Zeroing out data without the grey setup disks - is it possible?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Jim Johns, May 31, 2010.

  1. Jim Johns macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    #1
    Hi all,

    First off, I realise this topic has been discussed a lot so I apologise if this new thread is a repeat of another - I searched for the question I want to ask but couldn't find anything.

    Basically, I'm confused about the zeroing out data process. I need to be certain that it's impossible to tell if internet pages of a particular nature have been viewed on this macbook. I was feeling paranoid so I ran a 7 pass overwrite. However my CD drive doesn't work so I was unable to do anything with the grey setup CDs. Nothing seems to be particularly different following the overwrite - the files on my desktop had been deleted but that was all I could notice (I am a beginner mac user though).

    So now I'm not sure where I'm at. Would the 7 pass have overwritten all the sensitive info I wish to make unrecoverable, even without using the setup CDs?

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    7-pass erase is sufficient to make data unrecoverable, but it only erases free space on the drive. Internet history is stored in a file somewhere, and therefore isn't free space. You have to find this file, delete it, then 7-pass erase.

    I'm not sure if the "Clear History" function included in all modern browsers makes the data unrecoverable.
     
  3. Jim Johns thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    #3
    Thanks.
    So any suggestions where to find this file?
     
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #4
    I'd probably just Google things like "File internet history is stored in for Firefox" or whatever browser you're using.
     
  5. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #5
    It's in Disk Utility. You can erase the free space with several levels of security. This would be after clearing your history of the browser that you're using.

    I don't expect many people to require secure erasure after clearing your history though.
     
  6. Jim Johns thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    #6
    I appreciate your help but I'm confused. You're saying that clearing the cache, history and so on from Firefox should be secure & adequate? I was under the impression that some sort of trace/history files existed and were stored somewhere on the mac & that a standard 'delete history' wouldn't get rid of them..
     

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