Drive Wiping Basics

When it comes to life you can either wipe or clean with a bidet. When it comes to a hard drive you can only wipe and on some days everybody knows that can be a messy operation and is sometimes not quite complete.

I use Iolo Drive Scrubber which is OK but it has limits and most of the limits have very little to do with how many times you wipe. They have to do with what you wipe.

Once again, lets start with forgetting all you think you know. A big magnet is not a Gaussian chamber and setting a big magnet on your harddrive is a waste of time.

The next question is how many times you wipe and my answer is why bother with more than one on any drive you know that is there. For instance when I mount Iolo Drive scrubber in my CD rom on my new computer, it locates an A and C drive and on my old computer it locates A, B and C drives. Funny thing is, my new computer doesn’t have an A drive and after awhile I got curious. This so called A Drive is inaccessible by Fdisk using Windows 98 and I can’t access it by any method I’m aware of. So one day I decided to wipe all drives and guess what, it exists and takes up space on the hard drive.

On a new drive you may not miss 1 gig out of 100 but when it reports your 10 gig drive is a 9, you have to wonder what is stored in the lost area. When you wipe an empty drive (i.e. The B Floppy drive) it tells you there is no media to wipe yet when you scrub the identified A:/ drive it wipes it.

So how many wipes do I use. Where I can search the drive myself myself and if it’s clean, I use 1 wipe with a zero overlay and confirmation. If I can search it myself and I suspect it’s got nasties on it, I use 7 wipes and a zero overlay. And in the area I can’t access, that mysterious A Drive, I use a 35 pass Gutmann wipe which doesn’t take that much time on the much smaller space. Even if it’s only a light 1 pass sweep on the c:/ drive, I do 35 passes on the so called A:\ drive because I don’t know what’s there and I didn’t put it there.

So do I consider my drive clean – not if my life depends on it.

Seems theirs another nasty piece of work called “Dynamic Drive Overlay” or DDO which creates an “unwipeable” area on your hard drive. This survives operating systems changes from Linux to Windows and back, F Disk, Formatting and Drive wiping.

More about this when I learn to hack that crap and properly wipe myself.

PS When The drive content scare me – I drop it in a bucket and cover it with muriatic acid. Do that outside because this creates a real stinkpot.


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