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CCLEANER´s erasing accuracy compared to other softwares?

Computer forensics discussion. Please ensure that your post is not better suited to one of the forums below (if it is, please post it there instead!)
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Re: CCLEANER´s erasing accuracy compared to other softwares

Post Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:16 am

Thanks for your answer. I think I am understanding.

DBAN is intended for the entire hard disk in your PC. So that is not valid for me, as I want to erase some external devices, like this:

www.google.es/search?q...B577%3B300

whatever name it has, that is the external device I want to erase.


The link you posted says:

"variant on this theme, if you have another computer, is to remove the drives from the old machine, put them[ in turn into a caddy connected to your other computer, and use Eraser to erase the contents of the root folder of the attached drive (i.e. everything), and then quick format the drive and erase all free space to be sure. This too is a lengthy process."

It seems it referes to which I do: first format -unmarking quick format- a full format and then run overwritting over the external device. am I doing correctly for fully erase the external device?  

williamsonn
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: CCLEANER´s erasing accuracy compared to other softwares

Post Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:29 am

Totally understood: "a hard disk is a physical disk which can be used to store a large amount of information using magnetic patterns, in a similar way to audio cassettes and video tapes, except that a hard disk is quite a lot smaller, and yet can store an incredible amount of information. In fact, hard disks tend to be a collection of several disks all stacked done above the other like a multi storey car park.

A hard drive, on the other hand, is the whole unit in which a hard disk is just one part. The hard disk, or the different layers or platters which make up a hard disk, requires turning."

Now, as DBAN is not valid for me, as it erases all Pc´s data, and what I want is to delete all personal information contained in the kind of device whose picture I sent in my previous post(or a USN flash memory), am I correct when using for example cleaner, selecting the unit matching to that deice and overwritting it?

Thanks  

williamsonn
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: CCLEANER´s erasing accuracy compared to other softwares

Post Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:51 pm

NO, NO, NO.

The WHOLE device is a hard disk drive.

A drive (logical drive, or partition or volume or filesystem) is a part of the disk.

The device in the picture you posted a link to is a hard disk drive.

A USB stick (WHOLE device) is a device that represents a solid state hard disk drive.

In windows you have a tool that is called Disk Manager.
That tool manages disks (or disk like devices).
A disk (as seen in disk manager) can be partitioned in one or more drives.
Letters are assigned to drives, NOT to disks.

If you want to Safe Delete a drive, or files in it you are leaving a number of areas that are NOT erased.

If you want to Safe Erase the device you have to safe erase the WHOLE thing, including areas that are not normally accessible.

Whether these areas will contain or not any meaningful data, is another thing.

Please re-read, once again and slowly these previous posts:
www.forensicfocus.com/...0/#6564950
www.forensicfocus.com/...5/#6564955
www.forensicfocus.com/...1/#6564971

IF you want to safely delete a file (and nothing else) CCleaner might do (but sdelete will also do).
IF you want to safely delete the free space in a filesystem (and nothing else) CCleaner might do (but sdelete will also do).
IF you want to safely delete a drive (and nothing else) CCleaner might do (but the plain FORMAT in Vista and later will do if you do not use the /q switch).

jaclaz
_________________
- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is. - 

jaclaz
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: CCLEANER´s erasing accuracy compared to other softwares

Post Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:40 pm

- jaclaz
NO, NO, NO.

The WHOLE device is a hard disk drive.

A drive (logical drive, or partition or volume or filesystem) is a part of the disk.

The device in the picture you posted a link to is a hard disk drive.

A USB stick (WHOLE device) is a device that represents a solid state hard disk drive.

In windows you have a tool that is called Disk Manager.
That tool manages disks (or disk like devices).
A disk (as seen in disk manager) can be partitioned in one or more drives.
Letters are assigned to drives, NOT to disks.

If you want to Safe Delete a drive, or files in it you are leaving a number of areas that are NOT erased.

If you want to Safe Erase the device you have to safe erase the WHOLE thing, including areas that are not normally accessible.

Whether these areas will contain or not any meaningful data, is another thing.

Please re-read, once again and slowly these previous posts:
www.forensicfocus.com/...0/#6564950
www.forensicfocus.com/...5/#6564955
www.forensicfocus.com/...1/#6564971

IF you want to safely delete a file (and nothing else) CCleaner might do (but sdelete will also do).
IF you want to safely delete the free space in a filesystem (and nothing else) CCleaner might do (but sdelete will also do).
IF you want to safely delete a drive (and nothing else) CCleaner might do (but the plain FORMAT in Vista and later will do if you do not use the /q switch).

jaclaz



thanks for your answer. So, I see that when I connect/plug an external hard drive disk to a main computer and a letter appears naming that device a "E" that letter is not referred to the entire hard drive disk but the main partition. You say that the other areas are not accessible, so, when I use ccleaner for erasing "the entire drive E by overwritting it with 3 passes"(this is the name -E:- of the external hard drive disk I connect), then Am I safely erasing ALL personal data stored in that hard drive disk but not the other areas which are ONLY occupied by NO personal information BUT by files of the system ? Is correct that understanding?,  

williamsonn
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: CCLEANER´s erasing accuracy compared to other softwares

Post Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:15 pm

- williamsonn

thanks for your answer. So, I see that when I connect/plug an external hard drive disk to a main computer and a letter appears naming that device a "E" that letter is not referred to the entire hard drive disk but the main partition. You say that the other areas are not accessible,

Yes, but - again - the letter is NOT assigned to the device, only to a (readable/accessible) partition/volume/drive in it.

- williamsonn

so, when I use ccleaner for erasing "the entire drive E by overwritting it with 3 passes"(this is the name -E:- of the external hard drive disk I connect), then Am I safely erasing ALL personal data stored in that hard drive disk but not the other areas which are ONLY occupied by NO personal information BUT by files of the system ? Is correct that understanding?,

Yes and no.
Meaning that yes, you are (senselessly, i.e. with two completely unneeded passes) overwriting the info on the drive E: which surely does contain files written from the OS, and you are NOT overwriting other areas of the disk which may (or may not) contain other kind of info, of which you have no way to know the contents unless you access them or - to be on the safe side - wipe them nonetheless.

Example 1:
An user makes two partitions on a disk (that is two drives, in the sense of two drive letters) and uses one of the two for the OS and the other one to store some data that is periodically burned on CD/DVD for backup.
Then he/she experiments (say) with a new Linux distro, in the process, *somehow* manages to corrupt the second (data only) partition.
Before he/she manages to repair this volume, another small hiccup happens, corrupting only a boot file.
He/she then decides to buy a new hard disk and re-install.
The old disk is given to you to be wiped before selling it on e-bay.
What do you do?

Example 2:
You download a malware that writes some data (let's say sensible data, usernames, passwords, Credit card numbers) to hidden/unused sectors of the hard disk and then corrupts the one an only partition on the disk.
You decide that is a good occasion to upgrade your system, so you recover some data (say family photos, a few lousy excel spreadsheets and some other files) and transfer them to a new hard disk, after which you should wipe the disk before selling it on e-bay.
What do you do?

Of course the probabilities of someone buying the used disk drive actually looking for these info (and being capable of finding them and having actually an use for them and particularly a malicious use) are very, very low, but "secure delete" or secure erase" is another thing.

If you call the procedure "good enough delete" or "half-@§§ed wipe" Wink , then everything is fine and dandy.

jaclaz
_________________
- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is. - 

jaclaz
Senior Member
 
 
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