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  1. Jon L. Jacobi Jan 14, 2014 3:00 AM There are lots of ways to obliterate sensitive data from of your drive: blast furnaces, degaussers (magnet field generators), sledgehammers, and secure-deletion software among them. These tools vary in effectivenessespecially as applied variously to hard drives, solid-state drives, and USB flash drivesand in the subsequent usability of the drive. For the sake of argument (and a more interesting article), lets assume youd like to preserve your drives functionality. This rules out violence and degaussing, which, though wonderfully effective and perhaps therapeutic, will render a drive useless. Excluding those options leaves you with a choice between software and software-combined-with-firmware methods. Free secure-erase utilities You can easily erase an entire hard drive or SSD by using any of the free utilities listed below. All invoke the secure-erase (sometimes called quick-erase) functions integrated into nearly every ATA/SATA drive produced since 2001. By and large its a great feature, but using it on older drives has some potential pitfalls, such as buggy implementations, an out-of-date BIOS, or a drive controller that wont pass along the commands. You might also need to fiddle with the ATA/IDE/AHCI settings in your BIOS, and in most cases the drive should be mounted internally. Parted Magics DriveErase utility makes it a breeze to perform secure erases on your SSDs and HDDs. Ive never had a problem secure-erasing a hard drive, but about a year ago I did brick a Crucial M500 SSD. (A firmware problem was probably responsible for this disaster; Crucial accepted the drive for return but never told me why the hardware had gone belly-up.) An enhanced secure-erase operation overwrites a drives housekeeping data as well as its normal user-data areas, but at least one vendor (Kingston) told me that its normal secure-erase routine does both, too. In the bad old days, running a secure-erase on some SSDs sometimes left data behind. Depending on the controller you use (notably SandForce), a secure-erase can be cryptographic or physical. If a drive is encryptedand some are by naturea secure-erase operation simply deletes the encryption keys, and then regenerates them. Without the original keys, the data is useless. A physical erase involves zapping the drives magnetic particles or NAND cells back to their default state. To entirely avoid the danger of erasing the wrong drive in a multiple-drive system, you should power down, disconnect all of the drives except the one to be erased, and then boot from a CD or a flash drive with the utility that does the job. I learned that lesson the hard way. Parted Magic is free to use, but it now costs $5 to download. Linux-based boot disc Parted Magic (formerly donationware, now free to use but $5 to download) has many features, including a file manager and a partition manager. Its handy for recovering data and operating systems, but it also has a link on its desktop to DiskEraser, a simple utility that will erase your drive or invoke the drives own secure-erase routine. Parted Magic is basic and lightweight, and it will work with any drive. In fact, several SSD vendors recommend itthough the recommendations date from when it was completely free. Little, command-line-lovely HDDerase.exe isnt for inexperienced usersits a bit too geeky and can require multiple steps. Another drawback of the app is that it cant bypass the frozen security stat that most modern drives employ to avoid malware erasures. But otherwise it invokes the secure-erase function just fine. It also comes in .ISO form, so you can burn it to disc or create a bootable flash drive from it. Note that the NSA sponsored HDDerase. Yes, the folks there like to secure as well as monitor data. Not to mention dip their hands into open-source security projects. Interpret that historical nugget as you will. Hitachi's Drive Fitness Test analyzes drive health and wipes unwanted data. Other vendors offer similar utilities. Most drive vendors provide a utility that can run S.M.A.R.T. diagnostics to check drive health, update firmware, and invoke a drives secure-erase routine. Odds are youll have to sign an agreement accepting that the tool may brick your drivebut hey, thats life in the big city. A short list of such utilities includes Data Lifeguard (from Western Digital), Drive Fitness Test (from Hitachi), OCZ Toolbox, Samsung Magician (SSD only), and SeaTools (from Seagate). For hard drives only: Block-overwrite software Block-overwrite software is more versatile than the secure-erase command because it lets you wipe data from a hard drive while leaving the operating system, program files, and other keepers intact. Unfortunately, this type of software is ineffective on SSDs or USB flash drives, and in many cases it cant wipe a hard drives HPA (Host Protected Area), which contains data about the low-level organization of the drive. That said, with high-powered algorithms and multiple passes, it will effectively render your data unreadable even when subjected to all but the