Wiping a hard drive with Sdelete

vbimport

#1

I am about to return a rental laptop to the rental company and I want to securely delete everything on my hard drive. I have opened a command prompt and tried all the commands I can find online when searching for instructions on how to do it. I type

sdelete -p 3 -z c:\

but I get "Invalid drive letter: c
Argument must be formatted like d:

Where am I going wrong???


#2

This is universally recommended

It isn’t what I use but that is because I have other discs to do it.

If you have a disc that came with a hard drive it usually has an erase program on it.
That will boot outside of windows.

I also have Acronis True Image & it has an erase section. This is the main one I use.

CCleaner has a drive wiper under tools but I’ve never used it for this.
What I would use it for is “Free Space Only” . That is before you completely wipe the drive. Advanced overwrite with 3 passes is plenty . You can use the 7 pass if you like. Delete all the your personal files first & any software you have installed other than CCleaner. Then do the overwirte.
Then use one of the above to wipe the drive.


#3

[QUOTE=cholla;2731304]Advanced overwrite with 3 passes is plenty . You can use the 7 pass if you like.[/QUOTE] Anything beyond a single pass is a total waste of time unless you’re wiping Fred Flintstone’s harddrive and the NSA is interested in the contents.


#4

[QUOTE=DrageMester;2731305]Anything beyond a single pass is a total waste of time unless you’re wiping Fred Flintstone’s harddrive and the NSA is interested in the contents.[/QUOTE]

I’ve been told what you posted . I’ve never checked tests on this as to what a top government IT forensic expert might be able to do. Even if what the release about this is true. So whatever a person is comfortable with.

In the YouTube video I’m posting on using DBAN It has overwrite selection so using CCleaner won’t be necessary.

//youtu.be/iGQ-AIm8QsQ

BTW DrageMester this is me at my computer . Should I use the 3 overwrite?



#5

Just use the quick erase function in Windows, or download DBAN, that’s plenty, no one in the rental company will be able to access your files, if you are really worried use a DOD short erase.


#6

Just a quick question. Won’t Dban annihilate everything on the hard drive? Including the operating system and recovery partition?

The rental agency might not be too pleased.


#7

[QUOTE=Kerry56;2731310]Just a quick question. Won’t Dban annihilate everything on the hard drive? Including the operating system and recovery partition?

The rental agency might not be too pleased.[/QUOTE]
Never even crossed my mind, you are right, lol.:slight_smile:


#8

I would expect most rental companies would re-image the hard disk once returned.

For example, if a hacker knew of a computer hire company that didn’t do this, they could hire a machine to install a key-logger and compromise logon, VPN, details, etc. of whoever that computer is later lent out to.


#9

[QUOTE=Kerry56;2731310]Just a quick question. Won’t Dban annihilate everything on the hard drive? Including the operating system and recovery partition?

The rental agency might not be too pleased.[/QUOTE]

This is where some input from the OP would help.
A recovery partition implies that this rental came with an OS installed.
If that is the case then even wiping the OS partition would remove the OS.
I think that could be done with a “partition manager” software .
Then use the recovery partition to “restore” this rental to its’ “out of the box” condition.
I have the paid version of one from this company:

http://www.paragon-software.com/home/pm-express/

The free version should be able to “Delete” a partition .
The “Delete” process also overwrites.
I haven’t use this feature but I think you create the " Recovery Media Builder " disc . Then boot into it .
Then “Delete Partition”. There is a wizard for this.


#10

My aim is just to delete everything from the hard drive before it goes back to the rental company. I may have had one or two songs or movies on my hard drive that may have been acquired by means not completely legal.

I only have one hard drive and I have opened up CMD and typed the command line to execute the process, however I’m not sure how to wipe a hard drive from another platform without booting up the laptop. I have uninstalled everything I needed to and zapped the free space, but can’t figure out how to wipe it completely


#11

[QUOTE=cholla;2731308]BTW DrageMester this is me at my computer . Should I use the 3 overwrite?
[/QUOTE] If the NSA is interested in your stuff, then yes. :bigsmile:


#12

Use the link to download DBAN.
Burn the dban-2.2.8_i586.iso to a CD-R .
You can use a DVD(or should be able to).
I use a CD-R because the dban-2.2.8_i586.iso is only 14.7MB.
From there the YouTube video I posted should walk you through it.
Basically in BIOS set your CD/DVD drive to be the first in the boot order.
Or use F12 to select the boot drive if you have that option.
Load the DBAN CD-R in the drive & boot from it.
Select the drive wiping options you want to use .


#13

[QUOTE=Garybrown02;2731293]

but I get "Invalid drive letter: c
Argument must be formatted like d:

Where am I going wrong???[/QUOTE]

Wiping a drive you are already using, how should that work ever?


#14

[QUOTE=chef;2731435]Wiping a drive you are already using, how should that work ever?[/QUOTE]

I actually got it working using that command, but by removing the backslash. I knew it wouldn’t wipe the drive while I was using it, but I was hoping for someone to come back with a constructive comment telling me how to do it.


#15

[QUOTE=Garybrown02;2731444]but I was hoping for someone to come back with a constructive comment telling me how to do it.[/QUOTE]

Which cholla did…:iagree:
So,may we assume your case is solved???:slight_smile:


#16

Not quite. I’ve managed to zap the free space after I’ve uninstalled everything on the Windows laptop. I don’t have any means to write to a CD/DVD as I’m now using a MacBook Pro. Can I select a USB stick in BIOS to boot from?


#17

You should be able to


#18

I have a bootable flash drive for another program . I did this at least 3 years ago & it is the only one I’ve done . Someone else could give better instruction for doing that I’m sure.
I didn’t check into the command you posted " sdelete -p 3 -z c:\ " .
If it is correct. What you would need is a Windows recovery CD .
I’m not sure that it would need to be OS specific.
The ones I have for XP ,Vista , & W7 have a selection for a command window outside of Windows. If you have one of those you might be able to use the command from there.
I’ve heard that a full Windows Install CD also has this function.
I don’t have one .The closest I have is an Windows upgrade CD.
I’ve never tested with it. Most of my computers came with a recovery partition.


#19

I’ve been trying to get a flash drive to boot with an XP recovery console .iso.
This is an .iso that can be burned to a CD or DVD. The CD or DVD is bootable & is the Windows recovery console . It has a command window selection.
The CD works fine for me but the OP doesn’t have an optical drive to burn & boot from. Myself I just thought it would be a handy tool.
So anyone know how to do this?
I tried a few softwares that were supposed to but they failed.


#20

Can you format a 31/4 disk with the boot info on it. To tell the truth I do not know if a flashdrive can be formatted for autoboot.
.

Marty