Plextor's Plex Eraser. Any user's feedback?

vbimport

#1

Hello all, I just wanted to know how many of you used the new Plex Eraser (burns over unwanted/confidential CD-Rs) feature on your Plextor drive. I have a few questions for this feature, particularly:

  1. How long does it take to “Plex Erase” 1 CD-R? Can it erase DVD+Rs also? If so, how long does that take?

  2. Do you find this feature useful? Would you rather cut up or break a CD by hand or use a shredder? What are the advantages/disadvantages of Plex Eraser?

  3. Overall, what is the percentage of old or confidential CD-Rs/DVDRs you need to destroy out of all your discs? 10%? 25%?

Sorry to sound so survey-ish. This is for a team project of mine, your replies are greatly appreciated! Thanks!


#2
  1. I don’t know.

  2. I always break CDs/DVDs. Using the drive for that would take too long.

  3. Maybe 10%.

edit: At the moment I don’t have a drive featuring PlexErase. But i will pick up one soon. I think i will never use this feature.


#3

Works for both. From a few seconds (“Quick”, lead in overwrite) to up to 3 minutes (“Full”, whole disc overwrite with pattern).

If i was into hardcore data security i’d prefer a shredder (fastest method too).

Advantages:
No shredder needed (cost, space, etc.)
It’s a neat idea and cheap tool for low grade security when the targeted audience is known to ‘give up’ if the disc is not recognized normally in any drive.

Disadvantages:
‘uses up’ the lifetime of your writing laser
Not a definitive destruction. After a quick lead-in destruction your data track is still there! Data recovery specialists probably can read this with no big problems. With music CDs it has been shown that some players still play the disc after the full pattern overwrite (the unit interpolating between the remaining patches of music). As for Data discs the pattern overwrite probably destructs enough to make salvage impossible.

Never counted but probably 10% or less.


#4

Sorry for my dumb question, but isn’t it a lighter a better and faster solution?

Or maybe a hot water bath to warp the disc: it should make it unreadable also for data recovery specialists


#5

Well, burned plastic can produce quite a stench and the fumes might be noxious too. Some people ‘microwave’ their discs for a few seconds with ‘good’ results. I’d not recommend this (you’re putting your food in there, right? :bigsmile: ).


#6

That is funny: http://www.bm-community.de/topic,4289,be9f1a0266bd744f73710e35e0a341da,-plexeraser-erfahrung.html A guy found a very old CD player which could still read a plexerased CD …


#7

lol. stick that puppy on the BBQ :bigsmile: or even better, stick into a bucket of acid and wait :slight_smile:


#8

Good point.

And I agree to avoid microwave: food and plastic fumes are not a good coupling :disagree:


#9

Which drives beside 760 support plexerase?


#10

755


#11

And [I]Premium2[/I] (for CDs, of course)

ET


#12

Thanks for your answers, keep 'em coming!

One more thing, how do you DISPOSE of your broken/microwaved/melted CD pieces? Just put in with the normal trash? You think they will biodegrade over time?

Did you know CDs and DVDs are 100% recyclable? You CAN recycle them (the sheer number of unwanted CD-Rs and those annoying AOL CDs are beginning to become a global concern). They can be melted down and the useful polycarbonate and metal alloys extracted. But the CD recyclers prefer whole CDs, NOT shredded up or shards/fragments of CDs or DVDs.

I think recycling them would be the best choice for the environment, and the best way for everyone to securely get rid of their old/unused stacks of CD-Rs. Would you all agree?

Just another follow-up question. My team project. We’re developing something new :slight_smile:


#13

Sure recycling would be best for environment. But I don’t want to pass confidential data to some recycling people that could probably read it then.

I usually take a strong pair of scissors and cut the thing into several pieces. Near the cuts the material of therecording layer is broken into pieces of maybe 1 mm size. Not even the best specialists can reassemble that once put in a 10 cubic feet trash container.


#14

What do you guys think of that PlexEraserdrive?

