How to delete data on windows XP with been able to retrieve

By shomatek ·
How to delete both computer and user data on windows XP without been able to retrieve it.

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Depends on what is required here

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to How to delete data on win ...

And if there are any Compliencing Involved. By far the best way is to use a Utility liker Boot & Nuke a free utility available here but it treats the entire HDD not just a few sectors. However to all but the most confirmed Government Agency the Data is totally destroyed.

There however is no way to completely destroy Data for a Full Forensic Recovery and still have the drive as usable. The only way that you can guarantee 100% certainty of Data Destruction is to destroy the Platters inside the drive and this generally means destroying the HDD.

However if you just want to securely destroy data within a existing OS something like File Shredder will suffice for most cases

It's make things easier to recover Data than if the HDD was wiped but it's still going to be very expensive.

So it all depends on how Securely you need to delete the Data. Short of destroying the Platters in the drive there is no way though to delete data and make it unrecoverable.


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Please explain Better

by shomatek In reply to Depends on what is requir ...

Thank OH Smeg , do you know that there are some applications that can recover data deleted even when the recycle fold as been empty. I don't want to destroy the platters and i don't want them to be recover as well.

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by TobiF In reply to Please explain Better

yes, Col knows that if you just delete something in Windows (And I mean delete, not just placing it in the "recycle bin") then the file will typically still be left on the hard drive, but marked as deleted. Eventually, the space will later be overwritten by some new files.

So sDelete and FileShredder are a couple of tools that overwrites the a file securely.

In your other thread, you said that you don't want to format. However, for clarity, I just want to mention that nowadays, many systems don't clean the whole drive when you format it. They just mark up the file system, but forensics may have a good chance to dig up at least parts of old files.
Dban is a tool that will overwrite the whole disk for you, thus making it much, much harder to read the files that were previously on the drive.

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In the past I have done work with Agencies

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Please explain Better

Who have recovered every bit of Data written to a HDD ever in it's life. This includes the Data written to the drive by it's maker when they do Routine Testing of drives.

As for recovering any Data a Simple Forensic Recovery Tool will do a reasonable job of recovering Data that has not be severely overwritten but even something like that takes days to finish the scan and isn't cheap when it comes to Time Spent.

As stated above Boot & Nuke is one of the best Utilities to wipe HDD's but even that is not the be all and end all of Data Destruction. If a place is willing to spend the money All of the Data Ever written to the drive can be recovered. This involved removing the platters from a HDD in a Class 1 Clean Room coating them with a special coating and then reading the data off the platter.

I have no idea what this costs as I only know of Government Agencies who do this work mainly for Court Cases so Cost isn't an overriding issue but it would be on the very high side of things and I wouldn't expect much change out of a Million $ if it had to be paid for. Even then you would need to find a place setup to do this type of thing who had spare time.

So while it's impossible to destroy data on a HDD the reality of the situation is that something like File Shredder to all intents and Purposes will destroy data for most people but like all things it's not going to stop a Dedicated person who wants to know .

As for Forensic Recovery Programs one of the cheap less powerful ones is Win Hex

But there are better much more expensive ones available. However to get the best results with things like this you need to know what it is you are doing and how the software works.

Naturally with the High End Programs to do this they may work better than Win Hex but they are considerably more expensive. There are however .5 of a Million Hits on Forensic Data Recovery in a Google Search so there are a lot of alternatives out there.

Just keep in mind that Kroll Ontrack managed to recover Data off a HDD that was onboard the Space Shuttle Colombia when it was destroyed. The drive was recovered months after the disintegration of Colombia and the drive hit the ground in a swamp where it sat for a long time till it was discovered. It was then sent to On Track and they managed to recover the data off the drive. However 2 other drives from the same space craft proved impossible to recover any data from. They where more severely damaged than the one that they managed to get the data off though and the Magnetic Material on the platters had been severely damaged almost to the destroyed point.


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That proves your point

by TobiF In reply to In the past I have done w ...

That the only reliable way to make sure the data can't be read is to check "Will the HDD blend?" :)

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Anything is possible, given enough time and money

by robo_dev In reply to In the past I have done w ...

Interesting about the shuttle data (and tragic).

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What I found interesting with the Shuttle Crash

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Anything is possible, giv ...

Was it was far cheaper to attempt to recover data off the drives than to repeat the experiments that they where recording. I was amazed just how much damage was done to the platters and that they still managed to recover anything at all.

If anything it just shows how tough Seagate made those Drives and that it only took a couple of Days to recover everything possible shows how fast it can be.

I can not imagine just how much force was applied to those Drives during the breakup of the Shuttle or the deceleration rates involved when they hit the swamp surface. But the internal IC torn off the circuit board must have been substantial to do that.

As I've worked in Clean Rooms in the past opening a drive filled with sand & water wasn't my idea of fun as it must have contaminated the Clean Room quite substantially.

It does however show what is possible. Though in that case I think you'll find that most people would have preferred that it was not necessary.


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