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using Ubuntu Live CD to securely erase SATA drive in USB docking station

(8 posts)
  • Started 1 year ago by nharp0386
  • Latest reply from nharp0386
  • Topic Viewed 1195 times

nharp0386
nharp0386
Posts: 145

I want to securely erase an old SATA HDD that's connected via a USB 2.0 docking station. Since it's connected in this way, many typical utilities are out of the question. I've heard that Linux can do the job, though.

I want something that can erase my drive well enough so that data absolutely cannot be recovered (outside of possibly in a forensic setting). Can an Ubuntu Live CD do this? Is there another utility (for Windows or bootable) that can erase my drive better, more thoroughly, or more securely?

If Ubuntu Live is the way to go, then I've seen several different commands that can be used, including "shred," "wipe," "dd," and "badblocks." According to this, it seems like "wipe" is more secure than "shred." I know at least some of these options allow you to choose whether to fill the drive with random data or with zeroes. Which command would provide me with the best, most thorough, and most secure erase for my SATA drive connected via a USB 2.0 docking station? Since there are options such as number of passes, random data vs. zeroes, etc., what specific command would you recommend to me (if Linux is the best way to go for what I want to do)?

Thanks!

Posted 1 year ago
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Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

What the hecks on there ? If it's old, I would just destroy the thing. Much more fun.

Posted 1 year ago
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Xhi
Xhi
Posts: 6298

CCleaner has a drive wiper facility in it's tools section that will do up to 35 passes which should be sufficient for your purposes.

Posted 1 year ago
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vistamike
vistamike
Posts: 10945

There are 3 ways;

1) http://www.dban.org/

2)


3) An option LH may refer to 'much more fun' but with a satisfying end result / finality, this tool may assist which as you can see has had much use and I carry it with me;

Posted 1 year ago
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nharp0386
nharp0386
Posts: 145

@Lighthouse: I'd rather not destroy it, at least not right now, in case I want to give it away or sell it with my old PC.

@Xhi: I'd like something that's more than "sufficient" though... I'm looking for the best, most thorough, and most secure option available. What would that be? I know many of the popular tools won't work for my USB setup. I've read that Linux, as well as some other utilities like Eraser and RoadKil's Disk Wipe, will work with USB drives though.

Would Linux be the best, most thorough, and most secure option to wipe my drive? If so, what command do you recommend, and if not, what other utility should I use?

Posted 1 year ago
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Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

KillDisk, or DBAN (Mike mentioned)

Posted 1 year ago
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Ruja
Posts: 230

From http://www.piriform.com :
"CCleaner has four methods of secure deletion: a Simple Overwrite (1 pass), DOD 5220.22-M (3 passes), NSA (7 passes), and Gutmann (35 passes)."

As you see, the 3-passes method is "sufficient" for the Department of Defense of the United States, and 7 passes work for the National Security Agency, so I think this will be enough for you too. 7 or 35 passes will be probably overkill and would take really long, but you can go for it if you want.

Most tools, on Windows, Linux or bootable CDs, will have similar options too.

Posted 1 year ago
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nharp0386
nharp0386
Posts: 145

Thanks. I think I'll give CCleaner a try. I have one concern, though: I read here that it cannot securely delete files that were deleted from the Recycle Bin. Is this something that still applies when performing a drive wipe, or not? Since the drive was previously used internally and files on it were often moved to the Recycle Bin and the bin then emptied, will those files be recoverable after the wipe, or will they be securely deleted?

Also, how long do you expect each of the secure delete methods (1 pass, 3 passes, 7 passes, and 35 passes) to take on a 120 GB SATA HDD when connected via a USB 2.0 docking station?

Posted 1 year ago
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