Low Level Format

From: Joe <rigdonj_at_cfl.rr.com>
Date: Thu Aug 21 09:15:00 2003

At 11:31 PM 8/20/03 -0400, you wrote:
>Norton had a program called wipedisk, which wrote to the whole drive, and
>there are some shareware programs also. However, if you use Fdisk and
>remove all the partitions, and then create a single partition, then do
>a format /U/V then that will pretty much clean out everything. I have
>heard from some sources that nothing is ever completely gone and No Such
>Agency can actually pull data off a drive that was erased and reformatted.
>I have a hard time believing that one.

   It's true. Formatting a hard disk only creates a new FAT and Directory.
All the data areas are intact.* It would be hard to reconstruct a file
without the linkages and knowing it's starting cluster but it can be done.
It's not too difficult on an ASCII file since the data is recognizable but
it would be a lot more difficult for binary files. But it COULD be done.
But unless you're a drug dealer or porn king it's probably not worth
worrying about. Wipefile should take care of any concerns that you have. If
you want to be REAL sure then take the drive and destroy it, particurly the
platter(s). I had a customer that wanted to be SURE that none of her data
could be recovered. I told her to take an AXE to the drive. She called me
later and thanked me. She said that she really enjoyed taking out all of
her computer frustrations on that drive!
  *MACE utilities used to have a utility to "un-format" a hard drive. It
relied on previously running a program that copied the FAT and DIR to a
known safe area of the drive. Unformatting became nothing more that reading
that area of the drive and copying it back to the FAT and DIR.


Are you concerned about security,
>or just erasing and initializing the Drive?
>Joe Heck
Received on Thu Aug 21 2003 - 09:15:00 BST

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