To use ERASER or DBAN in this situation?

formatting07

New Member
Hi Eraser Support/Other helpful users,


I am planning to remove my Windows 7 OS and then re-install the OS again and I want to remove EVERYTHING from my hard drive before re-installing. I have the following questions and your kind assistance is appreciated.


1) Is DARIK's BOOT and NUKE a better program (compared to ERASER) to completely remove the old OS, ALL of its files and folders securely and prepare the hard drive for installation, while ERASER is better suited to remove files and folders within the OS but not to remove the OS itself and all of its files and folder?


2) I am using Windows 7 Home Premium, would version DBAN 2.2.6 and ERASER 6.07.1893 be suitable in this case? (suitable in the sense that they are stable to use and will the job well). Can I use ERASER 5.XX for Windows 7? I read some users' comments on CNET and I am a little concerned with ERASER version 6.07.1893 because it seems that many users are having problems with ver. 6 while a lot of users are happy with version 5. I wonder if most of the bugs in ver. 6 are gone now and is ver. 6.07.1893 very stable to use now?


3) Which of the erasing options in DBAN and ERASER (DoD 5220.2-M, Gutmann Wipe, DoD Short, etc) should I choose if I want to make sure that everything is gone completely? I heard that there is no need to use Gutmann Wipe because the 35 passes takes very long and a few passes method can equally do the same job. Is it true? (and my hard drive is 250GB, not the latest one but still relatlively new, purchased 3 years ago).


Thanks for your help.
 

DavidHB

Active Member
formatting07 said:
1) Is DARIK's BOOT and NUKE a better program (compared to ERASER) to completely remove the old OS, ALL of its files and folders securely and prepare the hard drive for installation, while ERASER is better suited to remove files and folders within the OS but not to remove the OS itself and all of its files and folder?
Yes, provided that, if you are using DBAN, you are fully able to install from scratch (i.e. have an install disk, drivers, installation media for all your software etc.) You may also wish to consider using Eraser before you begin, to erase any particularly sensitive files as an extra precaution.


formatting07 said:
2) I am using Windows 7 Home Premium, would version DBAN 2.2.6 and ERASER 6.07.1893 be suitable in this case? (suitable in the sense that they are stable to use and will the job well). Can I use ERASER 5.XX for Windows 7? I read some users' comments on CNET and I am a little concerned with ERASER version 6.07.1893 because it seems that many users are having problems with ver. 6 while a lot of users are happy with version 5. I wonder if most of the bugs in ver. 6 are gone now and is ver. 6.07.1893 very stable to use now?
DBAN contains its own OS, and so is not OS-dependent. I ran 6.0.7. on my Windows 7 x64 machine quite happily for some months, and am now using a development build for beta testing on that machine. I would not recommend Eraser 5.xx on Windows 7, not least because it is no longer formally supported, and here we are now much better equipped to deal with queries about Eraser 6. There are some continuing issues with Eraser 6, but these are being dealt with, and the program is under active development; I know of no reason why, with the information available here and in Eraser Help, you should not be able to use it successfully.

That said, for a complete system wipe, DBAN is the tool for the job; because of Windows file system/protection/security issues, no program running under Windows will ever be able to erase every last byte of unused space on a system drive. DBAN is now better supported on Sourceforge than it is here, and you need to download the most recent version from there. I don't think that there has been an update, or anything other than user-to-user support, for several years.

formatting07 said:
3) Which of the erasing options in DBAN and ERASER (DoD 5220.2-M, Gutmann Wipe, DoD Short, etc) should I choose if I want to make sure that everything is gone completely? I heard that there is no need to use Gutmann Wipe because the 35 passes takes very long and a few passes method can equally do the same job. Is it true? (and my hard drive is 250GB, not the latest one but still relatively new, purchased 3 years ago).
Because of the length of time a free space wipe takes (at least 3-4 hours for a single pass on your drive, perhaps longer with DBAN), anything more than a single pass is not likely to be practical, and current informed thinking is that it is also unnecessary, particularly with a modern, high-density drive such as yours. Peter Gutmann himself is quite clear on this point, and is highly critical of any use of his mid-1990s findings to justify applying the method he described to more modern drives. Other documented tests have shown that even a single pass erase puts data beyond practical recovery; if the location is known (which, of course, it would not be after a free space erase), the odd byte can be recovered, but that is all. If you have already explicitly erased files of particular concern (for this I use the HMG 3 pass method), this is an extra level of reassurance, in addition to the single-pass wipe of the free space.

