Eraser and physical damage to hard disc

lapel

New Member
Hello,

I am using eraser for years now,i use to erase it ALL those files/data etc which i don`t need...i.e i don`t delete, i erase things and i always use Gutmaan protocol to erase things. I even erase unused space on my different drives regularly.
Today i was talking to some guys on paltalk and they told me that this PHYSICALLY DAMAGES hard disk....i.e if u use eraser or any other tool the way i do so often it shortens the life of ur hard disk,gives it bad sectors and litterally F....ks up ur hard disc.

I am very much concerned now if what they told me was a misinformation or a fact?

Would somebody please explain this confusion?

I shall be more than relieved if i get any answer.

thanks

regards.

Lapel
 

Kythe

Member
lapel said:
Hello,

I am using eraser for years now,i use to erase it ALL those files/data etc which i don`t need...i.e i don`t delete, i erase things and i always use Gutmaan protocol to erase things. I even erase unused space on my different drives regularly.
Today i was talking to some guys on paltalk and they told me that this PHYSICALLY DAMAGES hard disk....i.e if u use eraser or any other tool the way i do so often it shortens the life of ur hard disk,gives it bad sectors and litterally F....ks up ur hard disc.

I am very much concerned now if what they told me was a misinformation or a fact?

Would somebody please explain this confusion?

I shall be more than relieved if i get any answer.

thanks

regards.

Lapel
In my opinion, they're basically wrong.

I say "basically" because hard drives are mechanical components that will eventually wear out: motors burn out, defects on the disk platters will eventually lead to unwriteable (bad) bits, etc.

It's certainly true that the more hard drives are used, the faster they'll wear out. But that's not anyting specific to Eraser. Simply using your computer extensively will have much the same result.

In fact, there's a case to be made that the more frequently the magnetization on a recording media is changed, the better: leaving a recording on a magnetic media a long time, including a hard disk, tends to make changing that recording more difficult at a later date. The old recording tends to become more permanent.
 

nodrick

New Member
Interesting point about the " the more frequently the magnetization on a recording media is changed, the better: leaving a recording on a magnetic media a long time, including a hard disk, tends to make changing that recording more difficult at a later date. The old recording tends to become more permanent."
I want to mention the use of the Gutmann overwrite method-for is it really neccessary? If you want to try for that level of security in erasing,should you not destroy the disk? Apart from the time it takes,it surely must also add even more and probably uneccessary wear onto the normal disk usage!
It has often been mentioned in these columns that a few passes of random data will suffice for almost all normal usage,so what do most ordinary users have that is so confidential I wonder,and should they be using Windows!
 

lapel

New Member
Thanks for such valuable opinions.

I would like to explain few things as under.

Why do I use Gutmann protocol?

well,it`s not a matter of security but obcession of keeping the drive/disk clean & empty. I believe that deleting the data just makes it disappear from your eyes otherwise it remains on your disk and occupies space & fills up the drive with unwanted junk. So eras it and earse it completly that`s why I use Gutmann protocol ( my this theory may be wrong technically)

This theory of mine got strong when recently I formatted my whole 120GB hard disk accidently and when I was recovering my data with R-Tool data recovery tool I saw that it was recovering that data/files which I had erased months/years before with 1-3 times overwriting with Eraser.
So that`s why I use gutmann to clean the disk clean,empty and have more space and fre of junk. I am wondering am I indirectly damaging my hard disk and shortening it`s life by using Eraser so frequently and with it`s most strongest protocol???
Any comments from the manufacturers of Eraser would clear this confusion more accurately.

Thanks

lapel
 

Kythe

Member
lapel said:
Thanks for such valuable opinions.
This theory of mine got strong when recently I formatted my whole 120GB hard disk accidently and when I was recovering my data with R-Tool data recovery tool I saw that it was recovering that data/files which I had erased months/years before with 1-3 times overwriting with Eraser.
I can't speak to your experience, but I recently (last weekend) used DBAN, the hard drive wipe program that comes with Eraser to nuke the hard drive on my computer for a complete wipe and reformat. After running a 7-pass DBAN wipe, I checked the disk with Winhex, which found absolutely nothing: sector after sector of zeros, from beginning to end.

From what I can see, Eraser works, and it works with as few as one pass (as far as defeating file recovery programs goes). Of course, if you're seriously worried about someone taking a microscope to your drive, you can either 1) do what the US DoD recommends for securing Secret-level data and wipe it with seven passes of pseudorandom data, or 2) drill the drive open, grind down the disk platters with a grinder then melt the remains in a furnace.

The thing to remember is that Windows saves an awful lot of information in other files. There's the swap file, and the hibernation file, and other cache files, and of course history/internet cache Index.dat files, useage tracks up the yinyang, the User Assistant, the registry, and so on ad infinitum. I have a suspicion that this is what some people are finding when they run forensics programs on Windows hard drives after wiping a file or two.
 
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