[SOLVED] recommended way to wipe drives

mcr1324

Commendable
Aug 15, 2017
25
1
1,535
0
Hey, I was curious what u guys recommended as far as the best way to wipe drives..I was going to swap out my ssd for an upgrade and wipe the other drive and just keep it..I saw a program called DBAN that looked pretty good..would that be a good way to go and just boot from that and wipe them or is there another way that u guys would recommend..? ty..
 

cat1092

Distinguished
Dec 28, 2009
176
6
18,715
12
The bootable DBAN is great for HDD's, use the 'autonuke' option (be sure to detach the SATA cable from other drives before usage). Also small in size, no large ISO. Make it bootable with a CD or Rufus and a spare USB Flash drive. :)

For SSD's, most of the larger brands (Samsung, Intel, Crucial) has a tool to secure erase. For others, download Parted Magic, available from Major Geeks. Be sure not to select 'Enhanced Erase', as it only does so many sectors on both ends. The program may require the computer be put in a sleep mode before proceeding. Once awoken, then it does the job, unless for whatever reason the drive is 'frozen'. In this case, I take the SSD, attach a eSATA to SATA cable & plug the drive into a dedicated laptop, then run again, this always works for me. Some drives are like this & why it's good to have a eSATA to SATA cable on hand. Many modern motherboards still has the eSATA port on the I/O panel, attach to this.

NVMe SSD's requires a special wipe that the latest (paid) Parted Magic has, although major brands has their own tools to secure erase. I paid the $12 for the tool for these drives w/out a provided tool, can wipe any type of drive & a boatload of other tools I'll likely never use. The latest Parted Magic is a tool anyone working with many drives should have.(y)

As USAFRet was saying, if one feels they're being investigated, physically destroy the drive with a drill & hammer (read more below) in a strong bag ASAP & remove from the premises. NVMe or M.2 SATA SSD's can be snapped into tiny pieces & flushed down the toilet. Also shred any backup images created, other than the clean install before any suspected activity took place. CCleaner has a tool to shred these backup images (entire folder(s)) with a 3 or (recommended) 7 pass NSA wipe. Also, be sure using a partition tool such as MiniTool Partition Wizard, reset the MBR of the backup drive. This erases & resets all directories & is an important step, even after a DBAN wipe of drive. I learned this because when clean installing Windows after a Linux install, didn't hit any key fast enough & the Linux warning popped up instead. DBAN doesn't wipe the hidden MBR area. Had I used the Western Digital tool (another good tool), it may had wiped this area.

If time is of essence & there's no other backup images on the external or (not recommended) internal backup drive, destroy it using a drill & bit designed for steel in 18-24 places (the more the better). This shatters the platters beyond recovery. Then place in a strong bag & further smash with a hammer, dispose away from the premises. Do not dispose of in your own trash can or recycle container! Many stores or other public places has a trash can at the entrance to drop the sack in.

Fortunately, I've never had to destroy a drive, yet have wiped drives before giving a computer to family/friends or donating. It's important to do this, because there's tools, some as simple as Recuva, that can find bits & pieces of data. Also, some partition software has a recover partition utility which if not securely wiped, can restore the entire drive. I've purchased used/refurbished computers & have successfully recovered some, in hopes of restoring the recovery partition for reinstall. One purchased had all of the previous user's data & didn't have to recover, although I simply created a recovery disk set & restored the OS, after wiping the drive, There has been others, even with my MiniTool Power Data Recovery CD, the drive was like new.

Whatever works for the occasion, use it, most of the tools are free! (y)

Cat
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
115,437
2,270
145,090
18,760
Hey, I was curious what u guys recommended as far as the best way to wipe drives..I was going to swap out my ssd for an upgrade and wipe the other drive and just keep it..I saw a program called DBAN that looked pretty good..would that be a good way to go and just boot from that and wipe them or is there another way that u guys would recommend..? ty..
For a spinning HDD, DBAN.
For an SSD, the Secure Erase function from the manufacturer.


However, I'm in the middle of testing this sort of thing.

