starman

Can I apply an electromagnet to the HD and

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Hello,

My hard drive is dead and I am sending it back for a refund.

I have lost 2 hard drives playing computer games and have noticed a correlation:

1st loss- Loaded up Doom 3 (a pirate copy) for the first time and the hard drive died. Win2000 swapfile was on the same hard drive as Doom3 and that is the hard drive that died.

2nd loss- Playing Half Life 2 (legal copy) for hours then a hard drive died. Win2000 swapfile was on a different hard drive and that is the hard drive that died.

Could malovent code in the games have caused an endless loop of read/writes on the swapfile and somehow killed the hard drives?

As mentioned above, I am sending one of the Hard Drives back for a refund.

If I apply an Electromagnet to the outside of the Hard Drive, Can I wipe out all data in it?

Sincerely, Starman

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Hello,

My hard drive is dead and I am sending it back for a refund.

I have lost 2 hard drives playing computer games and have noticed a correlation:

1st loss- Loaded up Doom 3 (a pirate copy) for the first time and the hard drive died. Win2000 swapfile was on the same hard drive as Doom3 and that is the hard drive that died.

2nd loss- Playing Half Life 2 (legal copy) for hours then a hard drive died. Win2000 swapfile was on a different hard drive and that is the hard drive that died.

Could malovent code in the games have caused an endless loop of read/writes on the swapfile and somehow killed the hard drives?

As mentioned above, I am sending one of the Hard Drives back for a refund.

If I apply an Electromagnet to the outside of the Hard Drive, Can I wipe out all data in it?

Sincerely, Starman

210689[/snapback]

I have played the same games for untold hours on end without adverse affects. On the magnet question you will not be able to get a field large enough to damage the drive. Hard drives are shielded quite well from external fields so you would need a field large enough to pull a nail through a 2 X 4 plank to have a hope of affecting the disk's surfaces.

Your data is most likely safe regardless. Any drive returned which can be resurected will be run through some sort of recertification process which should wipe any residual data.

Free

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Hello, thanks for the fast reply.

The correlation of dead hard drives may be coincidence. The first dead hard drive was a "recertified" SCA cheetah 15K. The 2nd dead hard drive (Hitachi SATA) might very well be a "recertified" HD as I bought it at a very low price.

The hard drive that I am sending back is a Hitachi SATA 250GB HD. How can I wipe out the data in this DEAD hard drive before I send it back?

Sincerely, Starman

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Hello, thanks for the fast reply.

The correlation of dead hard drives may be coincidence. The first dead hard drive was a "recertified" SCA cheetah 15K. The 2nd dead hard drive (Hitachi SATA) might very well be a "recertified" HD as I bought it at a very low price.

The hard drive that I am sending back is a Hitachi SATA 250GB HD. How can I wipe out the data in this DEAD hard drive before I send it back?

Sincerely, Starman

210693[/snapback]

I know of no way which will keep your warranty intact. If you want to risk them knowing you went out of your way to ensure the data was gone, open the drive and run a magnet close to the disk surface. Opening the drive will of course void the warranty and it is likely to be noticed.

If you want to ensure the data is gone you are better off destroying the drive than returning it for RMA.

Free

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Your best bet is to use some tool to alternately write 0s and 1s over every sector multiple times, therefore making recovery of what was "originally" there extremely difficult for anyone but the NSA.

And, honestly, if the NSA was interested in you.... you wouldn't have a chance to wipe out the drive, so I wouldn't worry about it. :D

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The hard drive that I am sending back is a Hitachi SATA 250GB HD. How can I wipe out the data in this DEAD hard drive before I send it back?

I can assure you, Hitachi isn't interested in the data on your drive. We manufacturers take back dead product, perform failure analysis so we can disposition the drive, and then either scrap it or repair it. Scrapped drives might get dissasembled to recover reusable parts, but typically they're just destroyed and melted down. Repair drives go through a recertification process that completely erases whatever was on the media. We handle so many returned drives (when you ship 60 million a year, it doesn't take a very high failure rate to generate a lot of failures), no one has either the time or inclination to see what was on the drive when it was returned.

