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Thread: Permanent Data Removal

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Default Permanent Data Removal

    I seem to have a faulty drive which I'm sending back to the supplier. Because there's a certain amount of personal information on the drive, I just need to know what's the best way to permanently erase the data so it cannot be recovered.
    PowerMac G4 Dual 1.25GHz * 1.25Gb Ram * FW800 Radeon 9800 Pro 256mb Video Card * FirmTek Host SATA Card * WD Raptor 150GB * WD3200KS * Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 21TX Monitor * LaCie 250GB FW800 External Drive * LaCie D2 DVD Writer

  2. #2
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    In disk utility in osx, you can perform 'erase free space'. There are a number of options, ranging from secure, to ultra secure. It works by writing a simple file over the free space, and then deleting the file. By writing a file over the whole disk, there is no chance that your previous data will still be there. To be extra safe, the ultra secure version writes and deletes the file 35 times. This does take a long time- but guaranteed to solve your problem.

    Otherwise, you could reformatt it in the disk utility, this will probably do the same thing, but the 'erase free space' is intended for the task your talking about, so for peace of mind, maybe do that.

  3. #3
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    A magnet.

    Seeing you want to erase the whole drive - well even over-writing 7-times can still be retrieved... if someone has the tools and time. But yes, that is what I would do. And why I never sell used drives anymore. I just box 'em up.

    Before using a drive, that is also the best time to zero it to map out marginal or bad blocks.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by TZ
    A magnet.

    Seeing you want to erase the whole drive - well even over-writing 7-times can still be retrieved... if someone has the tools and time. But yes, that is what I would do. And why I never sell used drives anymore. I just box 'em up.

    Before using a drive, that is also the best time to zero it to map out marginal or bad blocks.
    Hi TZ,

    I'm returning a WD raptor 150GB that's become excessively noisy. As I'm being sent a replacement are you suggesting that I write zero's over the new drive before I clone back?
    PowerMac G4 Dual 1.25GHz * 1.25Gb Ram * FW800 Radeon 9800 Pro 256mb Video Card * FirmTek Host SATA Card * WD Raptor 150GB * WD3200KS * Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 21TX Monitor * LaCie 250GB FW800 External Drive * LaCie D2 DVD Writer

  5. #5
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    Yes. I always give a drive a nice break-in, which the zeroing does. I also "drive it into the ground" with Speedtools' ZoneBench (50 zones, 511MB file, 30x).

    I'm not sure you'll be happy with the next, they are or can be loud, at least have a higher pitched hum. SilentPC does an excellent review on the acoustics and why a 10K drive sounds the way it does.

    My 74GB is very noticeable high-pitched whine, and I find it a bit annoying especially as the Mac Pro is relatively quiet. I never found the sound of 15K or 10K Atlas drive, or 15K Cheetah (but I never liked the sound of the 10K Cheetah).

    You will always hear seeks, no way around that. But there is no denial 10K Raptor offers a nice boost and great boot drive. I use a 2-drive stripped RAID for the Users/Home directory on some 160GB 7.2k drives from WD which are 112MB/sec. And of course much less expensive.

    I'm not sure, but if WD says it is "faulty" so be it. Most faulty drives just need to be recertified, and when 7-way write doesn't do it, and you don't have a PC to use WD's own Lifeguard tool, then hope the refurbished replacement is better (it could be new or not, up to the vendor).

    I've got Vista but Lifeguard won't install - there are some programs to tweak acoustics (Hitachi). And there is a sound audio file of what a 10K Raptor sounds like I picked up on StorageReview or SilentPC - not sure which.

    http://www.silentpcreview.com/article622-page1.html

    PS: I found the Radeon 9800 to be a real annoying and loud card, let alone the extra heat it added to MDD case, and the MDD was why I moved quickly to Mac Pro... it was driving me crazy (and headaches) it was so loud (and it was a late revision 1.25SP that was *suppose* to be quiet(er) model.

  6. #6
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    Hi TZ,
    Thanks for the advice.
    As I write zeroing is underway on the old drive and today the new drive arrived. Its a WD1500ADFD - 00NLR1 model which has arrived sealed in its anti-static packaging. Funny you should mention about the Radeon 9800 Pro because mine has fried! - well theres white dots appearing on screen and when I do any gaming the system crashes. You're right, it's a very noisy and very hot card! I've a new replacement card arriving in a few days so I'll install everything sometime during the week.
    Thank goodness they're all still under warrenty!

    BTW, When I re-install the OS on the Raptor, should I configure it in any specific way to improve performance? That is, move the Music/Pictures/Movies folders to another drive and just leave the Home folder with all the applications including the Games Folder? BTW the other SATA drive is a WD3200 SE16.

    Whats you're opinion of the Mac Pro as I'm thinking of buying one after Christmas?

    Thanks again
    PowerMac G4 Dual 1.25GHz * 1.25Gb Ram * FW800 Radeon 9800 Pro 256mb Video Card * FirmTek Host SATA Card * WD Raptor 150GB * WD3200KS * Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 21TX Monitor * LaCie 250GB FW800 External Drive * LaCie D2 DVD Writer

  7. #7
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    Depending on what you DO and how large your media library is, whether you need scratch disk.... zillion "if-and-but" to weigh. The Raptor should be fine as long as you don't put too much or leave inadequate space. iDVD needs 32GB for instance.

    I can't say enough nice things about the Mac Pro. Great video even with the stock 7300. It really purrs.

  8. #8
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    Ok thanks TZ I'll keep it in mind
    PowerMac G4 Dual 1.25GHz * 1.25Gb Ram * FW800 Radeon 9800 Pro 256mb Video Card * FirmTek Host SATA Card * WD Raptor 150GB * WD3200KS * Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 21TX Monitor * LaCie 250GB FW800 External Drive * LaCie D2 DVD Writer

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