Secure deletion of data.

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63
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8answers
17k views

How can I reliably erase all information on a hard drive?

As storage technologies change over time, using different encodings and remappings to deal with sector errors, the best way to permanently erase/wipe/shred data changes also. Methods for flash drives ...
60
votes
4answers
36k views

Why is writing zeros (or random data) over a hard drive multiple times better than just doing it once?

Lots of different programs, such as Darik's Boot and Nuke, let you write over a hard drive multiple times under the guise of it being more secure than just doing it once. Why?
51
votes
3answers
21k views

Is it enough to only wipe a flash drive once?

According to the documentation for the "diskscrb" command for wiping conventional hard drives: http://www.forensics-intl.com/diskscrb.html "Conforms to and exceeds the Government Standard set ...
33
votes
6answers
65k views

Can wiped SSD data be recovered?

I was reading another post on destroying IDE drives, and how you could remove data, wipe it, or just destroy the drive. The removed data would still be there in some state, although not easily ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

How can files be deleted in a HIPAA-compliant way?

Any material I've come up with for data destruction standards relate to completely wiping (ATA Secure Erase) and physically destroying hard drives, but I haven't been able to find much about standards ...
14
votes
11answers
19k views

I'm leaving my job and want to erase as many personal details etc. as possible; any tips?

Obviously this is very open-ended. But, I'm just paranoid about people going through everything on my laptop after I leave my job. Here are the things I'm planning to do: Completely wipe all browser ...
8
votes
2answers
223 views

Magnet to wipe HDD [duplicate]

This question is for HDD, not SDD. Would a Neodymium magnet like this one be strong enough to wipe the contents of a hard disk drive? How long would such an act take to destroy any data so it's not ...
4
votes
1answer
886 views

Is data-remanence a concern in RAM?

I know data-remanence is a concern on hard drives, but is it a concern on RAM? For example, once a program completes, is its data still available on RAM, just as data on a hard drive remains after ...
82
votes
11answers
19k views

Why didn't OSes securely delete files right from the beginning? And why do they still not do this?

After decades of hearing that "delete" does not really make the data impossible to recover, I have to ask WHY the OS was not corrected long ago to do what it should have been doing all along? What is ...
19
votes
4answers
4k views

Why is writing zeros (or random data) over a hard drive used when writing all ones is more beneficial? [duplicate]

As far as I know, in order to securely delete the hard drive's contents, one should fill it with zeroes or, for added security and harder recoverability, random data first and then all zeroes. In ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Secure wiping of EEPROM and flash memory

Older magnetic storage exhibited some data remanence, so a recommendation emerged to wipe data by overwriting it multiple times with varying patterns — the “Gutmann wipe”. More recent hard disk ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

ATA security erase on SSD

Is it possible to recovery data from SSD, that was secure erased (https://ata.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/ATA_Secure_Erase), by IT or professional data recovery company? Does this type of erasing reduce ...
3
votes
1answer
7k views

Does microwaving a hard drive erase it?

Kind of a silly question, but I'm genuinely curious: (in part because I recently saw several questions that refer to "nuking" a hard drive...) what would a microwave DO to an HDD? Would it erase data ...
5
votes
6answers
7k views

Overwriting hard drive to securely delete a file?

I am working on a computer that I am not allowed to install new software on. It does not have secure delete software installed. Suppose I have a file (or files) that are sensitive that I'd like to ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

What method of secure erase is sufficient for MacBook Pro SSD Drives? [duplicate]

I would like to securely erase the hard drive of a SSD in a MacBook Pro. The Disk Utility does not give me the option to wipe this drive even when I boot into the System Partition. (it is greyed out)...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the difference between wiping vs deleting? [duplicate]

I was reading about the Mask malware on Kaspersky. And they mentioned this: “Several reasons make us believe this could be a nation-state sponsored campaign. First of all, we observed a very ...
4
votes
3answers
183 views

Safely remove original file after encryption

My application encrypts a file, and the result is written to a different one. How do I safely remove the original one (C++)? Update. Wow! The problem is more complicated than I thought of it... 1) ...
23
votes
3answers
3k views

To what extent does formatting a disk (securely) remove its data?

If the goal is to make data no longer retrievable, how secure is it to format the disk? I assumed formatting the disk overwrites free space (thus making it a safe bet no one's going to be able to ...
8
votes
2answers
584 views

Are there any filesystems that have secure deletion as a feature?

There's many 3rd party tools people have designed to perform secure deletion, but I don't know of any filesystems where secure deletion is built in. In fact, secure deletion has to work around ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Ensure data doesn't linger after being deleted

I'm trying to make a service that keeps as little data on its users as possible. To that end, I want to make sure that someone using forensic tools won't gain any more information than I would by ...
12
votes
2answers
16k views

What is the difference between ATA Secure Erase and Security Erase? How can I ensure they worked?

I'd like to wipe a stack of drives (spinning and SSD) securely. I'm familiar with the ATA Secure Erase (SE) command via hdparm, but I'm not sure if I should use the Security Erase (SE+) command ...
2
votes
4answers
3k views

Writing file shredder

I want to write a simple file shredder in c++, i.e. a program that deletes a file so that it is not recoverable. Would the following be a secure and correct way to do that? (1) Open the file with ...
6
votes
8answers
450 views

A computing environment that saves no data

I want to use a laptop which doesn’t save any data, history, passwords anywhere in it. All state information should be destroyed once it is turned off or rebooted, without removing my ability to use ...
6
votes
3answers
230 views

Disk Erasing Security - Odd Number of Writes

As one can find in the Disk Utility/Erase/Security Options section, there are two options for erasing disks securely - zero out 7 times or zero out 35 times. Where these numbers come from?
4
votes
5answers
4k views

Is running an erase tool after an OS install sufficient to ensure no data from the old install is recoverable?

How secure do you consider this process? A drive has data from a previous OS installation. A new OS installation is made on the drive, and Heidi Eraser is run on free space. What are the chances ...
3
votes
2answers
252 views

Secure file deletion vs wiping free space

Say I only wanted to delete specific files and want to feel confident they can't be recovered. Is it better to use a specific program (such as Eraser) for wiping only the files, or is it better to ...
2
votes
1answer
255 views

Tools for Verifying Secure Deletion [closed]

It is recommended to verify the zeroing-out was done properly when you try to secure delete a HDD. From this post, some drives with firmware bugs prevent secure erase from working properly. What are ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

How to prevent user from recovering my iPhone data?

If I'm about to sell my iPhone 5, is there a way to make sure that the buyer won't be able to recover anything from my data? Both data that has been recently deleted and data that has been deleted ...
2
votes
5answers
3k views

Prove that you deleted the file

Is it possible to prove a date that you Deleted a file through the recycle bin? I delete a folder of pictures 2 months ago and somebody is asking to prove that I did it.