[unisog] Wiping hard drives before computer transfer

Curtis K. Shrote shrote at arlut.utexas.edu
Fri Jan 24 13:08:42 GMT 2003

I've been experimenting with Eraser (Windows based):

You might wish to read the user comments.

It is free and can clean a 120G 7200rpm in 27-30 hours for a 35 pass 
overwrite (call me Mister Clean ;-) ) using a 1.7 GHz P4. I've only used 
it to perform total wipes of linux file system disks that I've 
installed/mounted/NTFS formated onto a Win2K machine prior to passing 
the disk onto another linux box for reformat and reuse.

If I have time someday, I'd like to do a forensic analysis to verify its 
effectiveness. Of course, I lack the hardware to restore data after a 

I have not searched for a Linux based tool but would be interested in 
knowing other's experiences. It would save me 10 minutes of time to 
physically mount and unmount the drive plus the time to format NTFS.

I might also note that I have heard (a news story here or there) that it 
can (at least) sometimes be against licensing agreements to pass along 
the hardware for a Windows machine without its OS. This somewhat puzzles 
me. I guess it keeps the lawyers and auditors busy.

Marty Hoag wrote:

>    I'm curious what others are doing to remove data and
> software from hard drives of surplused or "passed down"
> PCs and Macs.  Besides things like FERPA and licensed
> software concerns, there could be some liability if we
> passed along a machine which had already be compromised
> and potential embarrassment of revealing old data.

More information about the unisog mailing list