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15171 posts

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# 173596 28-May-2015 18:57
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I have a 2TB seagate harddrive that has suddenly died without warning, just over 2 year sold. It is still under the retailer 3 year extended warranty, but was wondering what the best way is to wipe the data. Essentially it isn't being detected by the PC, so can't connect it to run a total wipe on it. But it has private files on it that potentially could be accessed if someone intercepted it and had the know how. Anyone have any ideas what the best thing to do in this situation?

 

Funnily enough I have just purchased another 2TB drive, and the price has barely changed in 2 years.

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  # 1313693 28-May-2015 20:24
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Take the disk out of the enclosure (assuming it's external), try to access the disk directly over SATA.

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  # 1313704 28-May-2015 20:26
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You cant. If the data is actually that private then destroy the drive.





Richard rich.ms

 
 
 
 


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  # 1313727 28-May-2015 20:59
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richms: You cant. If the data is actually that private then destroy the drive.



The most secure way is to take it out of the enclosure, take a big hammer and have some fun.  If you have data you wish to never get accessed by anyone.  But of course you may not be able to get a refund on that.






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  # 1313728 28-May-2015 21:04
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The CIA put a bullet through their old HDDs. Quick and effective.  frown




Sideface




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  # 1313760 28-May-2015 21:35
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It is a 2TB internal drive, so I can connect it later to another computer to see if I can access it. It contains client data which is private, but it is still under warranty, so  trashing it would be $120 down the drain, which is around the cost of a replacement. I would have thought that this was a relatively common situation and there would be processes in place to manage warranty replacement in a secure way? I am guessing that if someone from a computer shop or distributor/manufacturer did access that data without permission it would be a breach of the privacy act. This is the 1st drive I have had that has failed so quickly, as normally when they fail I use it as an excuse to upgrade to a bigger one, but 2TB is still considered a big drive today

But if I am able to access it, what is the best software these days  to nuke all the data off it?

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  # 1313801 29-May-2015 07:03
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Eraser.

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  # 1313825 29-May-2015 09:13
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mattwnz: It is a 2TB internal drive, so I can connect it later to another computer to see if I can access it. It contains client data which is private, but it is still under warranty, so  trashing it would be $120 down the drain, which is around the cost of a replacement. I would have thought that this was a relatively common situation and there would be processes in place to manage warranty replacement in a secure way? I am guessing that if someone from a computer shop or distributor/manufacturer did access that data without permission it would be a breach of the privacy act. This is the 1st drive I have had that has failed so quickly, as normally when they fail I use it as an excuse to upgrade to a bigger one, but 2TB is still considered a big drive today

But if I am able to access it, what is the best software these days  to nuke all the data off it?


That is the only way to be sure your data is safe, destroy the drive, if you can't access it to run a secure wipe or something like that.
If the data is that private then it's worth more than the replacement drive.


 
 
 
 


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  # 1313830 29-May-2015 09:22
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mattwnz:

But if I am able to access it, what is the best software these days  to nuke all the data off it?


again....you cant.
its like saying:  my car has died & wont start. How do I drive it to the garage .

If worried about security, you must destroy the drive.
If data security is really an issue, why even ask the question over a $100 drive ?
We drill a hole through customers dead hard drives.

but to answer the question, in  Friday sort of way :-)
take the hard drive to a data recovery specialist, spend $1000+ on data recovery. Have someone repair the drive itself, $1000++ & then copy the data back
on the repaired drive.
Now you can nuke the drive with whatever software you want.




Edit: opps, I didnt read that question properly, sorry.
If you can access it, just use any eraser/wipe software . I think CCleaner has something . If you need any more than a basic secure wipe, destroy the drive

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  # 1313831 29-May-2015 09:23
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To a large degree, you've answered your own question.

The disk cannot be seen by the computer, therefore any software (I used to use Darik's Boot And Nuke) cannot see it either.

How much is your association with your clients worth? I suspect easily more than $120. Bite the bullet, prove to your clients you are super careful with their data, and just destroy the disk.


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  # 1313856 29-May-2015 09:44
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You can pay extra to have a warranty that replaces drives without requiring return of failed units, at least with some suppliers (eg Netapp)

It's expensive though, probably cheaper to take the hit on the odd failure 

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  # 1313874 29-May-2015 10:09
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mattwnz: It is a 2TB internal drive, so I can connect it later to another computer to see if I can access it. It contains client data which is private, but it is still under warranty, so  trashing it would be $120 down the drain, which is around the cost of a replacement. I would have thought that this was a relatively common situation and there would be processes in place to manage warranty replacement in a secure way? I am guessing that if someone from a computer shop or distributor/manufacturer did access that data without permission it would be a breach of the privacy act. This is the 1st drive I have had that has failed so quickly, as normally when they fail I use it as an excuse to upgrade to a bigger one, but 2TB is still considered a big drive today

But if I am able to access it, what is the best software these days  to nuke all the data off it?


In future just use truecrypt to encrypt the data so you don't end up in the same situation again. Think of this like a $120 course on data security:)  As opposed to a $120 loss .

If you can get the bare drive working, just google "best HDD wipe" ---- and you'll get the option of thousands of free programs that basically do the same thing.






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  # 1313973 29-May-2015 11:25
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There is an outfit in Auckland - on the shore - that has a hard disk shredder. Try to imagine a paper shredder on steroids. They will turn your hard disk into little bits of mangled metal and stuff for $15 a time.

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  # 1314046 29-May-2015 12:31
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Take back to the retailer and explain the situation. Tell them you want to make a warranty claim, but for data security reasons, you want to either keep the disk or watch it be destroyed.




Location: Dunedin

 


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  # 1314071 29-May-2015 12:43
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And they will decline that request on a consumer level drive. They recondition them for the replacements etc so it's not a worthless item they are getting back.




Richard rich.ms

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  # 1314111 29-May-2015 13:34
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Im sure WD & Seagate will have systems in place to ensure the safety of of any data on drives sent back to them.

http://www.seagate.com/au/en/support/warranty-and-replacements/data-overwriting/

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