Wipe hard drive Partition freeware

Started Sep 4, 2009 | Discussions thread
Jim Cockfield Forum Pro • Posts: 16,333
Re: For Vernon

Zone8 wrote:

The only thing you can do is reformat the partition you want to delete info from (via My Computer - right click and select Quick Format). However, that will NOT remove the MBR (Master Boot Record).

Or, any data in the drive. The MBR is just the first 512 bytes of the drive, containing a partition table and optional boot loader. It really doesn't have anything to do with the actual data being stored on the drive.

Basically, it's just the way the operating system knows what byte offsets each partition starts and ends at on the drive, what type they are, etc. (and a boot loader can also be there).

But, you don't even need the partition table to recover data from a drive (and you can easily recreate the MBR if you remove all partitions on a drive, just by using specialized utilities designed to find the start and stop byte offsets on the drive for the removed partitions. Testdisk is one free utility that can easily do that for you.

The only way to get rid of the data is to overwrite the same sectors the data was in (using random data, or zeroes, etc.). Otherwise, even if the file system is totally destroyed (formatting the partition), or you removed the partitions, or even destroyed the MBR, you can still easily recover files from it using utilities if you haven't overwritten the space used by them.

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