[Wolves] data removal procedures advice

Ron Wellsted wolves at mailman.lug.org.uk
Tue Apr 1 20:59:01 2003

On Monday 31 Mar 2003 2:25 pm, Jono Bacon wrote:
> --- Steve <info@a2rt.org> wrote:
> > hello all
> >
> > We have a possible donation of kit arranged, and the
> > person concerned wants to know about
> > procedures for removing data, and whether they get a
> > certificate for this.
> >
> > I would like to give them a post-it note with 'fdisk
> > /dev/hda' written on it, but i think that
> > more may be required. hmmm.Will we need to use
> > something other than the standard partition
> > tools?
> It seems to me that it should be just a
> straightforward format of the current partitions; be
> they Linux/Windows or whatever. A format will remove
> *all* data. (just waiting for some smartarse to prove
> me wrong and tell me that format will actually leave
> your important credit card numbers on your PC for
> theives).
>   Jono

fdisk/cfdisk etc. only remove the partition table, leaving all the original 
filesystem/files intact. Tools exist that can rebuild the partition table by 
finding superblock/FAT/MFT and deducing the orignal partion layout. 

A format will erase the filesystem but leave the orignal file data intact but 
not directly accessible.  Some tools exist which can recover a (large) 
percentage of the data.

So the best way to destory data would be to overwrite the entire disk with a 
pattern of "data" which would prevent data recovery.

Try "yes UUUUUUUU > /dev/hda"  (bonus point for why I suggested using U)

Ron Wellsted