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Instructions for scrubing hard drive?

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Instructions for scrubing hard drive?

#1Postby DeeGardiner » Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:44 am

We just replaced all of the computers in the stake. I now need to scrub the hard drives on the old computers before turning them back in to the FM group.

I have downloaded the the two church eraser applications (16-bit and 32-bit). How do I use the tool? I assume I should use the 32-bit version since our computers were XP. Do I just scrub certain directories? Or am I supposed to scrub the entire drive - including the OS?
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#2Postby jdlessley » Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:07 am

The instructions in the Policies and Guidelines for Computers Used by Clerks for Church Record Keeping says that the STS is to "[e]nsure that record-keeping data is completely erased (scrubbed) from computers that are retired from Church use." Erasing the directories is sufficient. The computer will most likely be cascaded for further use within the Church. The important directories to be erased for MLS are C:\mlsData-backup and C:\Program Files\LDS Church\MLS. It wouldn't hurt to do the parent directory C:\Program Files\LDS Church. Additionally I would scrub the C:\Documents and Settings\Clerk\My Documents.

When I replaced a computer my local FM Group office offered to do the erasing and setup for turn in.
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#3Postby russellhltn » Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:28 am

jdlessley wrote:Additionally I would scrub the C:\Documents and Settings\Clerk\My Documents.


For a machine that was setup with Desktop 5.5, the directory of interest (Clerk's Documents) is located on the D drive. I don't remember the exact patch.

Personally I'd scrub the entire hard drive. First, we don't know that it's going to another church unit. (In the time before FM got involved, the old computers were sent back to Dell). Secondly, you may not know all the locations sensitive data might have been placed. Third, you will not be erasing any data that might have been left in the deleted space or slack space. Forth, in the same policy on page 5 it says "Before any record-keeping computer is retired from service, its hard drive should be completely erased (scrubbed)." (emphasis added).

While it will take longer to securely scrub the whole hard drive, it covers all the bases and takes less effort.

I see it as the responsibility of the next user to supply the OS for their needs.

I don't recall using the Church's program for cleaning, so I can't help there. I've used Darik's Boot And Nuke.
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#4Postby aebrown » Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:32 am

jdlessley wrote:Erasing the directories is sufficient. The computer will most likely be cascaded for further use within the Church. The important directories to be erased for MLS are C:\mlsData-backup and C:\Program Files\LDS Church\MLS. It wouldn't hurt to do the parent directory C:\Program Files\LDS Church. Additionally I would scrub the C:\Documents and Settings\Clerk\My Documents.


I don't agree that erasing those directories is sufficient. For one thing, you missed some directories that definitely can contain confidential information, such as the Afaria directory; there is no definitive list that has been published of all potential confidential folders. In any case, it is also essential to scrub all the free space, since confidential files may have been once located there.
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#5Postby DeeGardiner » Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:01 pm

RussellHltn wrote:While it will take longer to securely scrub the whole hard drive, it covers all the bases and takes less effort.


I don't get the "takes less effort" part. Don't I have to remove the drive from the computer and install it as a second drive on another computer? That seems like a lot of effort to me. Is there an easier way to do it?
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#6Postby mkmurray » Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:27 pm

DeeGardiner wrote:I don't get the "takes less effort" part. Don't I have to remove the drive from the computer and install it as a second drive on another computer? That seems like a lot of effort to me. Is there an easier way to do it?

Well, if you're using the Eraser program, then yes you have a point. I just went and installed the Eraser program and can verify that it is not a bootable disk scrubbing utility.

However, in the Program Files folder for Eraser, there is a "Boot" folder which contains...none other than RussellHltn's suggested Darik's Boot and Nuke! That is a utility that you could use to run the utility during boot up and not have to run any operating system to do the task.

However, it appears it might only be a floppy disk image?
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#7Postby faazshift » Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:56 pm

If you have a linux live-cd or live-usb, its trivial to overwrite the entire harddrive with zeros. All you would have to do is, from the command-line, run `dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/<insert device name here, usually sda or something>`.
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#8Postby russellhltn » Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:04 pm

DeeGardiner wrote:I don't get the "takes less effort" part. Don't I have to remove the drive from the computer and install it as a second drive on another computer? That seems like a lot of effort to me. Is there an easier way to do it?


Assuming the hardware is functional, the way I've always done it is by booting off of a prepared floppy, answering a few questions and then heading out to my meetings. If the hardware is not functional, then you'd have to move the hard drive regardless of the method chosen. (Unless you decide on the "big hammer" route)

That's the way that DBAN works, and when the church first started offering scrubbing software, that's the way it worked. I guess I need to find out how the download from mls.lds.org works.
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#9Postby mkmurray » Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:11 pm

RussellHltn wrote:That's the way that DBAN works, and when the church first started offering scrubbing software, that's the way it worked. I guess I need to find out how the download from mls.lds.org works.

It appears you completely skipped over reading my post...
mkmurray wrote:Well, if you're using the Eraser program, then yes you have a point. I just went and installed the Eraser program and can verify that it is not a bootable disk scrubbing utility.

However, in the Program Files folder for Eraser, there is a "Boot" folder which contains...none other than RussellHltn's suggested Darik's Boot and Nuke! That is a utility that you could use to run the utility during boot up and not have to run any operating system to do the task.

However, it appears it might only be a floppy disk image?
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#10Postby russellhltn » Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:07 am

mkmurray wrote:It appears you completely skipped over reading my post...


I read it, but didn't fully understand it. I don't know enough to provide directions.
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