Can DBAN destroy more than my hard drive? verifying Gutmann

JonnGollyGee

New Member
Hello All,

I just downloaded the latest beta of DBAN, and I'm hoping that a few of my questions can be answered before I use it. Needless to say, I'm nervous about using such a powerful and ultimately thorough tool, and any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

(1) Does DBAN target only the hard drive? I'm extremely nervous that DBAN will somehow "spill out" and shred/destroy other devices, such as the CD/DVD drive, the floppy drive, printer, monitor, etc., etc. I'm especially nervous that it'll also attack my Dell Dimension XPS' bootup and diagnostic (via the F2 and F12 keys), which loads up before the Windows XP operating system does; I've been told that this Dell feature is on its own chip, but I cannot say with absolute certainty that this is so. If it does also destroy the Dell bootup, is this something to be concerned about, or is it something that I can reinstall via the software they supplied to me?

(2) How can I verify that all of the passes for the Peter Gutmann 35 method have been properly executed? I don't want to interrupt this process prematurely.

(3) If I use the Gutmann method on my 200 GB hard drive, how long might it take to complete all of its passes?

(4) I was recommended to use DBAN in a last ditch effort to save my "dying" hard drive. I was told that it can be used to completely remagnetize the hard drive, possibly saving it from failure. Thus far, my hard drive is NOT producing any kind of mechanical failure sounds, so is it possible that DBAN can restore it to a "pristine" state so I can later reinstall the OS, software, and my backed up files?



Thank you for your time and consideration on this critical matter. A new baby has been recently added to our family, so our money is now very tight. Having to buy a new hard drive will really push our finances near the edge, so I'm hopeful that DBAN can help me avoid a new and costly purchase.


Yours!

Kyle
March 17, 2006

:wink:
 

dajhorn

Member
(1) Does DBAN target only the hard drive?
Yes.

If it does also destroy the Dell bootup, is this something to be concerned about, or is it something that I can reinstall via the software they supplied to me?
I don't get complaints about Dell equipment, so the diagnostic is likely onboard. Past that, ask the vendor this question.

(2) How can I verify that all of the passes for the Peter Gutmann 35 method have been properly executed?
Set the verification mode to "all" by pushing 'V' at the blue screen.

(3) If I use the Gutmann method on my 200 GB hard drive, how long might it take to complete all of its passes?
Days.


(4) I was recommended to use DBAN in a last ditch effort to save my "dying" hard drive.
DBAN often provokes drive defect management, which causes bad sectors to be remapped. This does not fix a dying hard disk, it just masks the problem.

it possible that DBAN can restore it to a "pristine" state so I can later reinstall the OS, software, and my backed up files?
Yes.
 

JonnGollyGee

New Member
Quote:
(4) I was recommended to use DBAN in a last ditch effort to save my "dying" hard drive.

DBAN often provokes drive defect management, which causes bad sectors to be remapped. This does not fix a dying hard disk, it just masks the problem.

It sounds like the several boot scans that were done of the hard drive are accurately reporting that my hard drive is "Failed." :cry:

So the best that I can hope for is that DBAN extends the practical usefulness of the hard drive? I wish that I had some indicator of how much time running DBAN would give me. The person who advised me to try DBAN for this purpose has run it on two failing hard drives, and he hasn't had any problems with them since. His oldest "DBAN refurbished" hard drive is several years old, and it still keeps on ticking.

If this is the kind of result I can expect, then I'm more than likely going to try DBAN very soon. We just don't have the money to afford a new hard drive at this time... :cry:

I have one more question in regards to the fact that it'll take "...days..." to have the Gutmann process finish its passes on my 200 GB hard drive: I've read somewhere on this forum that it's no longer necessary to run the Gutmann method for all of its passes, since the means by which data is now saved is different from the time when the Gutmann process was created. Any advice in regards to when you think that it'll have done its job at an earlier time? In other words, is it safe for me to let it run 2 days and then cease it's passes so that the hard drive is wiped enough to be ready for a fresh installation of all the software?

I greatly thank you for your detailed replies!

Yours,

Kyle
March 17, 2006

:p

Kyle
March 17, 2006
 

dajhorn

Member
So the best that I can hope for is that DBAN extends the practical usefulness of the hard drive?
No.

I wish that I had some indicator of how much time running DBAN would give me.
Zero.

Any advice in regards to when you think that it'll have done its job at an earlier time?
Use the default DBAN options.
 
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