[clug] Re: More (almost free) stuff. - 3.5" WD 200GB IDE - $10

Alex Satrapa grail at goldweb.com.au
Mon Aug 25 08:37:03 GMT 2008

On 19/08/2008, at 19:54 , Paul Wayper wrote:

> This will not only overwrite the whole disk 26 times, but will use  
> a random
> assortment of zeros, random data, and patterns especially crafted  
> by Peter
> Gutmann to be the most difficult from which to recover data.

Truth be known, due to the statistical (ie: chance-based) nature of  
modern hard drive encoding, all you really need to do is write zeroes  
over the disk.

That old set of 22 patterns was to cover all possible mechanisms from  
the bad old days when one polarity signified a "on" bit, while the  
other polarity signified an "off" bit all the way through to the  
penultimate style of encoding. The idea was that you could write this  
software to erase any disk securely, regardless of what mechanism was  
used by that disk to actually encode the data into the magnetic  
domains on the disk.

But enough of that essay. The short version of Peter's essay is: 'for  
modern drives, write something that is not the data that was  
originally there.'


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