Thoughts on big new piece of code added to eraser

eraserbuddy

New Member
What do people think about "Dariks Boot and Nuke disk now being included with the main eraser download?

Personally, Im not too keen on it. Ive always trusted eraser, because it was written by Sami, and now maintained by Garrett. But strapping this other product (Dariks Boot and Nuke disk) on to eraser is adding another huge chunk of code written by an author that Im not familiar with. Its probably a great piece of software, written by a great programmer, but if I wanted it, I would download it seperately directly from sourceforge (where it is distributed).

It also doubles the size of the eraser download.

For these reasons, Im still using an older version of eraser, which is too bad, because I would really prefer to benefit from the bug fixes from the latest eraser release. But, for me, the costs (risks) dont outweigh the benefits at this time.

Just to reiterate, Dariks Boot and Nuke disk looks really great. I just think it makes more sense to keep it a seperate product from eraser.

Im interesting in other people posting their opinions on this.
 

Dave

New Member
First of all, I believe it is very important to have a boot time erase option for sanitizing a disk that may be used for another purpose.

Having said that, I somewhat agree with eraserbuddy that DBAN should perhaps be a separate download as long as it is based on a totally separate code base or at least be VERY clear it runs a separate code base. If part of the Eraser code were embedded in DBAN it would be another matter. As it is, DBAN uses the Linux "wipe" function.

I do have a few issues with DBAN:

1) It wipes all drives it finds. I would like to have the option of a pick list and not have to remove all drives from the machine being used.

2) It only implements Gutmann. I would like the same options as Eraser gives (i.e. 1 pass PR, 3 & 7 pass DOD, and Guttmann).

3) Wipe does not appear to shuffle the order of the pass list (or at least I can not see that it does in the details) (minor).

4) The apparent need for an external seed pool (MT). (Doesnt it use something like ISAAC? I dont know what "urandom" or "random" do under the covers.)

In the past I have used the Norton utility GDISK to do disk level wipes (which does a nice job). Unfortunately, it is only available in the Norton Ghost package and only goes up to DOD 7-pass wiping. It is a DOS based tool.

It would be great to have a utility that combines the best of all three programs.
 

garrett01

Administrator
Staff member
Many users asked for a disk sanitizer. It was an obvious requirement.
I searched for all sorts of options and decided that the best one would be Dariks. It has a long history and the author was willing to
add it to eraser.

>>Having said that, I somewhat agree with eraserbuddy that DBAN should >>perhaps be a separate download as long as it is based on a totally >>separate code base or at least be VERY clear it runs a separate code
Think newbie users here and me up all night getting rsi answering the same mail -... How can I sanatize my HD ....

>>I do have a few issues with DBAN:
I am setting up a DBAN forum here and hopefully Darik will join in.
I will pass your suggestions directly to him and to the author of Wipe.

>>It is a DOS based tool.
Remember the DOS 2gig limit on drives. And with SCSI Freedos was not looking too hopefull for eraserd (Eraser for DOS).

Garrett
 

dajhorn

Member
(Hi. Im Darik.)

quote:1) It wipes all drives it finds. I would like to have the option of a pick list and not have to remove all drives from the machine being used.

2) It only implements Gutmann. I would like the same options as Eraser gives (i.e. 1 pass PR, 3 & 7 pass DOD, and Guttmann).

The most requested features are, in order:

1. Make DBAN faster.
2. Let me choose which drives and partitions are wiped.
3. Let me select the PNRG and wiping method.

I am working on #1 now, and a much faster version of DBAN should be ready in the next few weeks. I am planning #2 now.


quote:3) Wipe does not appear to shuffle the order of the pass list (or at least I can not see that it does in the details) (minor).

AFAIK, the pass list must be in that particular order. Any change to the order might break Gutmanns method.


quote:4) The apparent need for an external seed pool (MT). (Doesnt it use something like ISAAC? I dont know what "urandom" or "random" do under the covers.)

Seeding is an optional feature for ultra-paranoid users.

...

Heidi has added a DBAN forum to their web site that I will monitor on a regular basis. DBAN users are also welcome to send e-mail to me directly.
 

