/free program to securely delete/shred sensitive files for Windows? That is, all the user files, settings, passwords etc. so that the PC can be given away and used again, without risking ID theft?

I know of dban and have googled and found Heidi eraser.

The advantage of dban is that it completely overwrites the whole disk. However, to use the PC again, one would need to install an OS.

Has anyone ever used the eraser software (above), and is it secure/simple to use?

Alternatively, is there a list of locations where potentially sensitive files are stored in Windows?

Thanks.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
towy71
Moderator


Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 3:11 pm
Posts: 4261
Location: wild West Wales

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 1:27 pm    Post subject: RE: Secure file eraser? Reply with quote

As far as I know the only way to be certain that your sensitive files are erased is to use dban, Windows has all sorts of nooks and crannies that your average user would never find Sad

To reiterate, formatting the hard drive is the only secure way to ensure that your data is erased!

Stick ubuntu on the computer and then advertise it on freecycle or some such Wink
_________________
still looking for that door into summer
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nelz
Site admin


Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 12:52 pm
Posts: 8464
Location: Warrington, UK

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 1:57 pm    Post subject: RE: Secure file eraser? Reply with quote

Or use dban and then reinstall Windows.
_________________
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." (Albert Einstein)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ollie
Moderator


Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 12:26 pm
Posts: 2749
Location: Bathurst NSW Australia

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 2:06 pm    Post subject: RE: Secure file eraser? Reply with quote

Or use dban and install "insert favourite distro" Laughing

I also have a freeware program called "wipedisk" that runs under DOS and securely erases hard disks. I started distributing this nearly a decade ago and it runs from a bootable floppy. If you want a copy just ask and I'll upload it somewhere to make it easy for anyone to download.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JS
LXF regular


Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:27 am
Posts: 116

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 2:33 pm    Post subject: Re: RE: Secure file eraser? Reply with quote

Wow, thanks for all the quick replies!

towy71 wrote:
As far as I know the only way to be certain that your sensitive files are erased is to use dban, Windows has all sorts of nooks and crannies that your average user would never find Sad

To reiterate, formatting the hard drive is the only secure way to ensure that your data is erased!

I suppose I should have expected that... Sad

towy71 wrote:
Stick ubuntu on the computer and then advertise it on freecycle or some such Wink

ollie wrote:
Or use dban and install "insert favourite distro" Very Happy

I could suggest it... her intention was to give it to some charity.

nelz wrote:
Or use dban and then reinstall Windows.

I don't think my colleague will have the original disk(s) (or know what to do with them)*. Hence wondering whether it's possible to wipe sensitive info but keep Windows. And, depending on where she wants to do with it, might want to keep windows.

* it would likely be impractical for her to take it to work and me install for her (public transport and all that...) and she doesn't have internet at home at the moment. She just wants rid of it (taking space) and I told her she should be careful about files left on the hard drive.

The other alternative is to smash the hard drive.... but I'd have to explain how to remove it, and it seems a waste Very Happy

ollie wrote:
I also have a freeware program called "wipedisk" that runs under DOS and securely erases hard disks. I started distributing this nearly a decade ago and it runs from a bootable floppy. If you want a copy just ask and I'll upload it somewhere to make it easy for anyone to download.

Is it equivalent to dban?

Thanks again!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dutch_Master
LXF regular


Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 2:49 am
Posts: 2435

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 3:01 pm    Post subject: RE: Re: RE: Secure file eraser? Reply with quote

She doesn't have to take the whole machine into work, just the harddrive Wink Whipe it, and give her a Knoppix CD so she can show interested parties that the hardware is running, w/o having to install an OS anyway.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
towy71
Moderator


Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 3:11 pm
Posts: 4261
Location: wild West Wales

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 4:42 pm    Post subject: RE: Re: RE: Secure file eraser? Reply with quote

Well done DM why didn't I think of that Wink
_________________
still looking for that door into summer
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ollie
Moderator


Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 12:26 pm
Posts: 2749
Location: Bathurst NSW Australia

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 11:56 am    Post subject: RE: Re: RE: Secure file eraser? Reply with quote

It met the DoD specs 10 years ago. You can actually specify your own final write value to each sector.
Quote:
To use WipeDisk, type "wipedisk" and the enter key at the DOS prompt. The program will fill each sector with the user entered value once.

There are two switches for WipeDisk:

/secure = write zeros in each sector three times,
then write ones in each sector three times,
and finally write the user entered value in each sector.
(DoD 5220.22-M)

/help or
/? = displays help text

For example: typing "wipedisk /secure" will securely wipe your disk
eliminating residual magnetic images.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Linux Format forums Forum Index -> Other OS All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
Linux Format forums topic RSS feed 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group


Copyright 2011 Future Publishing, all rights reserved.


Web hosting by UKFast