Does writing over a hard drive 100% get rid of everything or is shredding the only way to do it completely?

I'm not seeing anything online that suggests wiping isn't enough.
Original Post
from what I have heard from others and especially since a talk with someone in AU, the only way is to destroy the drive via shredding or hole punch through an MBM product.
Do you know where I can find data to support this?

I saw an article online a while back there a guy was able to get the data after someone had wiped the drive a couple time but I can't seem to find it.
Use to recovered seemingly fried data.

I have found it to be useful on many occasions.

In relation to the deletion of data I have found the following tool to be effective:

I imagine all of us could imagine interesting tests to prove the effectiveness of both products above.


run recovery on disk with ontrack and see if you get anything.

Secondary "fry" the disk with Eraser (some heavy duty erasure method) and then try to recover with Ontrack and see how you go.

would make for an interesting nights testing.

good luck.

Check out "Dead on Demand's Digital Shredder" we have used this technology to sanitize hard drives for the last few years and it works great for MFDs at (End of Life) that don't have a Hard Drive Overwrite kit installed.

This is an interesting topic. I have always had an interest in computer forensics and spent many hours a lot of forums. I have used many different software programs to test their performance. I have recovered all sorts of data from hard drives and removable media. There are a bunch of programs out there that claim they can recover data some work and many do not. The only way to truly eliminate data is to pulverize the hard drive to dust. There are 2 ways that data can be recovered through software and hardware. There are many algorithms that are used to wipe data all the way upto the Gutmann 35 passes. I knew a person that took a sledge hammer to shatter the drive and break the platters into many pieces. However these pieces were confiscated in case and using hardware techniques data was recovered. So drilling the platters or smashing the drive will not protect you. The bottomline where there is a will there is a way if someone is willing to spend money to get the data. Clean room data recovery is very expensive where the platters are reversed engineered. DBAN has been around for ages and works great it is a tired and trusted solution however please note there is NO guarantee your data cannot be recovered. You will not find any software that will put their neck on the line to say your data will NOT be recovered. That is a disclaimer to protect themselves from a lawsuit.


When you get to FBI level of recovery they use a a very powerful program called Encase. It only costs about $3000.

Hope that helps.
Originally posted by VinceMcHugh:
Check out "Dead on Demand's Digital Shredder" we have used this technology to sanitize hard drives for the last few years and it works great for MFDs at (End of Life) that don't have a Hard Drive Overwrite kit installed.


That is an interesting piece of technology. I have heard of this one before. However it is a very costly $10K solution. It will take many hard drives to break even if you charge for this service.
I'm a security guy. As soon as this client mentioned an end-of-lease security concern my first thought was to shred the drive.

I've seen quite a selection of software on the market with claims of getting rid of the data for good but upon further investigation it's not 100% reliable.

We're only as reliable as the solutions we offer.

The obstacle here is that, apparently, leasing companies don't care to have hardware returned to them with the HDs in 1000 pieces.

I have a good friend that runs an IT surplus business and he was able to offer a little assistance. He just happens to own a shredder:

Once they shred the HD they provide a certificate of destruction as well as an old HD to slap in the box before heading to it's final destination.

This month I'm focusing on offering more of a selection in my solutions. i.e. "Would you like the red or the blue?" instead of "I suggest the Red" The idea is to offer a Yes or Yes instead of a Yes or No.

This will be an offering at the beginning of my hardware leases from now on. I'll be offering this or the standard overwrite kit.

Last edited by Jon Selman

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