Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Purging an Old Drive

I have a hard drive which is failing, however it still has data on it. This drive is a good three or four years old, it was installed in my Macbook when I bought it. I had to remove it from there when I noticed the "S.M.A.R.T" Status indicated it was failing. When I removed it, I was left with a drive that had data on it which needed to be removed. I am not one for just a simple erase. I decided to be careful and do a 35 pass erase. This means that the needle goes around the disk 35 times completely to erase any and all traces of data.

35 times may not seem like a lot, but it is. As of now, I am up to my 17th time around the disk. My hackintosh has been running for almost two days now erasing the disk. This method, the 35 pass wipe, is the most secure method out there. I did learn recently though, if your disk warped over time there may be sections of it that are unreadable. That means that the needle won't go over and over and erase it. There are two option that post the best measure of security if you don't want to wipe your drive. First, take an axe to it and have fun destroying it. Second, rub a strong magnet over it. Doing so will mess up the ones and zeroes on the disk; thus, the disk will now have corrupt data on it instead of data which is retrievable.

Not everyone needs to clean their old drives, but since this one is out of warranty I want to make sure there is nothing left on it before I destroy it. You can never be too safe when destroying data.


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