Unless you work for the CIA and the KGB knows you've got important information on the disk and that you're returning it to Hitachi, you're safe.

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I'm not worried about Hitachi retrieving my HD data- RATHER I am worried that the guy who sold me the hard drive may retreive my HD data. I will be shipping it back to him for a refund. The HD is missing the P/N & S/N and I don't think Hitachi will take it back.

This why I want to make sure any HD data is wiped off before I ship it back.

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I'm not worried about Hitachi retrieving my HD data- RATHER I am worried that the guy who sold me the hard drive may retreive my HD data. I will be shipping it back to him for a refund. The HD is missing the P/N & S/N and I don't think Hitachi will take it back.

This why I want to make sure any HD data is wiped off before I ship it back.

210729[/snapback]

the P/N and S/N can check by some software. cannot remember which one.

just do a full format will do. unless the guy is in the business of retrieving data for sale.

but your hdd is dead.

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I'm not worried about Hitachi retrieving my HD data- RATHER I am worried that the guy who sold me the hard drive may retreive my HD data. I will be shipping it back to him for a refund. The HD is missing the P/N & S/N and I don't think Hitachi will take it back.

This why I want to make sure any HD data is wiped off before I ship it back.

210729[/snapback]

the P/N and S/N can check by some software. cannot remember which one.

just do a full format will do. unless the guy is in the business of retrieving data for sale.

but your hdd is dead.

210745[/snapback]

I think the Seller may be in the business of repairing hard drives.

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I'm not worried about Hitachi retrieving my HD data- RATHER I am worried that the guy who sold me the hard drive may retreive my HD data. I will be shipping it back to him for a refund. The HD is missing the P/N & S/N and I don't think Hitachi will take it back.

This why I want to make sure any HD data is wiped off before I ship it back.

210729[/snapback]

the P/N and S/N can check by some software. cannot remember which one.

just do a full format will do. unless the guy is in the business of retrieving data for sale.

but your hdd is dead.

210745[/snapback]

I think the Seller may be in the business of repairing hard drives.

210750[/snapback]

Can you low-level format the drive?

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When you say that the HDD is dead, what do you mean by it? Can the drive spin up? Can it be recognised and accesed by system?

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When you say that the HDD is dead, what do you mean by it? Can the drive spin up? Can it be recognised and accesed by system?

210764[/snapback]

That HD is no longer recognized by the computer BIOS or the SATA controller as existing. Another SATA HD is still recognized by the computer.

I think an MRI machine used for medical diagnostic imaging would delete the data off the HD- the question is whether my friends would allow me access to the million dollar MRI machine?

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When you say that the HDD is dead, what do you mean by it? Can the drive spin up? Can it be recognised and accesed by system?

210764[/snapback]

That HD is no longer recognized by the computer BIOS or the SATA controller as existing. Another SATA HD is still recognized by the computer.

I think an MRI machine used for medical diagnostic imaging would delete the data off the HD- the question is whether my friends would allow me access to the million dollar MRI machine?

210825[/snapback]

Yeah, an MRI will erase it. Of course, putting metal into the MRI will completely destroy the MRI, as the hard drive rips through the instrument over and over again. It will also destroy the hard drive, as it will be smashed repeatedly. Just toss it in a fire instead :).

Sounds like your biggest problem is buying computer equipment from shady places.

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When you say that the HDD is dead, what do you mean by it? Can the drive spin up? Can it be recognised and accesed by system?

210764[/snapback]

That HD is no longer recognized by the computer BIOS or the SATA controller as existing. Another SATA HD is still recognized by the computer.

I think an MRI machine used for medical diagnostic imaging would delete the data off the HD- the question is whether my friends would allow me access to the million dollar MRI machine?

