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any software for getting secure erased data back?

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williamsonn
(@williamsonn)
Member

hello
i though his was not possible but I have read about certain softwares supposedly capable of recovering securely erased devices(from 1 to 7 passes)erased using deleting software like ccleaner.
is this true?

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Topic starter Posted : 13/01/2013 2:47 am
williamsonn
(@williamsonn)
Member

I´d like to add that the way i use to erase devices(HDDs, USB pendrives, SD cards, etc), consists of doing first a windows fat32 format(not quick format) and then using ccleaner, 7 passes erasing.

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Topic starter Posted : 13/01/2013 3:06 am
mscotgrove
(@mscotgrove)
Senior Member

One write and your data has gone - unless you are using a 10 year old disk drive, or you have the good/bad luck that the sector has been remapped by the P / G List in the drive

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Posted : 13/01/2013 4:36 am
PaulSanderson
(@paulsanderson)
Senior Member

^^^ this.

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Posted : 13/01/2013 4:40 am
williamsonn
(@williamsonn)
Member

And what happens with 10 or more years old hard drives? I have a few of them from my old computers and I have tried the above mentioned erasing system(ccleaner and 7 passes erasing). It doesn´t work with them? Thanks

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Topic starter Posted : 13/01/2013 8:38 pm
williamsonn
(@williamsonn)
Member

My oldest discs I am referring is one from around 1996, Seagate, 3,5", 20GB

Other 2,5" circa 1999 5GB.

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Topic starter Posted : 13/01/2013 9:11 pm
williamsonn
(@williamsonn)
Member

Both IDE.

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Topic starter Posted : 13/01/2013 9:11 pm
twjolson
(@twjolson)
Active Member

And what happens with 10 or more years old hard drives? I have a few of them from my old computers and I have tried the above mentioned erasing system(ccleaner and 7 passes erasing). It doesn´t work with them? Thanks

I am far from an expert, but this why/how you can recover previously wiped data has always interested me. Only one explanation I've heard has made technical sense to me. As I said, I am not an expert, so take it with a grain of salt.

Back in the good old days HDs were built using stepper motors. Each track would, in essence, be a notch on the stepper motor. There was no in between. Think of it as a number line, there is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. But, with a stepper motor there was no such thing as 2.5, or 1.25. This becomes important because as the disk operates, the stepper motor goes to the same radial distance always; however, the disk also heats up and expands. Thus, what was a distance of 2 on the disk, becomes a 2.5 when it expands. When the disk is wiped, it may over write the data at distance 2, leaving the data written at distance 2.5 intact.

This should not be the case with the newer motors, that can and do compensate for the expansion of the disk.

Thus, in theory, any HD that uses a stepper motor, should be able to find some remnants of data after a wipe (although, multiple passes decreases this chance, since the disk will be heating up as it wipes). But in practice, the equipment is cost-prohibitive.

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Posted : 13/01/2013 10:16 pm
mscotgrove
(@mscotgrove)
Senior Member

The big problem with the reading half tracks is which bit of data are you actually reading. If one takes a FAT directory sector, it may have been written 20 times, before the erasing. If you can read an off track sector, will it be previous 1, or previous 12 you have found (depending on the temperature of the drive when written / erased).

Start with the budget of the FBI (in a good year)

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Posted : 13/01/2013 10:49 pm
PaulSanderson
(@paulsanderson)
Senior Member

Start with the budget of the FBI (in a good year)

Nah, we did it (about 13 years ago) with a lot smaller budget than that.

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Posted : 13/01/2013 11:27 pm
TonyC
(@tonyc)
Junior Member

This article supports the position that it is not possible to recover data that has been over written http//www.nber.org/sys-admin/overwritten-data-guttman.html

I also use and encourage the use of dban. It's fast and has lots of wiping options. For my non-techie friends and family that may have trouble with creating a CD from an image etc., it is possible to wipe a drive using a FULL FORMAT in Windows Vista and Windows 7. See http//support.microsoft.com/kb/941961

The Microsoft document only mentions Windows Vista but it is easy enough to verify that Windows 7 does the same process with a simple test.

TonyC

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Posted : 14/01/2013 12:13 am
williamsonn
(@williamsonn)
Member

Dear Sirs thanks for your answers. However me not being an expert, there are things I do not understand.

mscotgrove

One write and your data has gone - unless you are using a 10 year old disk drive, or you have the good/bad luck that the sector has been remapped by the P / G List in the drive

I have not understood what happens, then, If you erase an IDE HDD more than 10 y/o, using a tool like ccleaner, and a 7pass erasing. wink

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Topic starter Posted : 14/01/2013 6:58 am
williamsonn
(@williamsonn)
Member

Is totally erased far beyond recovering or, what happens is what suggets twjolson? In such a case,a 10 y/o , or older hard drive should be erased with a 35pass wiping?

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Topic starter Posted : 14/01/2013 7:01 am
BitHead
(@bithead)
Community Legend

If you have 10 year old drives around and want to wipe them I would not waste computer time writing 35-passes to the drive, just use the wiebeTECH RWB. It would be much quicker (and satisfying).

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Posted : 14/01/2013 7:16 am
jhup
 jhup
(@jhup)
Community Legend

Is totally erased far beyond recovering or, what happens is what suggets twjolson? In such a case,a 10 y/o , or older hard drive should be erased with a 35pass wiping?

. . . Are you going to reuse this 10-year old HDD? If not, why are you wiping it? Just physically destroy it.

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Posted : 14/01/2013 7:23 am
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