How to Wipe Hard Drives to DOD Standards with Proton Data Degaussers

Look for DBAN… by far the best nuke program I’ve ever seen. I don’t know anyone that’s been able to recover data off a DBAN’d drive.

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I apologize if you already have a thread posted about this, if this is the case I’ll be happy to receive the link. It’s probably too late now but you need to open the BIOS and change the SATA mode to IDE then erase each disk. You can then change it back to RAID in the BIOS to reinstall using recovery disk or system image but you may need to recreate the RAID. I used to use Fdisk then format then install whatever I could and do it again about 3 times then just fdisk and install the basic OS. Unfortunately that won’t overwrite the entire disk, and thus will leave things potentially recoverable from the free space that remains after the installation. This goes to Jeff,the System might be too infected to just format,you might want to wipe the drive all together and then try to re-install Windows.

If the drives DON’T spin up, 5 or 6 good wacks with a hammer will take care of the platters. Hopefully this other end of the “recycling” process will improve someday. Use DBAN. It’s extremely powerful, conforms to several standards for data removal , and runs from a boot media. A combination of really strong magnets and a sledgehammer is really the only way. Overwrite media by using agency-approved and validated overwriting technologies/methods/tools. If you are looking for standard procedures and reliable methods, you could read the Guidelines for Media Sanitization of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The NSA recommends a combination of degaussing and crushing as the correct approach. Data thieves put together and salvage information if data remains on the platons. The self-calibrating degausser offers the user reliable erasure repeatedly and is our most powerful degaussing unit manufactured to-date with a 20,000 Gauss force. Drilling holes, hitting with a hammer, running over with a truck etc. will not get rid of data. It will only make the data more difficult to recover. Check out website and see the data they have recovered.

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If your HDD is physically dead the only way to securely erase is to obliterate the drive, which your manufacturer won’t like. The trick to degaussing something is not strong magnetic fields, it’s rapidly oscillating magnetic fields. The typical off-the-shelf degausser simply runs wall AC through a big coil.

I have a bucket of them in the garage that have been sanitized and are awaiting drop off at the next free e-waste recycling event, along with some CRT monitors. If they only accept “whole” computer cases, then open one up and fill it with the sanitized drives, they never look inside.

After 4 years I’m planning to do this to my Acer, not to sell, just to many issues, software rot more likely. If you nuke the hard drives , then I believe selling a machine with an empty hard drive is safe. The number of passes for overwriting data they offered were… 1, 5 , and 35. So to be security compliant with DoD specs, you have to do the wipe/overwrite process 5 times. Of course that’s rather extreme and guessing from your being here to ask advice on how to secure data you really don’t need that level of extreme measures to protect yourself. Just start with encryption from day 1 for the next system you build and go for a fresh install when you decide to give it away.

Read more about Nsa degausser here.