Possible to recover data?

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by Dynafrom, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. Dynafrom

    Dynafrom Gawd

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    1. After a sector by sector format?
    2. Quick format? (Windows)
    3. Full format (off of windows also)

    What would be the best way to make sure no data recovery center can retrieve it?

    WINDOWS XP BTW.
     
  2. PedroDaGr8

    PedroDaGr8 Limp Gawd

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    Is it POSSIBLE yes. Is it EASY? NO. Except for the quick format, which just formats the file allocation table (or whatever it is called in NTFS).

    THis is why people have devised programs like DBAN.
     
  3. pallesen

    pallesen Limp Gawd

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    1. Nobody has yet proven to be able to restore a harddrive where all sectors have been overwritten.

    3. Contrary to what many believes, a full format in windows xp doesn't overwrite all your sectors. It differs from a quick format only by bad sector checking.
     
  4. MrWizard6600

    MrWizard6600 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Right but we have proof-of-concept. Presumably some Ga-gillion dollar machine that the NSA have can read data thats been over-written. Paranoid much?

    Now that I didn't know. You sure about that?

    Anyways, yeah after all 3 of those methods its plausible to recover the data. If you really want to get rid of it, DBAN is your answer.

    Steve Gibson, a guy who knows a thing or two about drives, claims the best (and probably most entertaining, I wouldn't know) way to make sure nobody's ever going to get your data is to simply drill a hole through the platters. Dont disassemble the drive, just run a 1/4" bit through it, in a section where it'l clip all the platters. The aerodynamic and magnetic properties of that disk mean you'll never get a magnetic head to float over it again. Again, presumably, if you span the head over the drive it might be possible to pull stuff off it, but I think the NSA probably doesnt even have a machine to do that :p

    I'm just looking for a drive I can throw away like that :p
     
  5. pallesen

    pallesen Limp Gawd

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    I am positively sure. Check also this kb. In Vista this has changed. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/941961

    I am not sure about that. Also, if you ask the true experts in the recovery business, overwriting is much more effective, since it destroys data on a much lower level than you can with a drill.
     
  6. Monkey34

    Monkey34 [H]ardness Supreme

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  7. pallesen

    pallesen Limp Gawd

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    #6 How much, so it melts? Have you seen some of the burned out harddrives that the cool guys have been able to recover data from?
     
  8. Javelin3o4

    Javelin3o4 Gawd

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    Just run a drill bit stright through the drive and all its platters.
     
  9. pallesen

    pallesen Limp Gawd

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  10. MrWizard6600

    MrWizard6600 [H]ardness Supreme

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    residual charge on the bits means that it is possible to logarithmically subtract a bit from the drive to find its previous state (read: if you know the exact routine the drive nuking program used to over-write the sectors, you can theoretically solve for the previous state of that sector). If you over write a bit with a 0, its possible to subtract out that 0 to solve for its previous state. That's why you see programs that over-write the drive sometimes as many as 30 times. If you were to over write the drive using truly random noise (read: NOT pseudo random noise) you've removed my subtraction theory, and it becomes an issue of guess and check, and in doing so you'd nearly destroy the residual charge in question. To my limited knowledge its impossible to push data to the point at which it's truly impossible to recover using more and more writes--you just push it further up that exponential curve.

    But yeah, drilling a hole through the platter takes way less time; apparently the metal is way softer than you would think. And again, you will never get a head to float over that platter again.

    sure, while were on this track why don't we ask Derek Perez about why the GTX260 is superior to the HD4870.
    Posting a marketing spcheal as evidence: -1 [H] point.
    not knowing how to spell spcheal means I lose one too :(

    But yeah, if you don't hit the platters drilling the drive does squat.
     
  11. pallesen

    pallesen Limp Gawd

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    #10 That is purely theoretical. Nobody can actually do it in real life (they cannot even do it after a single overwrite with just zeroes).

    And your drill holes: yes, you will stop normal users, but the experts that have fancy equipment...
     
  12. MrWizard6600

    MrWizard6600 [H]ardness Supreme

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    oohhh but the NSA has spy satillites that are monitoring my brain's alpha waves and beta waves :confused:. surely they must have technologies to recover data after its been over-written :eek:. Just to be extra careful I wear alluminum hats and degauss my drives 17 times before over-writing them 50 times with a random number generator I wrote myself that takes 20 minutes and over 3 quintillion factors to generate its randomness. Don't want anybody to find my tax records :p

    :cool:

    of course, but in theory... decades (centuries?) down the road?

    And no, drive experts can't pull data off a drilled platter, aerodynamics make it incredibly difficult.
     
  13. pallesen

    pallesen Limp Gawd

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    You are giving NSA too much credit. They are not Gods :)
     
  14. MrWizard6600

    MrWizard6600 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yeah after reading "Legacy of Ashes"... sorta sucks any Jason Bourne, James Bond, or Jack Bauer like theories right out of you.
     
  15. Lebowski

    Lebowski 2[H]4U

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    Nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.
    Or thermite or some other binary explosive and shoot the binary agents.
     
  16. maven

    maven [H]Lite

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    Writing data to the drive will not necessarily prevent the old data from being recovered - no matter what software program is utilized. Rewriting each sector a certain number of times would also be useless. Basically, when a "1" is rewritten to a "0" on the disk the resulting magnetic field is less than when a "0" is changed to a "1" (or vice versa, I always confuse the two) so you could therefore theoretically read the individual bit cell strength and determine it's previous value.

    This also means that drilling a hole in the platter doesn't work either. unless of course the hole is close to the diameter of the disk platter you're trying to destroy.

    Incinerate, pulverize shred or melt are the only proven ways that work!!
     
  17. Monkey34

    Monkey34 [H]ardness Supreme

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    [​IMG]

    Like I said:
    Fire! Fire! Heh-heh!