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Secure Erase Alternitive


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Hi all, not sure if this fits here, but seemed best location.

On Mac OSX, it offers to securly erase all free space. Now I've read that its not all *that* secure, since its a journaled files system, so there is an outside chance some data can still be recovered. (and it takes a long time depending on the # of passes)

My idea for an alternitive method would just write a script that write data to a file and just fills up the drive, then deltes (and possible multiple times)

I'm not overly parinoid, but I would want a 100% secure method if needed.

Good, bad, or in different idea?

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If you need to wipe your hard drive securely, you could boot it Dban or BCWipe, the only issue I have, is I am not 100% sure if these boot CDs would work on Macs, so you would have to remove the HDD and install it on a PC, if it doesn't work and wipe it off from there.

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Huh? Spam? And for what its worth, no 'cloud' for me. I do have a dropbox for junk, but I keep MY data in my hands. (a net KVM? Ain't that just a user welcomed keylogger?)

Do not quote spam, just report it. - Mr-Protocol

Edited by Mr-Protocol
removed spam quote link
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you could in theory assuming you can do some minor coding write something akin to a random number generator that outputs a file taking up all but say 5% of your drive ish, then delete that file, or could even automate that process more by scripting a bit more basically by

check for file existence

if found remove file else write file


on a loop, but im sure there are more commercially available tools/ possibly even freeware that do the job much better, but if you wanted to do it yourself thats the best way i can think of

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There are a plethora of ready made tools. Although I would suggest that you work on your disks outside of a running instance of OS X (I'm not so sure how it treats mounted filesystems while in operation). Take a look http://superuser.com/questions/19326/how-to-wipe-free-disk-space-in-linux for several suggestions.

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There are software that uses certain algorithms to wipe the files you deleted to make sure is untraceable. I don't use Mac but in windows there is this program called Eraser. You can also submerge your harddrive in hot salt water and heated with candle then use magnet(strong one like earth metal) that is if you don't want the hdd anymore. :ph34r:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yes your idea about creating a very large file is basically correct, but because the file system is in use and the operating system is running, the amount of free disk space will vary slightly all the time, meaning the data you wanted to get overwritten may not get overwritten. You can do this yourself using the 'dd' command (there's no timer or anything so settle in as it may take a while), although I think this is pretty much all that Disk Utility does anyway:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/huge.file bs=512 && rm /huge.file

That will create a file in the / directory and call it 'huge.file', then fill it with nothing but zeroes from '/dev/zero' until the disk runs out of space (using a block size of 512). When the dd operation is completed and the drive is full, the next part of the command will delete the huge file to free the space again.

Edited by iisjman07
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