Wednesday, July 8, 2009

When Dban fails

I am in the midst of transitioning jobs and being the paranoid person I am, I needed to wipe my office laptop before handing it over. I booted up the laptop using Dban but it complained about bad sectors and wouldn't perform its job.
What happens when Dban fails? Time for Plan B. Boot up your machine with any Linux LiveCD. I happened to have BackTrack 3 with me but Ubuntu's installation CD would suffice too. When booted from CD, the LiveCD is running from memory thus freeing up your hard drive to be securely deleted. Fire up the command prompt and use "shred" which is native to most Linux distributions. Viola!!!


  1. Aren't office machine be supposedly for work purpose? shouldn't have had any person info inside right??

  2. The lines between personal and work activities are blurring. More organisations are giving employees allowances to purchase laptops for work usage because they operate from home. When they are home, they would naturally start using these laptops for their personal surfing. Even those who are not mobile workers may choose to bring home office equipment to surf the Internet so that they do not need to purchase their own hardware.

  3. Besides personal information on the hard drive, there is confidential corporate data on the system that I do not want unauthorised persons to gain access to. Because of the way that computers work, sometimes sensitive information like passwords and encryption keys get written to virtual memory on your hard drive too!!!