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  • How to Wipe System Volume Information From Drive?

    Posted on WSLaurieN Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support PC hardware Questions: How to troubleshoot hardware problems How to Wipe System Volume Information From Drive?

    This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  WSSudo 2 years, 5 months ago.

    • Author
      Posts
    • #508390 Reply

      WSLaurieN
      AskWoody Lounger

      I want to donate an older external USB drive and, of course, wipe it first. I used ccleaner to wipe it but the System Volume Information portion was not wiped. I got a message that only the administrator could delete that information. Usually with such a message, since I’m the only user of this computer, it allows me to continue as administrator. I found out how to create an administrator account but I’m not sure if I have created one in the past (since upgrading to Win10 during the last possible week). If I have, creating a new one could be a problem. Windows will probably tell me I’m using the wrong password if I try to create a new one.

      Is there any other way to get rid of the System Volume Information? If I don’t get rid of it, I assume a hacker could restore at least some of my files. Correct?

      TIA for any advice.

      =================================================
      Windows 10 Home x64
      Seagate external USB drive

    • #1593414 Reply

      WSSudo
      AskWoody Lounger

      Just right click on it and select Format.

    • #1593421 Reply

      WSCalimanco
      AskWoody Lounger

      Formatting wont make the data unrecoverable. It does not erase the data on the disk, only the data on the address tables. Use DBAN. It runs from a CD, independent of Windows and It will rewrite the data on your hard drive with pseudo-random numbers to make it almost impossible to recover your personal data.

      https://dban.org/

      • #1593425 Reply

        access-mdb
        AskWoody MVP

        Formatting wont make the data unrecoverable. It does not erase the data on the disk, only the data on the address tables. Use DBAN. It runs from a CD, independent of Windows and It will rewrite the data on your hard drive with pseudo-random numbers to make it almost impossible to recover your personal data.

        https://dban.org/

        Looks like Dban has been taken over by Blancco. I was looking to confirm that should you use DBAN it will clear every disk it can find, so it has to be used very carefully. I couldn’t find that info on the current site, though I think, IIRC, that it warns you of this when you run it. Note that the OP is wanting to clear an external drive, not an internal one.

      • #1593535 Reply

        WSLaurieN
        AskWoody Lounger

        Thanks, Calimanco. I’ll try DBAN. I think I used it a couple of years ago but didn’t want to go to the trouble of using it again if I didn’t have to. Still I don’t want my data compromised either.

      • #1593950 Reply

        WSLaurieN
        AskWoody Lounger

        Calimanco, I finally got a chance to D/L DBAN. But when I went to the website, it says DBAN is for hard drives only. Is there something similar that works for external USB drives?

        • #1593955 Reply

          Rick Corbett
          AskWoody_MVP

          Calimanco, I finally got a chance to D/L DBAN. But when I went to the website, it says DBAN is for hard drives only. Is there something similar that works for external USB drives?

          DBAN doesn’t support USB-to-ATAPI connections, only direct bus connections like PATA (i.e. IDE), SATA or SCSCI.

          Have you looked at CCleaner‘s Disk Wiper?

          1. Run CCleaner as Administrator.
          2. Click on Tools in the left-hand pane.
          3. Using the Wipe dropdown, change this to Entire drive.
          4. Using the Security dropdown, select the number of overwrites. (I suggest 3. See this article for more info, including a list of disk wipe utils.)
          5. In the Drives list, select the USB drive so the Wipe button becomes active.
          6. Click on the Wipe button.

          46997-ccleaner-disk-wipe
          Click to enlarge

          7. Type erase (it’s not case-sensitive) to activate the OK button on the confirmation dialog that appears:

          46998-ccleaner-disk-wipe-confirm
          Click to enlarge

          8. Click on the OK button and sit back. Be aware that the process is painfully slow…

          Hope this helps…

          Attachments:
          • #1594278 Reply

            WSLaurieN
            AskWoody Lounger

            Hi, Rick. Like I said in my first post, I used ccleaner but it didn’t clear all of the drive, even though I chose 7 passes.

    • #1593423 Reply

      WSSudo
      AskWoody Lounger

      If the disk is just being given to the average user then a format would suffice – it isn’t as if someone is going to want to look through your dust bin.

    • #1593464 Reply

      Paul T
      AskWoody MVP

      I usually delete any partitions and then create a new one and format.
      DBAN is for those who want to go mad.

      cheers, Paul

    • #1593474 Reply

      WSRolandJS
      AskWoody Plus

      Did you earlier give each hard-drive and each partition [existing anywhere] a unique name? That way, regardless of usb or dvd or whatever boot, even as the drive letters are shuffled, you will be sure you’re aiming a wipe utility at the proper item.

      • #1593536 Reply

        WSLaurieN
        AskWoody Lounger

        Roland, I did give the external hard drives and each partition a unique name, so I don’t think I’ll have any trouble using DBAN. Thanks.

    • #1593952 Reply

      Paul T
      AskWoody MVP

      An external USB drive is a hard drive – unless it’s an SSD, in which case you should never use a disk wipe program. Use the drive manufacturers erase utility.

      cheers, Paul

      • #1594277 Reply

        WSLaurieN
        AskWoody Lounger

        Thanks for the clarification, Paul. I knew an external USB drive is a hard drive, but on the DBAN site it looked like it was considering it as NOT a hard drive. It was confusing.

    • #1594005 Reply

      mledman
      AskWoody Plus

      Fred Langa has an interesting Windows Secrets Newsletter article Rethinking the process of hard-drive sanitizing Issue 354 • 2012-09-13. The essence being first encrypt then wipe the drive (thumb, SSD, or magnetic) to make the data truly unrecoverable.

      Mark

      • #1594279 Reply

        WSLaurieN
        AskWoody Lounger

        I finally was able to wipe the USB drive by using MiniTool Partition Wizard. Sudo, you were right. After I wasted so many hours trying to wipe the drive, I realized I could have just formatted it. But I didn’t notice your post until it was too late.

        Anyway, thanks, everyone, for your suggestions.

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