I think its quite useless and can’t imagine that this thing will be a success. As a pair of scissors will do the job in a few seconds.


#15

Ditto :iagree:


#16

The Plexeraser drive is not the same as the Plexeraser feature in the 760 as far as I can tell. The feature overwrites the TOC and some data, the drive erases (burns over) all data. Scratching leaves the data intact, microwaving emits chemical fumes, schredding dimples the plastic and works, but costs a bit more. The erased disc can be recycled. Suppose scissors do the work, but them buggers are hard to break sometimes.


#17

Some sandpaper can do the work in the same way, and it costs much lesser than a plextor drive


#18

PlexErasor is just a gimmick.
I just wish we could hack it because being able to write to a closed-session disc and write to any point of the disc could have some interesting possibilities.

For actual destruction, your best bets are:
a) Get it recycled
b) Microwave on high-power for 5 seconds.
c) Shredder

CDs and DVDs are NOT easily recyclable - You have to send them off to dedicated plants (Seperating the aluminium and plastic in a way that they can be separated without contamination is hard, and plastic is very easily ruined if too much other stuff is mixed in; Even a small amount of a different plastic mixed in can render an entire batch useless!)

In the UK, there are few companies that have that capability, one is http://www.polymer-reprocessors.co.uk/ (The website is horrid, but they’ll gladly take any waste CDs, jewel case and all! :))


#19

The function is too slow for me. Just scratch og break the disc, if no one should read it.

Moef


#20

The CDFreaks newsblurb falls a bit short. Here’s what CDRInfo reports at http://www.cdrinfo.com/Sections/News/Details.aspx?NewsId=17670 :

[I]Japanese hardware maker Plextor will release in the middle of September the PLEXERASER, a device that will help users and enterprises avoid leakage of sensitive data stored on CD/DVD media by destroying them in a few minutes.

The device looks like an ordinary PC drive and will be available in the Japanese market first, for about 25,000 yen.

The product operates as a standalone external device, which means that no PC connection is required. When a disk is inserted into the drive, its data are automatically destroyed.

The PLEXERASER adopts the “PlexLaser Del” technology, which uses the laser power in order to destroy the recording layer of an optical disc (organic pigment layer), making the reading of the disc impossible. A fully recorded dual-layer DVD will be erased in six minutes. According to Plextor, the specific data destructing method is more environmental-friendly and allows easy recycling of the discs, compared to the physical destruction methods for CD/DVD media used by the optical disc industry.

The drive supports 8cm/12cm DVD±R DL/±R/±RW and CD-R/RW media. It doesn’t support erasing of CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, and DVD-RAM discs.

Specifications

Product: PLEXERASER PX-OE100E
Supported media: 12cm/8cm DVD-R, DVD-RW and DVD-R DL, DVD+R, DVD+RW and DVD+R DL, CD-R

Data destruction time:

[B]DVD SL: 3 minutes
DVD DL: 6 minutes
CD: 3 minutes[/B]
Loading system: Tray system

Power: AC100~240V (50/60Hz)
AC adapter: DC+12 (±10%) 3A
Power consumption 17.4W
Weight: 1.7kg
Size: 167.1mm x 53mm x 253.5mm (W x H x D)
Warranty: 1 year[/I]

This looks to me like the same tech as implemented in the 755/760 automated to do a “full” erase on every disc inserted. I guess this unit is basically a 755 in an external case with a red tray and eject button plus two stickers plus a modified FW.

So why did Plextor produce this? I’d guess Plextor did not produce this just because they felt someone might need it but that they where rather specifically approached by a (bigger) company with the specific wish for a certain quantity of such a solution and are now offering it on the market to the general public too.

Why would anyone use this instead of other methods? Simply beause other solutions might not be valid solutions depending of the working evironment. Let me construct an example: Imagine a lab that operates under dust free conditions and that there is a ‘no data carrier leaves the lab’ rule in place to guard company secrets. In such a case the conventional shredding, breaking, scratching, etc. would be out of the question.