Wiping old hard disks clean

Friday, 2 April 2004, 3:32 AM EST

Swapping out disks or complete systems is common, but I wonder whether you wipe clean your old disks before sending them off for recycling or resale. If you do wipe the disks, are you sure that data can't be recovered from them?

Some people might think that simply using Fdisk to destroy partitions is a good enough technique for eliminating data. After all, if the partitions are gone, who could recover the data, right? Wrong. Fdisk changes only partition tables--it doesn't touch the other sectors on the drive. So any data that users stored on those other sectors is still there, which means that someone with a little knowledge could recover that data.

By Mark Joseph Edwards

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