Wiping hard drive on old computer

Discussions around the setup, operation, replacement, and disposal of clerk computers, not to include using MLS
craiggsmith
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Wiping hard drive on old computer

Postby craiggsmith » Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:00 pm

I found a few threads about this but I'm sure there are more that I didn't find. Some posts said to use the Eraser tool as it's authorized by the church, and others said to use something like DBAN, Secure Erase, or SDelete as they wipe the whole drive. I'm not sure what the Church does with these, but they are authorized for a Windows license and not much use without it installed. (I suppose the Church could reinstall Windows but that would take resources; frankly I'm not sure these computers are worth much anyway).

Is there a current consensus on what we are supposed to do? If Eraser, what directories should we erase? Here's what I did so far: deleted the Clerk profile, uninstalled all Church programs and deleted any associated directories, cleared the Windows temp directory, and then "erased" all the empty space. (I may have deleted more but it was a while ago.)
Craig
STS
South Jordan, UT

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:03 pm

I would wipe the whole drive. If the computer is going to be repurposed, "they" probably have a specific way they want it done.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

Aczlan
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Postby Aczlan » Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:34 pm

RussellHltn wrote:I would wipe the whole drive. If the computer is going to be repurposed, "they" probably have a specific way they want it done.


Exactly, it needs to be wiped. If someone wants to use XP on it, that is not your problem, that is theirs (and the Church probbaly installs XP Corporate rather than the OEM version, so it needs a different version of XP anyway).
If it is being re-used in the Church, it will be re-imaged with the image for the new department.

Aaron Z

craiggsmith
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Postby craiggsmith » Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:16 pm

OK, thanks. But it seems odd that the program they tell you to use can't do this.

Edit: Or rather, I guess it could do it if launched from an external bootable drive, which is the same as some of the others like Secure Erase. So I guess I need to remember how to make a boot disc; I know the OS used to offer that option, I'll see if I can find it.
Craig
STS
South Jordan, UT

Aczlan
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Postby Aczlan » Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:36 pm

craiggsmith wrote:OK, thanks. But it seems odd that the program they tell you to use can't do this.

That it does. I highly recommend making a DBAN CD for wiping drives... It lets you boot off of it and wipe anything on the computer.

Aaron Z

craiggsmith
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Postby craiggsmith » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:38 pm

Thanks. There was a post that referred to a ZDNet article that discussed DBAN and Secure Erase (HDDerase). The latter apparently uses built-in drive features and is supposedly a lot faster. It also includes a bootable disc image. I have two identical machines to wipe; I'll try both and compare them.
Craig
STS
South Jordan, UT

craiggsmith
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Postby craiggsmith » Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:03 pm

HDDerase took 16.5 minutes for the 40G drive. My DBAN wouldn't run; it said there was no configuration file, although I could see it on the disc.

How do I verify that it worked? I can't access the drive in any way.
Craig
STS
South Jordan, UT

Aczlan
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Postby Aczlan » Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:47 pm

craiggsmith wrote:HDDerase took 16.5 minutes for the 40G drive. My DBAN wouldn't run; it said there was no configuration file, although I could see it on the disc.
How do I verify that it worked? I can't access the drive in any way.

What I did at work to test the first few machines was to load a free version of a HDD recovery tool (I think I used Ontrack EasyRecovery Lite) and have it scan the disk to see if it can find anything. It will not let you recover much, but you are just looking to see if anything was left.

Aaron Z

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:51 pm

craiggsmith wrote:Thanks. There was a post that referred to a ZDNet article that discussed DBAN and Secure Erase (HDDerase). The latter apparently uses built-in drive features and is supposedly a lot faster.


If it's what I'm thinking of Secure Erase sounds attractive, but I've had poor results in getting it to work. DBAN usually works. Depending on the age of the machine, I might have to get an older version.
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

craiggsmith
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Posts: 711
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:14 pm
Location: South Jordan, Utah

Postby craiggsmith » Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:00 pm

RussellHltn wrote:If it's what I'm thinking of Secure Erase sounds attractive, but I've had poor results in getting it to work. .... Depending on the age of the machine, I might have to get an older version.

These two machines just passed the 7 year mark and it worked fine, but there were some notes about some drives being finicky, particularly Maxtor I think.
Craig
STS
South Jordan, UT


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