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    What are good ones? If I use and external hard drive, how do I erase it when I discard it if it has an immutable backup on it??

    Viewing 5 reply threads
    • #2470943

      I give the drives to my grandson and he scratches the patters, breaks with a hammer and/or cuts them up with a cutting torch. Pieces are thrown out over 3 or 4 garbage runs so they are in different landfills or at least sections of landfill. And that is after I wipe them with dban or similar.

      Overkill? Yes. But I’d rather my data stolen than my clients’.

      Never Say Never

    • #2470958

      My dad beats up mine with a hammer and we keep the magnets.

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady

    • #2471001

      What do you mean “immutable”?

      I use / recommend any of the free / paid 3rd party apps to create the backup to an external drive. A search here will find software recommendations.

      To delete data on a drive you need to write random data to every sector once. There in no need to do it more than once on modern hard disks because the data is packed so densely that there is no method that can recover the old data.

      To securely erase an SSD you need to use the manufacturer’s utility.

      Use nwipe/ShredOS to perform the data write.

      cheers, Paul

      • #2471157

        Immutable backups are the latest thing  to counter ransomware for companies.

        They are write only backups that cannot be changed, updated, altered or erased. That protects them from ransomware encryption.

        • #2471197

          Macrium reflect paid version that has anti ransomware protection

          And a hammer to beat up the old hard drive.

          Susan Bradley Patch Lady

          • #2471761

            THANKS! Looks good. I’m surprised you haven’t done an article on immutable backups.

        • #2471802

          The Macrium backup isn’t really immutable, it uses a different user account to write the data and other users do not have access to the data. Malware that can take over your PC  as an administrator has the ability to change the permissions on any files.

          A truly immutable system requires backup to an external system (NAS) with regular snapshots. The snapshots allow you to recover to a point in time, prior to infection.
          There are plenty of these systems for home / SOHO use at less than $500 – see QNAP, Synology etc.

          cheers, Paul

    • #2471007
      • #2471114

        For Windows users, you  already have access to Diskpart clean all as a part of your Windows system.

        Regards, Phil

    • #2471868

      Look into Archival Grade DVD’s.

      May the Forces of good computing be with you!


      PowerShell & VBA Rule!
      Computer Specs

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2471892

        Look into Archival Grade DVD’s.

        Those are referred to as M-Disc (because they’re suppose to last 1,000 yrs) and, while any DVD/Blu-ray drive can read them, it requires a special drive to write to them because the laser has to be much more powerful than what standard drives come with.

        If your drive has the M-Disc logo like my LG drive, it’ll write them.


    • #2471869

      If I use and external hard drive, how do I erase it when I discard it if it has an immutable backup on it?

      Disassemble the drive and pass a strong permanent magnet over both sides of the platter(s).  This will degauss the platters, wiping out any and all magnetic information, including the low-level formatting of the drive, making it just a shiny steel disk.  Not only will there be no data on any sectors, there won’t be any sectors.

      Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
      We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do. We don't all have to do the same things.

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