most expensive forensic techniques. O&O Software's versatile SafeErase offers full and partial wipes, and it can find and delete common types of sensitive data. O&O SafeErase 7 ($30, free demo) is a jack-of-all-trades that can remove individual files and folders or erase entire partitions and disks. Like the previously reviewed PrivaZer, SafeErase scans your hard drive for possibly sensitive files, presents them to you for inspection (or you can elect to accept its assessment across the board), deletes them, and then wipes them. SafeErase did a good job of finding sensitive stuff while ignoring what I wanted to save, and it includes options on general types of files to look for. SafeErase can also wipe free space (erasing the tracks left by deleted files) and your entire computer (all drives, everything), though those options arent available in the demo version. But the $30 that O&O charges for those extra features may money well spent if you want to maintain a clean system. SafeErase is a nicely realized, versatile data-destruction program. MediaTools Wipe 1.2 ($99, free demo) is all about erasing a lot of hard disks with minimal fuss. Its designed for professionals who erase in bulk and will dedicate a (rather powerful) PC to the task. MediaTools Wipe 1.2 can handle up to 18 drives at once, all presented in a convenient console view. The program has its own wipe routines, but it cant invoke a drives own secure-erase routines. MediaTools Wipe lets you lock drives to prevent accidental erasures. MediaTools Wipe 1.2 has so many handy features (user-definable erase patterns, smart handling of bad blocks, and so on) that I cant mention them all here. Check out our review of the functionally equivalent version 1.1. Youll likely dedicate a PC to it, so the $49, single-seat technicians license will suffice for most situations. However, $500 single-site and $1000 multi-site licenses are available for the corporate crowd. The handy and free Eraser 6 utility deletes files, folders, and free space on a schedule. Its just the thing for users who want to maintain a minimal data presence on their PC. You must know what you need to erase, since Eraser 6 doesnt have automatic selection of sensitive data, as O&O SafeErase and PrivaZer do. But Eraser 6 does have a large array of government-level algorithms to choose from, and its super-simple to use. [email protected] KillDisk is available in a free Windows edition and a DOS (boot disc) edition. Either will overwrite free space or entire partitions with a single pass of zeroes. To obtain its more advanced features and algorithms, youll need the [email protected] KillDisk Pro, which costs $40 for Windows, and $50 with the pro-DOS version thrown in. KillDisk wont invoke a disks secure-erase routine, and it doesnt have any smarts: It doesnt detect and delete sensitive data such as browsing records, downloads, and program caches. [email protected] KillDisk presents a concise, information-laden view of the drives on your system. A DOS boot disc version is available as well. [email protected] KillDisk is very effective as far as it goes, but most users will be just as well off with the free Eraser 6or better off by paying less for a program that automatically selects and deletes sensitive data and wipes free space. Then again, if you run Piriforms CCleaner before KillDisk (or Eraser 6), youll have a very effective data-killing combo. Wiping SSDs and USB Flash drives Block-overwrite software isnt reliable with NAND-based media because of the voodoo that flash-storage controllers use when writing and deleting data. Im sorry I cant be more specific about what actually happens, but controller vendors are loath to talk about such things, lest they give away a competitive advantage. USB flash drives are convenient for everybody, including anyone trying to get data off one that isnt securely erased. That said, SSDs that support the TRIM command and run under a TRIM-supported environment (Windows 7 and 8, OS X 10.6.8 or better, Linux 2.6.28 or better, plus a modern BIOS and drive controller that pass on the command) should wipe deleted data continually. Note that I said should. Ideally (for security purposes) an SSDs garbage collection routines, invoked by the TRIM command, would quickly erase the NAND blocks formerly occupied by your file. The whole reason for TRIM is that NAND must be erased before being rewritten. If a drive runs out of clean, unwritten blocks and must erase previously used blocks immediately prior to writing to them, performance suffers drastically. Unfortunately, from what I could glean from data recovery experts such as strategic technical alliance manager Chris Bross of DriveSavers and SMB partner manager Leon Feldman of ACE Data Recovery, some disk vendors put off block erasures for long periods of time or until theyre forced to resort to them. Sad but true: You cant rely on housekeeping to remove data. Even sadder, there seem to be no utilities that will force the garbage collection. That seemingly simple solution has so far been ignored. USB flash drives dont support standard ATA secure-erase or