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Handing back dedicated box, clean off how?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ramonster, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. ramonster

    ramonster Member

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    Hi,

    Is there a way to get WHM/Cpanel to do a clean out and reinstall on a box? I have a dedicated box I am handing back to the host shortly and its full of bits and pieces all over the place, some information sensitive =)

    Anyone got the low down on the best way to do a pristine clean off? :D

    Best regards
     
  2. trevHCS

    trevHCS Well-Known Member

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    cd /
    rm -rf

    It'll work, but is probably reverseable if they know what they're doing.


    Alternatively if you want something a bit more secure then in theory the following should work by writing 0's across every bit of the drive. Then they just need to boot it, install the partitions and the likes and they're sorted.

    dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda bs=1M

    I'm assured by someone who knows a lot more about this than me that unless you're the CIA and have a scanning electron microscope handy. He lost me at that point with the physics. :)

    Trev
     
  3. bin_asc

    bin_asc Well-Known Member

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    Reimage the server, and reinstall. There is no full reinstall option.
     
  4. cPanelDavidG

    cPanelDavidG Technical Product Specialist

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    Long story short, even writing 0's to the disk is reversible if you know what you're doing. You need to write 0s then 1s and so forth. It has to do with the magnetic fields of the disk, it's very interesting theory to look into if you have any spare time one day :).

    Note there are some handy utilities such as Kill Disk that will do this repetitive process for you automatically. I know when I worked around sensitive data at a previous occupation that our clients refused to let us dispose of a hard drive until we wrote 0s then 1s on the entire drive at least 3 times, even if the drive was borderline non-functional (crashing heads etc.).
     
  5. trevHCS

    trevHCS Well-Known Member

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    If you do that though, can you actually get the credit card numbers back in the right order? Not much good if you only get part of the data. Erm...how do you write to a disk with a crashing head btw? :)

    Going back to when I were a lad, I believe a good way to do this was to turn the computer off without parking the HD head. Not exactly sure what it did, but I don't think they had auto park so probably made a really horrible noise.

    Trev
     
  6. cPanelDavidG

    cPanelDavidG Technical Product Specialist

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    Luckily it somehow was only at the very early stages of failure. The crashing head only happened when the disk really heated up so I did what I could on-site for ventilation and got very close to the end of the first sweep before the head started crashing. Took it off-site and handed it off to one of our more advanced techs there. Allegedly they made use of the freezer in the mini-fridge they had in the office :D.
     
  7. trevHCS

    trevHCS Well-Known Member

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    Ah so that's the fix for crashing HD's then - freeze the blighters? Then again, I wonder if these computers with supercooled liquid nitrogen have longer lasting HDs.

    Erm...couldn't they just burn it? :)

    Trev
     
  8. cPanelDavidG

    cPanelDavidG Technical Product Specialist

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    Hehe, that opens up a whole new realm of possibilities to prevent data recovery :). But these folks were the "by the book" type so taking baseball bats, rare earth magnets, blowtorches, scissors designed to cut steel and/or shotguns to the platters weren't considered as acceptable options.
     
  9. trevHCS

    trevHCS Well-Known Member

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    So 0'ing it 3x is better than melting it so that the surface doesn't even exist. Erm, which financial instritution was this so that I can remember always to avoid it? :)

    [even if it probably is the wrong side of the Atlantic]

    Trev
     
  10. cPanelDavidG

    cPanelDavidG Technical Product Specialist

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    Don't worry, it was an educational institution :).
     
  11. trevHCS

    trevHCS Well-Known Member

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    Ah, that explains it...!! :)

    Probably actually contained the staff "who's making the coffee" rosta. Btw, did we even solve the original problem?

    Trev
     
  12. bin_asc

    bin_asc Well-Known Member

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    Freezing the HDD are really a common used method to recover data.
    As for cleaning a HDD, if you`re with softlayre, boot in the rescuelayer, and format the HDD with one of the available utils on the net. There are some that do military cleanup ( low-depth cleanup, 01 ... non-recovarable ).
     
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