Software to Delete Everything from an Internal HDD

Discussion in 'Computer Software and Operating Systems' started by godreborn, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. godreborn
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    godreborn GBAtemp Guru

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    I'm wanting to retire my desktop. it's about 10-15 years old, and I never use it. the network adapter seems to no longer work too, so I can't get online. it's pretty just sitting there. I've thought about using my nes/snes/psx classic and retron 5 in its place. they're close to the surge protector. I only plan to plug in what I'm about to play instead of powering everything at the same time. I already have enough plugged in. :P anyway, I want to wipe the internal hdd clean. I'm not sure if I can use a cd/dvd or even a flash drive. the computer works (I think). I've replaced the hdd, optical drive, psu, and ram a long time ago when the originals went bad. I think it's finally time to retire it though as I only use my laptop. can anyone recommend a program to do this?
     
  2. Hayato213

    Hayato213 GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Just delete the volume and re-partition it.
     
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  3. godreborn
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    godreborn GBAtemp Guru

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    will that work if the hdd is being used at that time? I would think that windows would have some sort of safe guard if someone were to accidentally delete the partition.
     
  4. Hayato213

    Hayato213 GBAtemp Psycho!

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    You will need to throw it into another machine and then go under Control panel, administrative tools, Computer management, change the drive letter if it doesn't show up, and then delete the volume and repartition it. Can't format it if Windows use using it as it own drive.
     
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  5. alexander1970

    alexander1970 GBAtemp verrückt

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  6. godreborn
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    godreborn GBAtemp Guru

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    do these require windows not being in use? I guess I could throw the hdd into an enclosure and delete the partition, but then I'd have to buy an enclosure.
     
  7. Hayato213

    Hayato213 GBAtemp Psycho!

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    You have to either burn the iso to a disc or a make a bootable USB.
     
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  8. godreborn
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    godreborn GBAtemp Guru

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    and go through the bios to boot the disc before windows even loads up?
     
  9. Hayato213

    Hayato213 GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Yea
     
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  10. godreborn
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    godreborn GBAtemp Guru

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    I'll try that next week. the main problem I'm having is with the snes classic. it's using an adapter to plug in a usb thumb drive as well as a cable to power on the system. the original cable works without a problem. however, this 15ft micro to usb cable turns the system on, then it turns off, so I'm assuming that it's too long a cable or the adapter can't use a cable that long. I was going to put my nes/snes/psx classic or retron in the computer's place.
     
  11. hakd88

    hakd88 Member

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    If you want to delete everything permanently using DiskGenius, then download it on your laptop, get a blank usb with no useful data (it should be <= 32GB), then open and setup DiskGenius. Select your usb from the right menu (DO NOT select your internal hdd), then select the usb partition from the right menu. Right click, select Format Partition, change the filesystem to 'FAT32', check the 'Create dos system', then click format. When this finishes, eject the usb, and put it in your computer that needs the data destroyed. Boot off the usb (I'll tell you how if you give me more info), wait, select your computer's internal hdd, not the usb, go to tools, erase sectors, erase, READ THE WARNINGS, If it says it is busy, select ok, then wait a few hours. When it finishes, turn off your computer. Now enjoy a correctly wiped hdd. NOTE: It is now impossible to recover your data, because everything on it has now been overwritten. (including Windows)

    EDIT: You may need to re-partition the disk afterwards, if you plan on using it. Once you have done this, every time you turn on your computer, it will give you an error.
    If you want your usb to no longer be bootable, open DiskGenius on your laptop, select your usb, select the partition at the top, right click, format, leave the defaults, format.
     
    Last edited by hakd88, Apr 21, 2019
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  12. MythicalData

    MythicalData GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    could just reinstall windows and format the drives before you do that
     
  13. hakd88

    hakd88 Member

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    Yes, you could, but what if the Windows disk is missing? Then what?
    And if you want to erase everything permanently, you would need to find an option for that. (I haven't seen the install process though)
     
  14. MythicalData

    MythicalData GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    You can use usb boot drive. Also the install allows you to format and re partition all drives on the computer before installing. Came in handy for me once actually
     
  15. hakd88

    hakd88 Member

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    Yes, you could copy the iso from the disk onto the usb, but if you don't have the original disk, then you can't use the usb using the iso. (EDIT: You could spend money and get an ISO, but it isn't worth it. Also, DON'T get a free Windows Install .iso, it's illegal (probably)) It would probably be better if you use my option and use DiskGenius. (Which is FREE.) I had to use it when we got hard drives that had data that had to be permanently destroyed. Seriously, it gets PERMANENTLY DESTROYED. Also, don't just repartition the hard disk, because the deleted files still exist, until you erase all the sectors like I mentioned. If you do not delete your files correctly and they still exist, someone can use recuva to undelete EVERYTHING including your private documents you had on there.
     
    Last edited by hakd88, Apr 22, 2019
  16. MythicalData

    MythicalData GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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  17. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    Even with proper formatting tools, data will still be recoverable after the first pass.

    Somewhere around 30% will be recoverable using a slow format through Windows tools.
    Somewhere around 17% will be recoverable with one pass of DBAN and most other erasure software.
    Somewhere around 5% will be recoverable after 3 passes of good erasure software. By this point it’s mostly garbled or corrupted, but tests showed that some data still remained so it’s not enough.

    If you really want data to be permanently erased, the best software will do a minimum of 7 passes using different algorithms each time (not just all-0 followed by all-1).

    Edit: but if you don’t care about someone trying to get your data (e.g if you’re not getting rid of your laptop), then just get Windows on USB (or any bootable Linux image) to do a quick format.
     
    Last edited by Originality, Apr 21, 2019
  18. hakd88

    hakd88 Member

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    Yes, some tools don't erase everything, but you can do my way of erasing ALL the sectors: EDIT: You can use this to fill them with random data.
    If you really want to write random data, change the drop-down next to 'Fill sectors with ' to Random Data just before you click erase. If you want to do multiple passes, you could click erase after it finishes, and repeat this x amount of times.

    EDIT 2: Recuva (A very good Data Recovery tool for Windows) (or any other software) can't get the data off, it is pretty much gone forever. The only way to do this would be in hardware (probably) and even then it has probably been erased permanently. Just erasing all the sectors with zeros once is enough to stop software from getting it back.
    Anyway, will anyone try to steal the data? Probably not.
    Will anyone spend loads of money to get it back? No.

    If you are really worried, wipe it a few times, filling it with random data. Then, drill holes through it. (YES, ACTUALLY GET YOUR DRILL AND DRILL HOLES THROUGH YOUR HARD DISK.)
     
    Last edited by hakd88, Apr 22, 2019
  19. hakd88

    hakd88 Member

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    Do you want the data permanently erased? (this stops people looking at what files you had)
     
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