Question for the computer wizards

Discussion in 'General Industry Related Topics' started by theladiesman, Aug 29, 2001.

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  1. jaydevice


    It can be overkill to do these things more than say, once a month or so while performing other maintenance, backups. There was a case a year or so ago where someone was sending unsolicited young porn to all chatters in a particular AOL chat room. They subpoenaed everyone who had been in the chat room, took their computers for analysis... one was an elderly female libarian. Though rare, that kinda stuff can and does happen. I'll look for the article.

    It is more important to do this stuff daily if your surfing from work where they probably do a nightly backup.

    Side note on this topic... it's better to be over-informed rather than uninformed. On bulk garbage nights I sometimes grab old computers for parts and repairs as a sort of hobby. It's really astounding what I've found on hard drives. A lot of people don't even bother with simple deletes.
  2. justme

    justme <i>pop and click tainted</i> Vinyl ( is dead )

    While the posts on this thread have been for the most part true, I can't help but wonder aloud, who really needs this level of security? Seriously - getting to data that has been overwritten only two times is a fairly esoteric procedure. If you're simply obscuring potentially embarassing information from very casual snoopers than I think most secure data deletion software is overkill. Worse, I think their use would definitely arouse suspician.
  3. jaydevice


    The norton utilities permanent erase feature can be dangerous. Even on its most moderate cleanup setting it has erased files on my computer that various programs needed to run correctly.

    I used to use a mac program called "Burn", it was available at There's probably something similar for the PC.

    It’s essentially a trash can that scrambles the 1 and O’s of anything you throw in it. Of course, you have to know what to throw in it… cookies, cache files, etc.
  4. Escort_King

    Escort_King Some day I will learn to post ISO's in the proper

    cleaning PC

    If you are looking to wipe your hard drive so that absolutely no one could get info then you have some work ahead of you.
    If you are just trying to hide stuff from the significant other or even work, then unless either are hardcore hackers, you can just delete history, cookies and temp files and you should be okay.
    Or if you run Windows 2000 or ME they have a restore option that will bring your system back to a time when it was clean... if you can remember a day when you were not out trolling... lol
  5. Troutman

    Troutman Paste

    Secure erasing of data

    Norton Utilities, now a Symantec product does a successful secure erase. It also can do a data recovery, if there is any trace left on the hard drive. It actually takes seven normal writes to a disk sector to obliterate data to the point of being unrecoverable.
  6. quux


    Actually, it is still possible to recover data that has been overwritten with a pass of random bits. To make it impractical to recover erased data you can overwrite the data with many different patterns. Take a look at for the gory details of secure data deletion.

    I know there are utilities out there that can do secure erasure of data. Being a UNIX geek, I don't know about any of the windows ones, but wipe ( does the job very nicely on unix systems.
  7. un4given


    not really. If you are careful to write garbage in the Hard Drive sector where you perform the delete, nobody can ever know what was there.

    As for evidence elimination, all the evidence LE needs can be gotten through the ISP.... so I dont even bother.
  8. Bill Furniture

    Bill Furniture Flounder

    I'm thinking that the only way to totally erase all cookies from the computer is to completely Restore it.
  9. Slinky Bender

    Slinky Bender The All Powerful Moderator

    Nothing "totally works". Most of these programs are "utilities" in the sense that they go thru a whole series of steps which you could do yourself, and should do yourself, but probably don't do or won't do, because it's way too time consuming to go through a rigorous procedure each time you leave your computer.

    You could go through and delete all your log files, cookie files, history files, downloads, realplayer/mplayer/windowsmedia, etc by hand. It can just be a cumbersome process. These can just be a nice "one click" alternative. I personally use some of them just because of the time it saves me ( a few minutes every time I walk away from my computer ).

    However, you shouldn't be under the impression that if you use one of these programs and somehow LE seizes you computer, that all evidence of anything you have done is eliminated. They are reasonably good for keeping "prying eyes" of others who might share your system from sniffing out some of the stuff you have ben "up to", though.

    PS If you're going to buy "Evidence Eliminator", at least do it by clicking through the banner here so we can make a few cents ;).

    [Edited by slinkybender on 08-29-2001 at 07:17 PM]
  10. theladiesman


    I've been seeing ads for software programs such as "Clean Browser" and "Evidence Eliminator." Their premise is that even though you may clean out your cache, history folder, and location bar, this information is never completely erased from your computer, and someone can come along and find out all those naughty websites you've been visiting. These programs supposedly get in there and erase these files. The ad copy is worded to prey on your fears.

    Anyone have knowledge of these programs? Are they necessary? Can they cause more problems than they're supposed to fix? Thanks...