Computer Forensics, Data Recovery and EDiscovery/Erased Hard Drive Recovery
QUESTION: I'm going to buy a new desktop pc, the one I have now is 12 years old. If I use something like 'CCleaner' or another program that can "wipe the entire drive ('all data will be erased')" will that be sufficient to remove all my personal information? Or does erasing the hard drive still leave data on there, or allow someone to recover or retrieve data by using special recovery tools? I'm thinking of personal passwords, financial information and even websites I have ever visited. I wouldn't want anyone to be able to have any of that information. Thanks
ANSWER: Hi Lee,
Normal data eraser utility were only able to wipe the hard drive but couldn't prevent experts or technicians to recover data. Professional recovery tools are still able to trace important files from such drives.
I'd advise you to use advanced data eraser utility that fills 0's and 1's on every sectors and blocks of your concerned storage media and make it permanent non recoverable drives. Even more, such tools will follow all the standards of professional data eraser regulating authorities and international boards. I've tried BitRaser from Stellar and It did wiped successfully the entire 2 TB drives. To confirm the validity that all the data has been permanently erased and cannot be recovered by the professional utility, I've tried 3 professional recovery programs and none of them could able to trace important files and folders.
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QUESTION: I looked at that and it costs $300, which I can't do. Are there no free utilities that work well? And besides erasing the hard drive, does overwriting free disk space (done with a free file shredder) prevent data from being recovered? Thanks
Use DBAN (Free Tool) instead to wipe the entire hard drive including the free disk space. I'm not sure weather it will make the data non recoverable and that's why recommended to someone who is more professional and lets you claim if the erase wasn't successful.
Good luck though!!