Mint Installer should be able to securely erase a hard drive

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Mint Installer should be able to securely erase a hard drive

Postby Zorba on Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:57 am

Recovery of supposedly erased data from magnetic media is easier than what many people would like to believe. A technique called Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM) allows any moderately funded opponent to recover the last two or three layers of data written to disk. So, I think Linux Mint installer should give us an option to permanently destroy data on our hard drive and make it unrecoverable so that we can install Linux Mint on any PC we want to sell or donate. It should be able to do what other applications do, namely:
1- Active@ KillDisk http://www.killdisk.com/
2- Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN) http://www.dban.org/
3- diskwipe http://www.diskwipe.org/
4- Ultimate Boot CD http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
5 shred http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/15037/use-an-ubuntu-live-cd-to-securely-wipe-your-pcs-hard-drive/
6- HDDErase (application)
7- Parted Magic (application)
8- Wipe and secure-delete

This would be useful for users and computer manufacturers alike :D
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Re: Mint Installer should be able to securely erase a hard d

Postby Previous1 on Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:32 pm

Code: Select all
sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda


That's all it takes. :wink:
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Re: Mint Installer should be able to securely erase a hard d

Postby Neil Edmond on Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:46 pm

Yep....what Previous1 said.

But we don't want that built into the installer...'cause then folks would be zero filling their hard drives, unaware of what that means. Then claiming "OMG, Mint ate my data"!
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Re: Mint Installer should be able to securely erase a hard d

Postby Zorba on Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:41 pm

Previous1 wrote:
Code: Select all
sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda


That's all it takes. :wink:


but what if I want to wipe the entire disk? :D
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Re: Mint Installer should be able to securely erase a hard d

Postby Previous1 on Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:08 am

but what if I want to wipe the entire disk?

That's what it does. You can find which disk with
Code: Select all
/sbin/blkid

Obviously don't try this on the disk you're running the OS from.
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Re: Mint Installer should be able to securely erase a hard d

Postby Zorba on Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:17 am

Previous1 wrote:
but what if I want to wipe the entire disk?

That's what it does. You can find which disk with
Code: Select all
/sbin/blkid

Obviously don't try this on the disk you're running the OS from.


Thank you previous :D but when I run this command line and I didn't get anything :( If I want to erase the entire disk which command line should I use? because:
Code: Select all
sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda

wipes one partition only?

PS I also came across an app called shred here http://askubuntu.com/questions/57572/how-to-delete-files-in-secure-manner! But I don't know how to erase the entire disk with it :(

I have installed testdisk and photorec with this command:

Code: Select all
sudo apt-get install testdisk


and then run:

Code: Select all
sudo photorec


and I followed this tutorial http://www.unixmen.com/recover-deleted-files-in-linux-with-photorec/ and I managed to recover all my files! so obviously others can do the same to my laptop :shock:
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Re: Mint Installer should be able to securely erase a hard d

Postby Previous1 on Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:53 am

Zorba wrote:Thank you previous but when I run this command line and I didn't get anything If I want to erase the entire disk which command line should I use? because:
CODE: SELECT ALL
sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda

wipes one partition only?


blkid is part of util-linux, that should be installed on any linux distro. What it does is show your various drives, for me it gives

Code: Select all
/sbin/blkid
/dev/sda1: UUID="<somenumber>" TYPE="ntfs"
/dev/sdb5: UUID="<somenumber>" TYPE="swap"
/dev/sdb1: UUID=<somenumber>" TYPE="ext4"
/dev/sdc1: LABEL="<somelabel>" UUID=<somenumber>" TYPE="vfat"


Full path ( /sbin/blkid ) as not all live cds have /sbin in their PATH (the folders searched for programs).

The actual drives are in the /dev/sd(letter) format, the partitions are in /dev/sd(letter)(number). The root (ext4) partition /dev/sdb5 is the OS partition, ntfs /dev/sda1 is my windows drive (1 data partion only), vfat /dev/sdc1 my flash stick... look at the labels and types.

To blank the drive take the respective /dev/sd(letter), and put it to

Code: Select all
of=
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Re: Mint Installer should be able to securely erase a hard d

Postby Zorba on Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:36 am

thank you previous! now I know the diffrence between a drive and a partition thanks to you :D
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