[ubuntu-uk] Shredding HDD data

Vince Marsters vince at marsters.co.uk
Wed Aug 11 12:33:54 BST 2010

On Wed, 2010-08-11 at 12:15 +0100, John Matthews wrote:

> What about hd you are still using, but have deleted stuff on them. Is
> there any way to bring that back, or even completely delete it?
> I had a program for windows when i used it, but I cant find anything
> for linux.

For data recovery you can use testdisk (its in the Universe repo for

As for completely delete it then the only way to be 100% certain is to
physically destroy the drive but I have been informed by a KrollOntrack
employee (they do commercial data recovery as well as commercial erasing
solutions) that 3 overwrites with different data stops them from
recovering data from a drive.

Also it is important to make sure that when doing secure erases that the
bit pattern is different for each wipe (e.g. if you write zeros on the
first pass then there should be no zeros in the second). Using one of
the Gov approved schemes will usually do this.

For most home users a single random wipe will be more than enough as
this prevents most people getting at any of the data.

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