I hope this helps.

David
 

formatting07

New Member
DavidHB said:
Yes, provided that, if you are using DBAN, you are fully able to install from scratch (i.e. have an install disk, drivers, installation media for all your software etc.) You may also wish to consider using Eraser before you begin, to erase any particularly sensitive files as an extra precaution.

Hi David,

Thanks for your detailed reply. Appreicate it. Yes, I am planning to download DBAN onto a DVD and then use it to completely remove the OS and all of its folders, and then re-install the OS again as well as all the softwares and drivers.


DavidHB said:
DBAN contains its own OS, and so is not OS-dependent. I ran 6.0.7. on my Windows 7 x64 machine quite happily for some months, and am now using a development build for beta testing on that machine. I would not recommend Eraser 5.xx on Windows 7, not least because it is no longer formally supported, and here we are now much better equipped to deal with queries about Eraser 6. There are some continuing issues with Eraser 6, but these are being dealt with, and the program is under active development; I know of no reason why, with the information available here and in Eraser Help, you should not be able to use it successfully.

If ERASER 6.07.1893 is now quite stable, as you suggested I will use this version once I re-install my Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit? Are there any other things that I should pay special attention to when using DBAN and ERASER?



DavidHB said:
DavidHB said:
Because of the length of time a free space wipe takes (at least 3-4 hours for a single pass on your drive, perhaps longer with DBAN), anything more than a single pass is not likely to be practical, and current informed thinking is that it is also unnecessary, particularly with a modern, high-density drive such as yours. Peter Gutmann himself is quite clear on this point, and is highly critical of any use of his mid-1990s findings to justify applying the method he described to more modern drives. Other documented tests have shown that even a single pass erase puts data beyond practical recovery; if the location is known (which, of course, it would not be after a free space erase), the odd byte can be recovered, but that is all. If you have already explicitly erased files of particular concern (for this I use the HMG 3 pass method), this is an extra level of reassurance, in addition to the single-pass wipe of the free space.

I hope this helps.

David


Yes, that's what I am thinking (a few passes should be secure enough) but I just want to make sure. I am planning to use DoD Short (3 passes) in DBAN and it should be secure enough. Based on your experience, how long would it take using this method to completely wipe a 250G hard drive?

Thanks again.
 

DavidHB

Active Member
formatting07 said:
If ERASER 6.07.1893 is now quite stable, as you suggested I will use this version once I re-install my Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit? Are there any other things that I should pay special attention to when using DBAN and ERASER?
'Stable' is a relative term :) . I couldn't run 6.0.6 at all on my Windows 7 x64 machine. I can run 6.0.7, and the only task that gives me real trouble is erasing free space and cluster tips on a system drive (erasing free space only, and erasing cluster tips on non-system drives are both OK). I suggest that you read the 3 'sticky' topics at the top of the FAQ forum. Between them, they should give you a pretty good idea of how to deal with anything you encounter when running Eraser.

I confess that it's a while since I used DBAN; ordinary users do not get to 'nuke' a machine all that often :D . The point about it is, of course, that it's so destructive. If that's what you intend, fine (though you may need to be aware that its very basic OS may need equally basic hardware; often PS2 keyboards will work when USB ones won't, for example). If you have to leave anything on the machine, you probably shouldn't use DBAN.

formatting07 said:
I am planning to use DoD Short (3 passes) in DBAN and it should be secure enough. Based on your experience, how long would it take using this method to completely wipe a 250G hard drive?
I can really only speak for Eraser. I just did a single pass erase of a 250GB drive on a quad core machine running Vista X64 - pretty fast, but not the fastest. That took about 3 hours. 3 passes will take 3 times as long. DBAN may not be able to access all the hardware features, so may be a bit slower, but the hard disk speed is usually the governing factor.

David
 
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