Wipe hard drive Partition freeware

Started Sep 4, 2009 | Discussions thread
Jim Cockfield
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Re: For Jim -- Re: Wipe hard drive Partition freeware
In reply to Vernon D Rainwater, Sep 5, 2009

The GParted Live CD you already downloaded should have dd on it. I haven't boot into a Gparted Live CD for a while now, so I don't know how hard it is to get to a terminal to issue commands (it goes directly into the Gparted program after it loads, which is not what you want to use for securely erasing a partition, as the data can still be easily recovered after deleting a partition with it).

You can probably get to a console prompt one way or another with it if you don't see that option in it's menus. You can probably click on an open area of your desktop to see your options. If there is a terminal program there, then you're all set. If not, you may need to do something like press ALT-F2 to exit the window manager, then log in using user name root.

How secure you need to make the erase also comes into the equation.

When you overwrite the existing data using a tool to "zero fill" the area used by your data, it's going to be virtually impossible to recover any of that data unless you have very specialized forensic tools designed to look at weaker magnetic signatures that may still be present in addition to the main data used for the zeros. IOW, think NSA, etc.

So, for most purposes, a simple zero fill is enough (and saves a lot of time versus trying to make multiple passes with random data and zeros). You could also use dd to write fill a partitiin with random data first (there is already a parameter to let you do that), then use it again (second pass) to zero fill it if you want it a bit more securely erased, without going to the trouble of using something like the shred utility to make 25 or more passes with random data + a zero fill.

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