TRIMso unless youre using a secure, encrypted type, youll need to contact the vendor for an erase utility. You could overwrite the entire drive or just free space with files. This will work to a point, butespecially on SSDssome blocks used in over-provisioning and marked as bad cant be copied over. They may retain data you want to erase. Data recovery companies can sift through raw data, block by block. In the end, the only sure way to remove all unwanted sensitive data from the free space on an SSD or USB flash drive while retaining the data you still want is to back it up (use imaging if an operating system is involved), secure-erase the drive, and then restore the desired data. Sigh. And when thats not enough... All the methods and programs Ive described will work great for the average user. That said, forensic data recovery technology has come a long way. Normal affordable methods wont counteract anything Ive discussed. But if you have a formula for cold fusion, or a trade secret that will topple the global economy overnight...go for the degausser, the hammer, and then the blast furnace. You cant be too sure. http://www.pcworld.com/article/2084961/kill-your-data-dead-with-these-tips-and-tools.html
  2. By Adrian Kingsley-Hughes February 7, 2014 23:45 GMT Got a lot of hard drives to wipe? Here are three different methods you can use to wipe them – software, hardware, and the hands-on method. Quite a few of you have been asking me this questions lately, so when this one dropped in the Hardware 2.0 mailbox today, I picked it: I have quite a few old hard drives about the place that I've accumulated over the years that I need to wipe and get rid of. How do you suggest I go about this without eating my entire weekend? Well, given that I don't know how many drives you have, and whether you want to sell them, recycled the metal, or reuse them, and given that I don't know whether you have drives that a defective and cannot be accessed, I'm going to suggest three different methods to use – software, hardware, and the hands-on method. Software The cheapest way to tackle a pile of hard drives is to wipe them with a software eraser. I warn you though, it's not quick, and it won't work on defective drives. My tool of choice for wiping drives is Darik's Boot And Nuke. It's free and does a good job. To use it you'll need to create a wipe disc, and then hook up the drives you want to wipe to a PC and run the software. Be careful not to inadvertently wipe a drive containing data you need (I suggest using a spare PC or disconnecting all the data drives from the system you use, just in case. I recommend that you read and thoroughly familiarize yourself with the documentation for this software – if you inadvertently nuke the wrong drive — and if you're using a working PC to wipe drives, that can happen if you take your eye off the ball — YOUR DATA IS GONE! Hardware If you don't feel like taking the software approach, another method you can take is to employ a hardware tool to do the job. At this point things start to get a little expensive, but it is faster and does mean that you don't have to dedicate a PC to the wiping operation. The tool I use is Wiebetech's Drive eRazer Ultra. It's a fast, reliable, stand-alone solution to wipe disks. You connect the drive up, tap a few buttons, and Drive eRazer Ultra takes care of the rest. I've used this tool to wipe dozens of drives with great success. It's an expensive solution for sure – the eRazer Ultra starts at $200 – but if you have a lot of drives to wipe, it's well worth it. The hands-on method OK, what do you do if you want to wipe dives quickly (for example, you're just going to take them for recycling – or the drives died in some way with data still on them that now cannot be wiped? Here's where the hands-on method comes into play. You will need: •A hefty hammer (16oz will do) •A thick nail – a 6-inch nail will do file •Thick gloves – because you're going to be hammering that nail though the drive using the hammer, and you will almost certainly hit your hand •A block of wood – so you don't nail the drive to your floor (preferably do this outside if you can) •Eye protection – you only get two to play with! Now you apply brute force. Ideally you want to put a nail through the platters of the drive, going all the way through (it's actually not as hard as it sounds. I aim for this red X: By aiming for this spot not only will you smash the platter holding the data, but also destroy the heads. If you're really paranoid, put a nail through the green stars too. This is a very effective method of destroying drives, and it's also a lot of fun and a good way to relieve stress! http://www.zdnet.com/weekend-project-securely-erasing-hard-drives-7000026102
  3. How to Delete Undeletable Files And Folders Without Software http://www.shoutingblogger.com/2012/12/how-to-delete-undeletable-files-and.html
  4. TusFiles Desktop File Manager (Multilanguage) Portable Features Windows and Mac OS X compatible.Multi-threaded upload.HTTP Proxy support.Upload/Rename/Delete Files.Copy folder contents (links and BB codes) to the clipboard.
