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Elizabeth M
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Blogger
New method?
Elizabeth M   3/4/2013 7:41:47 AM
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This is really interesting, Cabe, and definitely a needed technology for people who want to ensure they don't leave anything recoverable on an old device, laptop or PC. I don't know about these type of products...is this an entirely new method for wiping data that isn't already being used today?

apresher
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Blogger
Wiping Personal Devices Clean
apresher   3/4/2013 4:50:22 PM
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Cabe, I'll have to try this out.  I hate to admit it but I have a couple old laptops and phones where this has been the problem in getting rid of them.  Normally I have damaged the hard drive to make sure that no one could get personal information but this is obviously a much better solution.  Thanks.

Charles Murray
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Blogger
Re: Wiping Personal Devices Clean
Charles Murray   3/4/2013 7:24:54 PM
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I, too, have a stack of old laptops in the basement, Al. I don't want to get rid of them until I wipe the hard drives clean in a reliable way.

bob from maine
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Platinum
Re: Wiping Personal Devices Clean
bob from maine   3/5/2013 10:32:48 AM
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I don't think this technology is designed for computer hard drives. Their marketing blurb indicates it is for phones and possibly tablets which use flash memory. I think the only reliable way to prevent data from being recovered from a disc drive is to spike it,  then give it to your grand-children and ask them to take extra care in handling it, then burn-it. Flash drives are designed to be fairly robust and until now there were few if any product capable of completely defeating the built-in protection. If you dispose of your cell-phone or tablet, you cannot be absolutely sure the data is erased using any of the device's controls, so this product is a significant step forward.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: New method?
Ann R. Thryft   3/5/2013 11:52:26 AM
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I think Elizabeth's question is a good one: just how different is this from other software methods, which are notoriously incomplete, vs destroying the drive itself. Can you give us, or point us to, a more detailed technical description of how it works?

sdoyle
User Rank
Silver
Re: Wiping Personal Devices Clean
sdoyle   3/5/2013 1:46:09 PM
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I believe Darik's Boot and Nuke works quite well for a standard HDD.

http://www.dban.org/

edit: not affiliated with dban

Cabe Atwell
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Blogger
Re: Wiping Personal Devices Clean
Cabe Atwell   3/5/2013 2:56:13 PM
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I do not believe DBAN can effectively wipe personal data off cell-phones. IE: contact info, text messages, etc. The free storage space, maybe. There is no other way I have seen that can NSA-level clean cell-phones/smartphones. I often read of people buying phones and such off Ebay and restoring all the "deleted" files. So, I never plan on selling a phone like that.

This BlackBelt option is definitely filling a need. I am surprised others are not joining the game.

C

sdoyle
User Rank
Silver
Re: Wiping Personal Devices Clean
sdoyle   3/5/2013 5:21:46 PM
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Cabe, I was not inferring that dban is intended for phones.  I was replying to the posts about old laptops and PC hard drives being stored just to keep the data safe.  At least I thought that was where I replied.

I researched dban a few years ago when I needed to wipe a PC hard drive for my employer.  That was one of the best free versions available.  From all that I found it can be comparable to (quite) expensive commercial versions as well government methods of data wiping.  It depends on the level of erase that you desire and how long you want it to take as to how effective the wipe.  It is not as thorough as a government wipe, but pretty darn close for a freeware application and more than likely good enough to recycle your HDD. 

Cabe Atwell
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Blogger
Re: Wiping Personal Devices Clean
Cabe Atwell   3/5/2013 5:32:18 PM
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It's a shame there isn't a free DBAN like program that could clean a phone.

DBAN is great. Run it through 10 times, you would probably be safe. Better yet, microwave everything, buy new.

C

sdoyle
User Rank
Silver
Re: Wiping Personal Devices Clean
sdoyle   3/5/2013 7:23:07 PM
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If I remember correctly, a 7-cycle wipe will clean the HDD to such a level that the only way to gather any data from it is to have near-forensic levels of inspection.

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