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wipe clean an external hard drive

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by lmhjcr, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. lmhjcr

    lmhjcr Sergeant

    Hello,

    I have an external hard drive (that I connect via usb) which I would like to wipe clean. I know that there are programs for doing this to your internal hard drive (such as heidi/eraser and dban) but is there on that will allow me to select the drive that I want to wipe clean – or will one of the above do that for me? I was using the external hard drive to back up my pc and have deleted the backups and used the format option but I know that just using format will not really wipe it completely clean.

    Thanks so Very Much,

    Lisa
     
  2. mcsmc

    mcsmc MajorGeek

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2010
  3. Main Frame

    Main Frame Corporal

    I don't think files would be recoverable by any conventional means after just one pass. Maybe if you're worried about the FBI seizing your equipment and tearing into your hard drive then multiple passes may ease your mind somewhat, but for almost all cases one pass will be fine.
     
  4. lmhjcr

    lmhjcr Sergeant

    Thanks for the information. I'm not worried about the FBI seizing the drive and tearing into it. It is just that I was using it to back up my pc and that included my tax returns as well and I just wanted to make sure that it is completely wiped clean of that information. From what I had heard and read with the right software one could recover information that had once been on a hard drive unless it was wiped clean with some sort of eraser program. I had thought I might be able to use the ccleaner wipe option but even after going to tools and removing the check mark for the internal drive and putting a check mark next to the external drive it starts to wipe the c drive instead (internal drive)

    Thanks Again!
     
  5. theefool

    theefool Geekified

  6. lmhjcr

    lmhjcr Sergeant

    I appreciate the suggestion --- but when reading the description for the Darik's Boot & Nuke it states that it will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect. I don't want to wipe clean the internal hard drive --- just the external hard drive. Is there a way to select which hard drive that it will completed delete the contents of???

    Thanks again
     
  7. baklogic

    baklogic MajorGeek

    When you use thse tools, you have to be sure that the drive you wish to clean is chosen- Your main hard drive is usually the C drive, cd/dvd drives usually come next as 'D', and if you have two DVD/CD drives, also ' E'
    Unless you added the hard drive, then installed another dvd/cd drive, when this would change.
    So , as long as you look in computer management and check that the drive letter, is say,' F'
    JUST BE SURE OF ITS DRIVE NUMBER, BEFORE USING ANY TOOL. iF YOU FORMATTED IT THROUGH THE MANAGEMENT CONSOLE, YOU SHOULD HAVE ITS DRIVE LETTER.
    iF ITS WESTERN DIGITAL, THEIR TOOL WILL WRITE ZERO.S TO IT FOR YOU.
    I believe most manufacturers can do this, but have not tried them for a while- like Seagates tool(includes Maxtor)
    i AGREE, IF YOU HAVE PERSONAL INFORMATION, LIKE TAX, ETC:, THEN ZERO WRITING WILL MAKE IT VERY HARD TO RECOVER YOUR DATA- SOME WRITE ZERO'S AND 'F'S THROUGHOUT THE DRIVE
    For those who have not tried , Disc Wizard will unformat, and even roll back partitions- I tried it, and I could not believe how easy it could undo these things
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010
  8. theefool

    theefool Geekified

    Or just unplug the internal hdd, just to be safe. ;)
     

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