The commandline function diskpart and its clean command will actually kill all data from an SSD, to the point of
absolutely no recoverable data on it via prosumer level tools.
OK, maybe if you're a target of the NSA/GCHQ. But if you ARE a target of those entities....toss the thing in a shredder.
 

mcr1324

Commendable
Aug 15, 2017
25
1
1,535
0
hah I'm not even worried about the data on the drives, just wanted a nice clean install for the new SSD..I haven't really tried wiping any drives yet, I've actually build a couple of computers though lol..trying to learn a thing or two..is DBAN like bad for an ssd if you used it..?I would just be wiping the drives and then swap in the ssd do a clean install..wasn't sure if the comp would explode or something if I did a format on the HDD in windows, I kinda like the boot method more for some reason..anyways thx for the comments..
 
Some SSDs have a secure erase feature in their toolset/software tools....

If none is available...

If you are selling the SSD, you can quick format it, install it in another computer, and wipe the free space with one pass of zeros or one's with Glary Utilities , CCleaner...(if the drive is all free space as a result of a quick format, then it will be completely devoid of any recoverable data afterwards...

It can also be done from WIndows cmd line quite easily in any bootable system:

at the command prompt, type: Format D: /P:1

GIven the SSD is question as a D drive in this example, the '1' denotes the number of passes on overwrites, and, doing multiples is a waste of time. Data overwritten with zeros is QUITE GONE. (Be sure to do the correct drive)
 

cat1092

Distinguished
Dec 28, 2009
176
6
18,715
12
The bootable DBAN is great for HDD's, use the 'autonuke' option (be sure to detach the SATA cable from other drives before usage). Also small in size, no large ISO. Make it bootable with a CD or Rufus and a spare USB Flash drive. :)

For SSD's, most of the larger brands (Samsung, Intel, Crucial) has a tool to secure erase. For others, download Parted Magic, available from Major Geeks. Be sure not to select 'Enhanced Erase', as it only does so many sectors on both ends. The program may require the computer be put in a sleep mode before proceeding. Once awoken, then it does the job, unless for whatever reason the drive is 'frozen'. In this case, I take the SSD, attach a eSATA to SATA cable & plug the drive into a dedicated laptop, then run again, this always works for me. Some drives are like this & why it's good to have a eSATA to SATA cable on hand. Many modern motherboards still has the eSATA port on the I/O panel, attach to this.

NVMe SSD's requires a special wipe that the latest (paid) Parted Magic has, although major brands has their own tools to secure erase. I paid the $12 for the tool for these drives w/out a provided tool, can wipe any type of drive & a boatload of other tools I'll likely never use. The latest Parted Magic is a tool anyone working with many drives should have.(y)

As USAFRet was saying, if one feels they're being investigated, physically destroy the drive with a drill & hammer (read more below) in a strong bag ASAP & remove from the premises. NVMe or M.2 SATA SSD's can be snapped into tiny pieces & flushed down the toilet. Also shred any backup images created, other than the clean install before any suspected activity took place. CCleaner has a tool to shred these backup images (entire folder(s)) with a 3 or (recommended) 7 pass NSA wipe. Also, be sure using a partition tool such as MiniTool Partition Wizard, reset the MBR of the backup drive. This erases & resets all directories & is an important step, even after a DBAN wipe of drive. I learned this because when clean installing Windows after a Linux install, didn't hit any key fast enough & the Linux warning popped up instead. DBAN doesn't wipe the hidden MBR area. Had I used the Western Digital tool (another good tool), it may had wiped this area.

If time is of essence & there's no other backup images on the external or (not recommended) internal backup drive, destroy it using a drill & bit designed for steel in 18-24 places (the more the better). This shatters the platters beyond recovery. Then place in a strong bag & further smash with a hammer, dispose away from the premises. Do not dispose of in your own trash can or recycle container! Many stores or other public places has a trash can at the entrance to drop the sack in.

Fortunately, I've never had to destroy a drive, yet have wiped drives before giving a computer to family/friends or donating. It's important to do this, because there's tools, some as simple as Recuva, that can find bits & pieces of data. Also, some partition software has a recover partition utility which if not securely wiped, can restore the entire drive. I've purchased used/refurbished computers & have successfully recovered some, in hopes of restoring the recovery partition for reinstall. One purchased had all of the previous user's data & didn't have to recover, although I simply created a recovery disk set & restored the OS, after wiping the drive, There has been others, even with my MiniTool Power Data Recovery CD, the drive was like new.

Whatever works for the occasion, use it, most of the tools are free! (y)

Cat
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS