Secure Erasure of Archos 705 HDD


New Member
I plan to sell my Archos 705 but wish to ensure that data held on the drive within the unit is securely erased. The Archos can be connected to my PC and recognised as an external drive in Explorer so I am wondering if it would be possible to use Eraser to wipe the HDD without erasing the operating system files?

If you mean, wipe the free space on the drive after deleting (or, better, erasing) all personal data on it, you can in theory do this. But it's not a method I'd recommend, as it is impossible to be completely sure that you have removed everything you needed to. It's much better (assuming you are using Eraser 6.0.8 ) to quick format the drive, erase the free space (i.e all the space) on it, then reinstall the OS.

Thanks, David, your suggestion makes much better sense. Can you tell me where to find instructions on installing the operating system onto what is effectively a blank HDD? The instructions on the Archos website only seem to relate to installing it as a firmware update to an existing installation.

Oops. I should have read your original post more carefully, and remembered what the Archos 705 actually is. In that case, your original method seems to be the only practicable one, as Archos do not give details of how their OS is installed; it could be in firmware, on the hard drive but in a partition separate from the mountable drive, or on that drive (or, indeed, some combination of these). The good news is that the OS is unlikely to present the range and complexity of problems you get with Windows, and I'd guess that the mountable drive uses the FAT32 file system, which is less complex than NTFS.

When you open the device as an external drive, is it very clear where your personal data is stored? If so, I would erase everything you recognise as yours, then erase the free space; uncheck the option to erase cluster tips, in case this causes problems. You won't, I believe cause any damage just by wiping free space, but if it fails you may need to delete the erasing files manually (this is described in the FAQ) to recover any 'lost' space.