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From: Valdis.Kletnieks at (
Subject: erase with magnet 

On Sat, 03 Apr 2004 11:09:34 CST, Michael Cecil <>  said:

> If you want to sanitize a drive and then reuse it, use a overwriting tool 
> such as Autoclave <> or 
> Eraser <> and use the overwriting setting 
> recommended by Gutmann 
> <>.

Two notes:

1) Gutmann's 35 passes were devised to stress the recording methodologies
of the day.  Many of them are for encoding schemes not used anymore.

2) Canadian RCMP TSSIT OPS-II says: "Must first be checked for correct functioning
and then have all storage areas overwritten once with the binary digit ONE,
once with the binary digit ZERO and once with a single numeric, alphabetic or
special character, " (

American DoD 5220-22.M says: "Overwriting all addressable locations with a
character, its complement, then a random character and verify."  This is
permitted for classifications up to SECRET.  It is not acceptable for
TOP SECRET and higher.

I have to conclude that *our* spooks are of the opinion that even 3 passes
are sufficient to wipe out data thoroughly enough so that it's not worth it
for the *other* spooks to try recovering 'Secret'...
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