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Old 01-16-2009, 11:03 PM   #1
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Question Best method to secure erase an external hard drive

I have an old PATA HD rescued from an old computer that was scrapped.

It is now inside an encasing connected to a computer through a USB cable.

Before giving it away, I decided to secure delete the disk. I was naive enough to try shred on it. Then I found out that it could take me days to finish the job that way. So, I aborted the shred job and disconnected the hard disk encasing.

Now, whenever I connect the encasing with the disk inside to a computer, nothing happens. The computer cannot detect the disk; I cannot mount it or do anything to it.

My problem now: I would like to execute a secure erase of the disk inside the encasing, to have a blank disk that anybody can use. I've read that DBAN is a good tool, but you need to have the disk installed inside the computer for this program to work. Is there a way to securely erase a hard disk connected to the computer through USB?

Thanks for reading this.
Old 01-16-2009, 11:40 PM   #2
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An acid bath might be the most secure, however that somewhat limits its future usefullness ...

If you are looking to do this on a regular basis, you are going to have to accept the time penalty - some housings do come with SATA-II connectors though; would be quicker. Else break open the housing and connect to an IDE cable. If it's that old it may not accomodate "cable select", so you would need to ensure the correct jumpering (master/slave) when installed internally.


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