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Old 11-24-2012, 11:33 PM   #11
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Default Re: I have some flash drives to sell - data recovery concerns

It's not that hard actually.

Plug it into a Windows machine
Note the drive letter
Format the disk
Run a command prompt
In the command prompt, type:

cipher /w:x:\

Where x is the drive letter.
Once complete, press the up arrow and then enter to repeat.
Repeat 9 times.
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:08 PM   #12
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Default Re: I have some flash drives to sell - data recovery concerns

If the data has been over written it is NOT recoverable. Theoretically it is but at this point and time there is nothing on the open market that can recover data that has been over written.

My advice would be to use a Nuke program that zero's out the drive. The better ones cost money. A cheap way however is to do a quick format then copy over data onto the drive again till it's full then do a full format.

Doing a full or simple format alone with out overwriting the data makes it very easy to recover. It's way to easy to use a simple program like Recover My Files to recover the data. You can find some decent info in general about data recovery at Data Recovery They have some good guides and the information can be used in reverse to see what else you can do to stop your data from being recovered.

If you are overly concerned, don't give the drive away and grab a hammer and go to town.
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Old 03-30-2014, 05:47 PM   #13
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Default Re: I have some flash drives to sell - data recovery concerns

Use killdisk tool and wipe it
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:40 PM   #14
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Default Re: I have some flash drives to sell - data recovery concerns

Quote:
Originally Posted by root View Post
use Dariks boot and Nuke.
Seconded. Free, works perfectly well with a variety of wipe options and is accredited to US DoD standards (althought at the end of the day, that accreditation doesn't really mean anything, secure wipe is secure wipe).

However, an important detail to note which others haven't mentioned is that a bootable bios-based utility is required - see below for the rationale:

1) In order to securely wipe a drive, all sectors must be overwritten.
2) All drives (HDD/SSD etc.) come with a certain amount of 'spare sectors'
3) These sectors are used by the disk's internal controller firmware to 'swap-out' defected sectors for spare ones.
4) The 'broken' sectors are then marked as inactive by the firmware
5) Operating systems ask the disk for active sectors to store data on, the disk controller suitable obliges
6) After a period of time, several of these bad sectors do have recoverable user data on them (and not in small chunks either, a remarkably large amount can be recovered this way). Note: on SSDs and Flash-based media this swapping takes place as standard for load balancing (avoiding repeated-write defects) and as such huge amounts of past data will be recoverable
7) An OS based disk wiping tool will not be able to access these sectors as the drive controller does not present this information to the OS, only the conventional filesystem
8) As a result, the OS will never be able to overwrite these sectors and information will be leaked
9) A BIOS-based utility can use lower-level hardware instructions to ask the drive controller specifically for access to these sectors - which exist below the 'filesystem'
10) This will allow recovery and/or secure wiping of these sectors and hence the entire disk

I hope that made sense, feel free to reply/PM if you have questions.

- As for the original post, flash drives have a pretty non-existent second-hand market (except criminals looked to harvest details as outline above from non-tech savvy people), so just smash it up when it's no longer required.
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:58 PM   #15
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Default Re: I have some flash drives to sell - data recovery concerns

OP Date is 10/10/12. I'm sure they've made a decision by now....
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:09 PM   #16
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Default Re: I have some flash drives to sell - data recovery concerns

Yea, hw might also have sold it
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Old 04-01-2014, 02:10 PM   #17
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Default Re: I have some flash drives to sell - data recovery concerns

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmacavali View Post
OP Date is 10/10/12. I'm sure they've made a decision by now....
Ah! I hate when threads are dug up like that! Well, hopefully someone else can make use of my disk-wiping information then. Thanks for pointing that out.
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