Permanent deletion of data on HDD


  1. Posts : 86
    win 10 x64
       #1

    Permanent deletion of data on HDD


    Hi all,

    I know that there are many threads on the Web how to delete data on HDD for ever, so that it's safe to be sold in case of personal information previously stored on it. I just happened to create a thread here because to me you're the best on PCs and also wanted to know the newest solution for this.

    I want to delete the entire HDD so that it (almost) won't be possible to recover its data by the next user of that, when sold.

    What do you suggest, please?
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 4,546
    Windows 11 Pro 64-bit
       #2

    Darik's Boot and Nuke, also known as DBAN designed to securely erase a hard disk until its data is permanently removed and no longer recoverable.

    Data Removal: Darik's Boot and Nuke - DBAN

    Gutmann method - Wikipedia
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 725
    Windows 10 64-bits
       #3

    Securely erase a drive takes time, in case of large size drives, a long time. Depending on the sensitivity of the data, I generally prefer to use BitLocker to encrypt the full drive, not just data. Then use "diskpart" at the command prompt to unlock BitLocker:

    • list disk
    • select disk n, (where the n stands for the disk you want to format.)
    • list partition
    • select partition n, (where the n stands for the encrypted partition you want to delete.)
    • delete partition override
    • exit

    Once completed, I usually create a primary partition and use "quick format". In my experience, this procedure is quicker than DBAN by a sizable margin.

    CAUTION!

    "Diskpart" will erase disk/partition selected, even if you did not mean it. Be careful when you specify the disk/partition. I should know, I've done that once and learned my lesson...
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 86
    win 10 x64
    Thread Starter
       #4

    thanks to all,

    @Cr00zng
    So I need to bitlock a drive then using Windows DVD boot the system and go to the Diskpart section and do the tasks there. After finishing I must redo these for the next drive, until end. Right?

    Another question: Is delete partition override really reliable and files afterwards won't be able to be recovered?

    - - - Updated - - -
    @FreeBooter
    Also, if I have to use DBAN, should I write its iso file on a CD so that I can boot the PC by that and then wipe out the entire HDD?
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 4,546
    Windows 11 Pro 64-bit
       #5

    Yes you have to burn DBAN iso on a CD and boot your computer with it to delete all data on HDD.
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 725
    Windows 10 64-bits
       #6

    tomyfr said:
    thanks to all,

    @Cr00zng
    So I need to bitlock a drive then using Windows DVD boot the system and go to the Diskpart section and do the tasks there. After finishing I must redo these for the next drive, until end. Right?

    Another question: Is delete partition override really reliable and files afterwards won't be able to be recovered?

    - - - Updated - - -
    @FreeBooter
    Also, if I have to use DBAN, should I write its iso file on a CD so that I can boot the PC by that and then wipe out the entire HDD?
    That depends and keep in mind that you'd need the PIN with BitLocker for powering on the drive in question.

    If you have a PC with single drive, yes, you'd need to encrypt it with BitLocker, boot to Windows installation media, delete the partion with diskpart and format the drive.

    If you have a PC with multiple drive, you can do all of drives within Windows. Except for the system disk, of course, where you need the Windows installation media.

    Delete partition is generally not reliable from the perspective of recovering files. In the case of encrypted drive, it doesn't really matter. All data is encrypted with BitLocker (128/256-bits AES), anything recovered is just encrypted blob. Good luck getting the data out of it...

    My PC case has external drive bays connected directly to the motherboard. I found it faster to do this procedure on my system, than on people's older systems that work slow.

    I'd write the DBAN ISO image to a flashdrive, instead of a CD, but both of them are viable option. I don't use DBAN, but that's just standard process of writing the ISO image to a CD...

    In both cases, you can make the process less error prone by running the "checkdisk" utility and fix errors before either type of erase.
      My Computer


 

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