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Implications of selling a hard drive?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Juelz, Aug 8, 2015.

  1. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

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    I have a few computer and laptop hard drives laying round so I went on Amazon just to see how much the specific HDDs were going for and it appears I could make a few quid out of them almost as much as I paid for the refurbished computer they came inside. My question is how secure is this in regards to data recovery? Could someone "resurrect" the deleted data?
     
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  2. crazy horse

    crazy horse Byte Poster

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    My opinion is to destroy a HDD once you've finished with it.

    There are specialists out there that are very good at recovering data from a HDD, even after a format or two. I've linked two articles below for reference and although your HDDs are unlikely to contain government data, they will contain personal information of the user while it had been in operation.

    So, it's up to you, if you're comfortable that someone may go to the effort of recovering the data on the HDD and the risk that may/may not pose to you - then go ahead and sell. If you're not, then destroy!!

    Here's the couple of articles:
    1. Brighton hospital fined record £325,000 over hard drives bought on eBay
    2. Computer hard drive sold on eBay 'had details of top secret U.S missile defence system

    Cheers,
    Crazy Horse
     
  3. ade1982

    ade1982 Megabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    I wouldn't consider it personally.

    There are tools out there to wipe them to 15-passes with a zeroing filter. That would be secure enough. (It's what DWP ask for I think)
     
  4. sheepluv

    sheepluv Byte Poster

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    guy in work came in with a server off his mate. It was from the local doctors surgery!
    I laughed it had server 2000 on it with an sql server on. I was all good and i said look
    ill take the drives out and gave them to him to give back to his mate lol

    I dont see why you cant just format them and just copy a load of crap over them until the drive is full
    (say any big files copy <dir1> <dir2> that sort of thing until its full), unless there is some other exotic way
    to recover but cant see ow they could.

    There is also the linux util like said above to wipe them
     
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  5. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    The only thing I would do with them after your finished with them is get them acquainted with a hammer and chisel. 9 times out of 10 you'll be ok passing on or selling a hard drive but the data is certainly recoverable from drives long after you think you've deleted all. Some programs will just wipe the file allocation table without actually erasing the data.

    In the old days because the of the way the drives where mechanical traces of the binary data was likely to be left behind even after several passes of a zero program, what thats like now I dont know but if companies are still selling data recovery services its likely there are fairly straightforward ways of recovering data.

    Look on it as an investment into you bank detail security and have fun smashing them into smithereens!
     
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  6. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

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    Thanks for the opinions guys. Think I wont bother selling them tbh.
     
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  7. sheepluv

    sheepluv Byte Poster

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  8. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    End of the day mate, what have you used it for? I don't deal with dodgy software, I don't have anything dodgy stored on my hard drives so if you're the same. Nuke them as above and get em sold. Why lose money of you're a law abiding citizen. Things like that are a perk of being a good egg I think :)
     
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  9. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

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    No comment your honour.
     
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  10. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Ever heard of identity theft ? What about your emails ? Phone numbers ? Passwords ? Keychain ?

    Its not if you are dodgy, you want some Nigerian 419 scammer with all your info ?

    Second hand hard disks have virtually no resale value, apart from to people who want to steal your info...

    Sure you can zero the drive 15 times, not as safe as destroying the drive though is it.
     
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  11. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Would have to agree with dmarsh - someone getting access to your email alone is enough to give you a world of pain.
     
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  12. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    I know its a very valid concern, I'm just not that worried. I don't keep anything vital and my email address is probably on my Facebook. Nothing special in there, if it was hacked I'd close it, I live light in a digital sense, I don't save passwords or anything. The very rare docs I keep are on my ironkey
     
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  13. Vince Polston

    Vince Polston Nibble Poster

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    I'm in the same boat. At the computer shop I work at we have at least a few hundred hard drives from old systems ( 500mb - 250gb ). When we get to the point of recycling them we will scrap the circuit boards and have an industrial shredder.. shred the hard drives. Better safe than sorry.
     
  14. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    The thing with old drives is you really can't be sure of the life left in them, sure I am selling a couple of drives myself via ebay, they were pulled from servers I owned and built and were used for a couple of weeks, I even ran a SMART diag test of the drives to show usage, I have a stack of 20+ other drives on my shelf that range in size from 250GB to 4TB but at no point would I want to sell them because of the data on them, even with a Nuke.

    Old drives should be consigned to the bin after being drilled, you can't really expect to get much from them and can you imagine the grief you're going to have if something goes wrong with it? Just not worth the hassle in my opinion.
     
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