[Ryedale] wiping hard drives

Al Girling al at gcguk.demon.co.uk
Tue Aug 22 14:12:25 BST 2006

Hi folks,

I've been following a discussion at the 'It's Not Easy Being Green'
forum about recycling old computers.  The question has been raised about
removing all the data on the hard drive to ensure third world crooks
can't retrieve information about bank details etc.  Answers seem to vary
between completely destroying the drive physically i.e.. smash with a
large hammer to using a variety of software solutions to overwrite the
old data using things like  C-Cleaner http://www.ccleaner.com, dban
http://dban.sourceforge.net/ and something called Acronis.

Now I remember this subject being discussed over a year ago on the YLUG
list and most people seemed to favour the big hammer/total destruction
route.  I know someone who used to be able to get second hand kit from
an MOD source but this wouldn't include hard drives for security
reasons.  Which suggests to me the MOD don't trust any type of software
solutions to this problem.

I personally prefer the big hammer approach, but then I'm slightly
paranoid. I do wonder if encrypting sensitive documents with GPG might
be a solution, but against that there will have been un-encrypted
versions on the machine which may be recoverable.  I realise that since
this was discussed the improvements in software to hide data will have
improved, but so too will have the criminals ability to recover it!

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.


Al Girling

Home page:                  <http://al.sdf-eu.org>
Linux User: #290080         <http://counter.li.org>
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