Wiping Out Data

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at gatech.edu
Tue Mar 27 10:10:35 UTC 2007

Bob Cortez wrote:
> I believe kill disk will do the job.  http://killdisk.com/features.htm
> Bob

That is proprietary, $30.00, incompatible with Ubuntu, only overwrites
once, and doesn't mention USB drives.  I would suggest using shred
(which is pre-installed) from within Ubuntu.  First, insert the USB
drive.  Open it, and it should be mounted on a folder /media/sdx# .  x
will be a letter, and # a number (for instance /media/sdb1).  Note the
whole thing.  Then open the command prompt and run:

sudo umount /dev/sdb1
shred /dev/sdb1 -n 7
mkfs.vfat /dev/sdb1

Again, replace sdb1 with the value you noted.

That will rewrite the entire drive with gibberish 7 times (this can be
adjusted).  That should mostly obliterate all data, then reformat the
drive for use.  Don't run it too often (or two many reps) on a removable
drive or you will wear it out.

Matthew Flaschen

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