  5. PartitionGuru - is a very useful, easy to use application specially designed to offer users a partition management and data recovery software. In addition to partition management functions such as creating, deleting, formatting partitions, it also provides more powerful functions like recovering lost files, recovering lost partitions, clone partition to image file, partition clone, disk clone, quick partition etc. Very useful, easy-to-use application specially designed to manage disk partitions, and restore data on it. In addition to functions for managing partitions, such as deleting, creating, formatting partitions. The program provides an even more powerful features, such as restoring lost partitions, restore lost files, backup, partitions, partition cloning, cloning drive, advanced file operations, etc. The application also supports VMware, VirtualBox and Virtual PC virtual disk files. Supports SCSI, IDE, SATA drives and USB drives, memory cards. Supported file systems FAT12 / FAT16 / FAT32 / NTFS / EXT3. Using PartitionGuru you can: - Recover lost partitions - Recover lost files - Manage partitions, both MBR and GPT supported - Delete files permanently - Backup & Restore windows system and partitions - Create rescue bootable USB flash disk - Manage virtual disks of VMware, VirtualBox and Virtual PC - Backup & Restore partition table - Boot computer with DOS version PartitionGuru PartitionGuru has powerful disk & partition management abilities, in addition to common functions such as creating, deleting, formatting, renaming and hiding partition, it provides more. Quick Partition This function is for quickly re-partitioning a hard drive and formatting all its partitions in one step. Just open the Quick Partition dialog by press F6 key and then click the "OK" button, the disk will be partitioned and formatted rapidly. Also called "One Step Partition". Integral Size Partition When you create a partition with a size like 10GB, 20GB or 100GB, it will be displayed as 9.99GB, 19.99GB or 99.99GB in the Windows Explorer. It looks like a little defective. The partitions created by PartitionGuru will be real integral partitions. Backup Partition to Image File Backup all available data of a partition include all its inner files to an image file. When the partition is damaged for any reasons, it can be restored from the image file. Backup Partition Table Although you can recover lost partitions by PartitionGuru most of time, if there is a backup copy of the partition table, you can restore it safely and easily. So it is a good idea to take a backup of the partition table. Support GUID Partition Style When the capacity of a disk is larger than 2TB, the disk must be managed by the GUID partition style. PartitionGuru fully support GUID partition style. Languages: English, Japanese. Homepage PartitionGuru Pro System Requirements: Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2012, XP, Vista, 7, or Windows 8 Portable by Dizel | 34 MB https://www.mirrorcreator.com/files/FSZEK4JF/Eassos_PartitionGuru_4.7.0.103_Profesional_Portable.zip_links http://mir.cr/FSZEK4JF Eassos PartitionGuru Professional Edition | 28.9 MB http://mir.cr/1DCSIXMH https://www.mirrorcreator.com/files/1DCSIXMH/PartitionGuru_4.7.0.103_Professional.rar_links Whats New : 1. Changes the way of showing Disk Partition Structure. 2. Updates the appearance for the interface of bad sector verification 3. Optimizes file recovery function, filtering invalid partitions and speeding up arranging files. 4. Displays files it found out during the course of scanning files. 5. It is able to save scanning progress when the program recovers deleted files. 6. The default recovery mode is modified from Recover Deleted Files to Complete Recovery. 7. Increases file scanning speed of recovering deleted files from NTFS partitions. 8. Recovered Typed doesn't display files that overlaps with files from normal directory structure. 9. Reminds users who want to discard current file scanning result. 10. Adds support of FAT16 partition which is formatted by IBMDOS. 11. It doesn't show excluded files while loading image file of incremental backup. 12. Picks up responding speed of switching hard drives. 13. Input focus is set to editing era after sector goto. 14. Rectifies an issue that sometimes the program failed to start in WinPE. 