210825[/snapback]

If your friends allow unauthorized access to an MRI machine, they will likely be summarily fired, and probably be liable for any damages. You would probably be implicated and liable as well. :rolleyes:

I'd suggest getting a copy of PDWipe, but if it isn't recognized by the controller, you might as well just toss it in a furnace or handy car crusher. :lol:

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When you say that the HDD is dead, what do you mean by it? Can the drive spin up? Can it be recognised and accesed by system?

210764[/snapback]

That HD is no longer recognized by the computer BIOS or the SATA controller as existing. Another SATA HD is still recognized by the computer.

I think an MRI machine used for medical diagnostic imaging would delete the data off the HD- the question is whether my friends would allow me access to the million dollar MRI machine?

210825[/snapback]

Yeah, an MRI will erase it. Of course, putting metal into the MRI will completely destroy the MRI, as the hard drive rips through the instrument over and over again. It will also destroy the hard drive, as it will be smashed repeatedly. Just toss it in a fire instead :).

Sounds like your biggest problem is buying computer equipment from shady places.

210831[/snapback]

shady places like ebay? :)

yea, the MRI idea is neat but impractical. Even if I could tie down the HD in the MRI machine, the MRI innards would probably be knocked out of allignment and ruin the million dollar machine.

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I have taken apart houses, cars, engines, clocks, computers, space shuttle parts but I have NEVER taken apart a Hard Drive!

After reading the above posts, I am now ready to disassemble the Hitachi HD up to the point where I can wipe out all data with a magnetic device. Afterwards, I will ship the reassembled HD back to the Seller.

I would prefer that the seller be unable to detect that I disassembled the HD. Any tips on doing this so that I don't create any irreversible problems?

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shady places like ebay?  :)

If it's from a seller who you think would check the data, then yes, it's a shady place.

The HD is missing the P/N & S/N and I don't think Hitachi will take it back.

:blink:

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shady places like ebay?  :)

If it's from a seller who you think would check the data, then yes, it's a shady place.

The HD is missing the P/N & S/N and I don't think Hitachi will take it back.

:blink:

210865[/snapback]

Throughout history it has always been "Buyer Beware"

I have my surgical gown, gloves and mask on- Can anyone give me tips on disassembling this HD?

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You can easily open the case anput the hard drive togerher again. like here hard drive window mod. but I have no idea how stong a magnet you need to wipe it though. At a guess the heads are not that strong (they seem quite small and feeble) so an ordinary magnet may do the top platter.

If you really don't want him to get at your data, don't buy hard drives from him. Spend a little extra and get one you can RMA to the manufacturer.

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You can easily open the case anput the hard drive togerher again. like here hard drive window mod. but  I have no idea how stong a magnet you need to wipe it though. At a guess the heads are not that strong (they seem quite small and feeble) so an ordinary magnet may do the top platter.

If you really don't want him to get at your data, don't buy hard drives from him.  Spend a little extra and get one you can RMA to the manufacturer.

210869[/snapback]

Cool hyperlink....thankyou

Some more explanation: The ebay Sellers description said the HD was new with a 3 year warranty. The Seller neglected to say that the portion of the label with P/N & S/N had been removed. The HD drive failed as described in previous posts and the Seller has offered a refund if I send the HD back to him.

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The ebay Sellers description said the HD was new with a 3 year warranty. The Seller neglected to say that the portion of the label with P/N & S/N had been removed. The HD drive failed as described in previous posts and the Seller has offered a refund if I send the HD back to him.
Haha! I wouldn't consider paying the postage to send it back to such a shady person. I'm afraid you wouldn't get the refund... instead he would probably sell the drive to the next customer and ask him to return it for a refund... and the next and the next.

OK. We can't be sure if he'd pull a fraud like that but selling a drive with "3-year-warranty" without the essential labels sure is fraud already. And you would return him the evidence?

