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AkPIRG

(Hopefully they will become more consumer-oriented like they used to be in the 1970-1980's instead of radical-left leaning as they are now)

CENTER FOR DEMOCRACY & TECHNOLOGY

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REFLECTIONS ON A SELF-INFLICTED WOUND
From The Webfairy
Oct. 10, 2003
Thru Sartre's BATR Yahoo Group

Yesterday I did something so remarkably stupid I can only shake my head in wonderment. I formatted the wrong drive. Instead of formatting my portable drive, I formatted my big drive with all my source files on it. By the time I noticed, it was too late to say whoops.

I've recovered almost everything now, so I want to share what I have learned.

Number One, is if you ever sell your old computer, or put it in the alley, formatting the drive does not help one bit to protect your privacy or erase your files. I am grateful for this fact right now, cos I am glad I could recover my files.

If I were a crook, buying up old computers and running this disk recovery program on them would generate enough passwords, personal data, etc to be truly destructive.

The second thing I learned is that defragmenting one's drive regularly (overnite, every nite) would be an excellent policy I wish I'd followed.

Files that were fragmented did not recover cleanly.

My problem was self-inflicted, but there is an all-too-easy exploit that could have done the same thing.

Scrap Files Can Tear You Up

Please take time to follow the instructions on this page to protect yourself from this exploit, particularly if you have more than one drive.

REcovery has cost me $50 for a program, and about 18 unrecoverable hours so far. It appears I have lost nothing irreplacable except my time.


Webmasters Comment:

Just yesterday I was approached to try to recover some data from a hard drive that was shot with a 45. This approach to destroy data was MOST effective. So if you wish to destroy data you may want to consider it.

If you Fdisk your hard drive, this is usually all that is needed for disposal.

(Enhanced for Netscape)

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