15. Fix an issue that program corrupted after partition resizing is interrupted by force. 16. Addresses a problem that program requires registering when extracting PMF file. 17. Fixes a bug that it couldn't return to parent directory after double clicking ".." on the dialog box "Select Image File". 18. Fixes a bug that program corrupted when previewing certain pictures. 19. Fixes a bug that sometimes it couldn't extract all files from PMF file. 20. Fixes a bug that the in some cases it corrupted when restoring partition from image file. 21. Redresses an issue that the statistics of selected files were not accurate when recovering files. 22. Fixes a bug that it failed to show the exact folder number on the right-bottom interface. 23. Fixes a bug that the Partition and Folder Tree area didn't match the actual situation when operating system is not installed on hard disk 0. More...Eassos PartitionGuru Professional (x86/x64) | 33.18 MB https://www.mirrorcreator.com/files/0FEX2W10/Eassos_PartitionGuru_Professional_4.7.0.105.zip_links
  6. In a bid to tackle alleged infringement, popular music sharing platform SoundCloud is offering unlimited removal powers to certain copyright holders. Responding to a complaint from a UK DJ the company admitted that Universal Music can delete any and all SoundCloud tracks without oversight. The major record labels still see online piracy as one of the main threats to their industry. To counter this problem they are constantly monitoring the Internet for copies of their work being shared without permission. This also happens at SoundCloud, which in recent years became one of the most popular services for people to share music. As a legitimate service, SoundCloud helps copyright holders by accepting takedown requests. However, in some cases SoundCloud goes a step further. This is what DJ Mr Brainz discovered after his paid account was terminated due to repeated copyright infringements. Mr Brainz used SoundCloud to post copies of his radio show, which he believes drives more sales, but Universal Music disagreed and took down his files. To find out more about the alleged infringements the DJ asked SoundCloud for additional details, as Do Androids Dance reports. Quite surprisingly, however, SoundCloud couldn’t provide more information as the removals were carried out by Universal music directly. “Your uploads were removed directly by Universal. This means that SoundCloud had no control over it, and they don’t tell us which part of your upload was infringing. If you look at your tracklist it may help you find the Universal content they wanted blocked,” SoundCloud’s copyright team explained. “The control of removing content is completely with Universal. This means I can’t tell you why they removed your uploads and not others, and you would really need to ask them that question,” the SoundCloud representative adds. In other words, SoundCloud grants Universal Music the power to delete any and all content they deem to be infringing. This apparently happens without oversight or any record of what’s being taken down. This blanket removal power is especially problematic since the affected users don’t know what they have done wrong. Without any details on the allegedly infringed track, it’s pretty much impossible to file a counter notice. These type of broad takedown powers are not unique to SoundCloud. Previously YouTube has come under fire because the company allowed record labels to remove “disrespectful” videos or other non-infringing files the labels deemed inappropriate. The recent issues at SoundCloud are not an isolated incident either. Over the past several months many users have complained about an avalanche of takedown notices. After America’s DJ Kaskade had 70 percent of his SoundCloud tracks removed due to alleged copyright infringements, he said he would start his own music sharing site instead. “I will move forward with constructing my own portal where I can share what I like when I like,” Kaskade said. Despite the critique SoundCloud sees no wrongdoing. The company points out that users are free to dispute any inaccurate takedowns. Unfortunately that’s easier said than done. It is clear that SoundCloud is putting its users at a significant disadvantage here. Source
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