BTW, is this topic a creation of a troll? Sorry to suspect it but IIRC there's been topics like this in the past: people asking technical questions (usually asking if something impossible is possible), and when they get a negative answer, they just don't listen. Later in these topics it seems to come to the point that the cover "has" to be opened for whatever reason (data erasure, stiction problems, defragmentation or whatever).

I'm not that dull that I wouldn't understand jokes but some of the threads are just so pseudoserious that I'm afraid some n00b will pop open his HDD for erasing data. That would be tragic... not nearly as tragic as Ethiopians marrying their childhood rapists as a common practise though, but still tragic.

BTW, I love the "partitioning guides" (etc.) that can be found on the Net. They're just hillarious.

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The ebay Sellers description said the HD was new with a 3 year warranty. The Seller neglected to say that the portion of the label with P/N & S/N had been removed. The HD drive failed as described in previous posts and the Seller has offered a refund if I send the HD back to him.
Haha! I wouldn't consider paying the postage to send it back to such a shady person. I'm afraid you wouldn't get the refund... instead he would probably sell the drive to the next customer and ask him to return it for a refund... and the next and the next.

OK. We can't be sure if he'd pull a fraud like that but selling a drive with "3-year-warranty" without the essential labels sure is fraud already. And you would return him the evidence?

BTW, is this topic a creation of a troll? Sorry to suspect it but IIRC there's been topics like this in the past: people asking technical questions (usually asking if something impossible is possible), and when they get a negative answer, they just don't listen. Later in these topics it seems to come to the point that the cover "has" to be opened for whatever reason (data erasure, stiction problems, defragmentation or whatever).

I'm not that dull that I wouldn't understand jokes but some of the threads are just so pseudoserious that I'm afraid some n00b will pop open his HDD for erasing data. That would be tragic... not nearly as tragic as Ethiopians marrying their childhood rapists as a common practise though, but still tragic.

BTW, I love the "partitioning guides" (etc.) that can be found on the Net. They're just hillarious.

210883[/snapback]

Yet more explanation:

I have good legal reasons for believing that the seller will come thru with the refund and none of my reasons are underhanded. I will not discuss the reasons.

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why not just scrap the drive if you are so worried about the data still on the drive? Drives are quite cheap and you won't have the headache of knowing all your data is out there.

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If you are serious about opening the drive you need to find all the top cover screws. The problem is that there are often one or two beneath the top cover label. One pinning the voice coil actuator, and on ball bearing drives, one pinning the motor spindle. If you want to open a drive without it being noticed you will need to devise a way to remove the label from that / those screw(s) and reapply it when you are done so that it cannot be seen. I do not believe any data is worth that effort but there you go.

Once the drive is open passing just about any magnet near the discs surface should suffice to damage the drive beyond repair (not to mention particle contamination from opening it outside of a good clean room). The field will randomize the user data and more importantly the embedded servo fields. Without the servo fields the drive will not function again.

Free

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Due to the risk of

(1) somebody stealing your computer, especially laptop, and snooping at your data

(2) your hard disk failing, you sending it back, and somebody snooping at your data

I recommend that all personal data (e.g. maybe not your Windows drive, but your data drives) are encrypted.

If you use Linux, I've just completed a HOWTO on taking a new hard disk and encrypting it under Linux, using the upcoming Linux standard for hard disk encryption, LUKS.

http://www.saout.de/tikiwiki/tiki-index.php

The downside is you loose some performance. I am seeing approximately 10Mb/s copying large files from one encrypted drive to another on an AthlonXP 3200+. Just one more reason I should go to dual core :)

Maybe some day public employees will do this their laptops. Then we can reduce the amount of confidential information the Govt leaks:

Laptop with credit card info for 80,000 DOJ workers stolen

MI5 (UK secret service) laptop containing secret data stolen

FBI : Average Laptop Theft Costs Companies $47,000

Thief gets personal data of 100,000 UCB graduates

...

Edited by willsmith

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