How to obliterate data?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by pianodude123, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. pianodude123 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2005
    in the internet
    I am at the point of destroying very confidential information on my system. I need to know... how likely is it that a data recovery service could recover data that has been 0-ed out. How about data that has been 7-passed out. How about 35?

    If I 0 the data out... would that be enough security?
  2. snakesqzns macrumors regular


    Apr 26, 2007
    The Disk Utility program can do this. I think it might only work on whole volumes though...

    Regarding effectiveness: I've heard you could overwrite something 100 times, alternating 1s,0, random bits, and STILL data could be recovered using electron microscopes or through off-by-one reading (which may be much harder these days since drives are so dense). I've heard that the government destroys it's hard drives by placing them under the space shuttle when it's launched, but maybe that was just a rumor?
  3. xJulianx macrumors 6502a


    Oct 1, 2006
    Brighton, UK
    Just a rumor I think. They probably pay someone to smash them up with a hammer, much cheaper than sending shuttles into space. :rolleyes:
  4. epochblue macrumors 68000


    Aug 12, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Your chances of recovering data once it has been overwritten a few times is absurdly small. You *MIGHT* be able to recover something with an electron microscope, but the cost to do something like that wouldn't at all be worth it.

    Use something like "Secure Empty Trash" and you should be more than fine.
  5. Erendiox macrumors 6502a


    Oct 15, 2004
    Brooklyn NY
    Basically, unless the government decides to really try and pick apart your hard drive for some reason, your stuff is as good as gone. ;)
  6. johnee macrumors 6502a


    You never know, he said it was very confidential.

    I say it's
    1) proof of alien existence
    2) he's Karl Rove
    3) he's Alberto Gonzales.

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