Questions

How to 100% format all my drives?

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How to 100% format all my drives?

Noogles
I've heard that it's possible for a virus to still be left on a drive even after format, so because of paranoia that I have, I've decided that I want to 100% wipe out all the data on all of my drives. Could you please tell me how to do this? I don't have too much technical knowledge, so I'm sorry if I said something absurd.
Thank you!
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1 Votes
OH Smeg
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http://www.dban .org/download
remember to remove the space from between dban and the .org for a working link.

After you make a Optical Disc from it you can wipe each and every drive though you should be warned you can only do one HDD at a time and depending on the size of the Drive it may take a long time to wipe the drive. This is the only way to be certain that you have Killed the Infection/s as it writes to every sector of the HDD several times with zero's overwriting anything at all on the drive.

After you have finished wiping all of the HDD/s in your system you can use GParted to Format the drives as you require

http://gparted.sourceforge .net/download.php
remember the space thing here too

Or you can use the Windows Install Disc to make the Partitions though with this you may not have the necessary control if you want several complex partitions on a HDD.

Col

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Noogles
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Thank you!

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Slayer_
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However, I am not aware of any viruses that can survive a normal disk format in the wild yet. Just that 1 Mac virus that actually infected the battery.

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Charles Bundy
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Any that would reside in the MBR would survive a format

http://techlogon.com/2012/01/15/how-to-check-for-and-fix-mbr-virus-infection/

They might also hide in hidden partitions or host protected areas. Hidden or HPA would be cold storage. W/O an instantiation vector (e.g. MBR,BIOS) it wouldn't re-infect the system.

http://www.utica.edu/academic/institutes/ecii/publications/articles/EFE36584-D13F-2962-67BEB146864A2671.pdf

I think HPA's would even survive a DBAN wipe as Oh Smeg suggested based on what the drive BIOS would report as beginning/ending sectors.

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Slayer_
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Sounds like your second link is theoretical, but worrisome as it would wreck the drive.

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Charles Bundy
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HPA aren't theory, Seagate, WD, et-al use them. :) See -

http://www.t10.org/t13/project/d1153r18-ATA-ATAPI-4.pdf

Malware would just need to use the ATA4 command extensions to set/access them. It wouldn't wreck the drive, but you might be scratching your head as to why you suddenly lost HD storage capacity.

I bad guy could use the HPA to store both code and data that would survive a low level format/wipe, unless a tech used Seagate or WD tools to remove the HPA.

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Charles Bundy
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Change *I* to *A* above :). It also struck me that an HPA based nasty wouldn't show up on AV or standalone boot scanners (e.g. Bitdefender)

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Noogles
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I'm not too sure how the reply system works, so I hope I'm replying to the right poster :)
Would the things OH Smeg told me to do take care of the MBR issue?

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Charles Bundy
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Yes, follow Oh Smeg's advice and use DBAN to wipe the drive. Anything that was hiding in the MBR will be nuked.

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Slayer_
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What I meant by theoretical is that the document doesn't say whether or not any viruses that exploit this area exist.