Sami

Member
quote:Originally posted by dajhorn
AFAIK, the pass list must be in that particular order. Any change to the order might break Gutmanns method.
Actually, there is a mention in Dr. Gutmanns paper that the deterministic passes should be performed in random order "to make it more difficult to guess which of the known data passes were made at which point".
 

dajhorn

Member
Could you contact me? I would like to discuss some technical issues with you. My e-mail address in my forum profile.

quote:Originally posted by Sami
quote:Originally posted by dajhorn
AFAIK, the pass list must be in that particular order. Any change to the order might break Gutmanns method.
Actually, there is a mention in Dr. Gutmanns paper that the deterministic passes should be performed in random order "to make it more difficult to guess which of the known data passes were made at which point".
 

eraserbuddy

New Member
quote:Originally posted by dajhorn
(Hi. Im Darik.)...
Heidi has added a DBAN forum to their web site that I will monitor on a regular basis. DBAN users are also welcome to send e-mail to me directly.

Very glad to see you here, Darik. I want to make sure you know that I fully appreciate your great program. I personally think it should be kept seperate from eraser, but thats only because its a totally different (and unfamiliar) code base, not because its a flawed program or anything. Its a great standalone tool, and youve clearly done a fantastic job with it.

Im personally a believer in people only installing programs that they absolutely need for frequent use on their computers. DBAN is something that I could potentially see using once in a great while for a special task, but isnt something I would normally use on a day to day basis (unlike eraser). As such, I would prefer it be kept seperate from eraser, so I can download and install it only if/when I have a use for it.

By keeping them seperate, it also means that there want be a new eraser distribution each time DBAN is updated... with them together, a new distro will have to be released whenever Eraser OR DBAN is updated.

Anyways, its just my personal opinion. And no one really asked for it :) But I think the forum is a healthy and productive place to talk about this sort of stuff. Its not up to me at all what winds up happening, but I thought I would express my interest and support of both products (DBAN and eraser) by providing some feedback.

This note is just to make sure that you realize that I fully appreciate your hard work on DBAN (it looks great!), and that my suggestion to keep it separate for eraser is soley based on what I feel is healthiest for both products. I didnt want to hurt anyones feelings (we all take great pride in our creations). And, of course, that I recognize that it is just my opinion, and that others may or may not share similar opinions.
 

eraserbuddy

New Member
quote:Originally posted by admin
Many users asked for a disk sanitizer. It was an obvious requirement.
...
Think newbie users here and me up all night getting rsi answering the same mail -... How can I sanatize my HD ....

I have a hunch (and just a hunch) that for a majority of people, they would be satisfied if eraser had a "sanitize" option that simply deleted all files/directories on a partition, then wiped the free space, and then wiped the file allocation structures (slightly different for FAT/FAT32 and NTFS). You can currently do this in two simple steps, but I can see the use for it as a "newbie" option (and it would even be a handy one-step operation for advanced users as well).

To take it a step further, eraser could have the functionality to wipe the boot record for a partition, or even the master boot record and partition tables for a drive (of course, not your primary drive).

If you need to wipe the contents of your last remaining hard drive, then a completely seperate program is in order, and DBAN fits the bill nicely. I used to just boot from a floppy and use eraserd (followed by fdisk /mbr) for this purpose, but unfortunately, AFAIK eraserd hasnt been updated recently to handle modern storage technologies.
 

dajhorn

Member
quote:Very glad to see you here, Darik. I want to make sure you know that I fully appreciate your great program.

Thank you.

Vier, Gutmann, Andersen, Anvin, et al, also deserve credit.

quote:By keeping them seperate, it also means that there want be a new eraser distribution each time DBAN is updated... with them together, a new distro will have to be released whenever Eraser OR DBAN is updated.

Not necessarily. There have been no major bugs in DBAN since the dban-0.1.0 release. I would be comfortable having the dban-0.4.0 release bundled with Eraser indefinitely. This is, however, entirely Heidis decision.

FYI

Components in the dban-0.x.x series are mature and unlikely to change much. Linux-2.4, uClibc-0.9, and Busybox-0.60 are all at the end of major revision cycles.

The dban-0.5.0 release is waiting on wipe-2.2, which will be coming out soon.
 
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