Repartitioning will do very little; though it certainly makes the files
seem to disappear, data recovery software can still find the individual
ones and zeroes and read them as raw files (no metadata like filenames, but
the data itself is still there).
So yeah, using the dd command or a dedicated utility that actually clears
the data bit-by-bit is your best bet in terms of absolute security. It'll
take awhile, but it's vastly more reliable and effective.
For added fun you could dd textual data onto a drive (like "nice try,
punk!") by using the dd command and specifying a text file with your
desired message as the input.
> We need a fast way to securely wipe hard drives.
> Is there really any way to recover data after doing 1 pass writing zeros
> to every sector? (This is what we are doing now using the free version of
> Active Killbits, but it takes over an hour per hard drive.)
> If we repartition and reformat Windows NTFS drives as Ext3, is there any
> way to recover data from them? (We found this method is faster, but are
> not sure if it is as secure as the above.)
> The company will not pay for a degausser.
> Safety requirements prevent us from doing physical destruction of the
> "sledge-o-matic" variety.
> We use a computer recycler, but do not trust them 100% to destroy our
> data. We know for a fact that equipment they get from us sit unguarded in
> a warehouse for months before destruction.
> Interested in hearing opinions on this.
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