Question Best tool to quickly erase a HDD before sale?

NightHawkRMX

Illustrious
I have 2 hard drives plus some other parts I intend to sell as faulty on eBay. They both show up in windows, but both are performing very poorly and have a bad smart scan. I'm kind of tired of dealing with these parts and want some money.

How can I quickly get rid of the data on these drives? I have formatted both in windows, but I'm not sure if this is enough.
 

jimmysmitty

Champion
Moderator
If you plan to sell them do not do so without doing a real wipe. Formatting them just removes the partition information but files can still exist.

Best bet is to use something like DBAN

https://sourceforge.net/projects/dban/files/dban/dban-2.3.0/dban-2.3.0_i586.iso/download

At minimum do the DoD 7 pass wipe. If it was me I would go with Gutmann which is 33 passes. Only issue is that takes a very long time but from my experience I have yet to be able to recover any data after a Gutmann wipe is performed.

However DoD 7 pass should be enough to wipe data off.
 

NightHawkRMX

Illustrious
Ok, will do. I had heard of that program but couldn't remember the name.


One of the drives doesn't have any personal info on it as I just recently got it and then got refunded since its broken. The other one did have personal info before a clean windows install awhile ago, so there may still be remnants on it.
 

jimmysmitty

Champion
Moderator
Ok, will do. One of the drives doesn't have any personal info on it as I just recently got it and then got refunded since its broken. The other one did have personal info before a clean windows install awhile ago, so there may still be remnants on it.
The drive with personal I would do DoD 7. The other one you could get away with a basic DoD quick which is 1 pass so long as there was no personal information.
 

jimmysmitty

Champion
Moderator
If you did a DoD 7 pass it will take time. Remember its basically writing 0s to every sector on the drive 7 times unlike a format that just wipes the MBR and leaves data on the drive.

A 500GB HDD normally takes about 15 hours to fully wipe and we have to do this for our work to be compliant.

You can always just to a quick pass but that means any data left could be recovered.

Another factor is that the drive itself is bad, per your original statement, which could be degrading performance and causing it to take longer.
 
No need to overwrite stuff 7 times to get rid of data...; the key is to actually overwrite it.

CCleaner has a free space/full drive overwrite tool included, where you can specify a single overwrite pass of either the free space or the entire drive.. (3,5,7, and 35 passes available for those with months of free time and electricity )
 

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