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Old 4th August 2011, 19:57   #6
Batter Pudding
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,665
Also remember, formatting a hard disk does not wipe any data. It just wipes the index. Think of it like taking a book and ripping out the index - the pages of data are still there.

If you need to wipe a hard disk, or even just clear the empty spaces on a running OS, then you should use a product like http://eraser.heidi.ie/ and do a military scrub. 3 passes is more than enough. Even a single pass scrub will remove enough traces to stop anyone recovering the data. Been surfing online? Then point this program at your cache after you finish and it will scrub your traces from the laptop.

In the past, as part of my job, I had a client wipe his PC, format it, reinstall Windows, install programs and updates. I then took that hard disk and recovered data from it that had been deleted ten years earlier. All the photos and documents were recovered.

Learn how disk scrubbers work. And if you are throwing a PC out - hit the hard disk with a hammer\cold chisel until you see lots of little pieces. Especially those silver platters from inside.
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