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I have a dedicated server for now(in a far far away place), and we are going to change our provider next month. The problem is server has some valuable data for us about a project, and we need to completely format it or shred it or any other option to delete our entire data without leaving a trace.

The problem is we have formatted each drive, but now we have to format C:\ drive where our windows installation is(Because of TFS and other systems we used, we cannot find where they store their 'really important' data).

Basically we couldn't manage to do it from remote-desktop, and we have to do it by ourselves, we don't trust the firm. Thanks for any help

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Any chance the system has a remote-access card in it? With a DRAC/iLO card, I would use the remote-boot feature to boot into Windows PE and run a data shredder.

Failing that, I'd be looking to physically send somebody bootable DBAN media. I wouldn't trust any data destruction method that was run on the current boot volume.

Third option is to retrieve the serial numbers of the disks while you still can, and then ask for video of a drill press making holes in that disk, with closeups on the serials.

And seconding ErnieTheGeek's point - Nothing short of physical destruction guarantees the destruction of the data.... The data wipe-and-multiply-overwrite programs may come close enough, but a government-level actor might recover the data, given time & tools.

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I dont think serial number stuff will work, because if they want to get our data, they can copy it before destructing it, it is completely worhless. But maybe just a good virus will work :D – gkaykck Dec 17 '10 at 20:03
Good point, didnt think at all about iLO and the like. @gkaykck Do you own the hardware? If not do you think your host will sell it to you? – ErnieTheGeek Dec 17 '10 at 20:41

Just doing a basic format wont prevent your data from being recovered afterwards. Using some 3rd party apps they could still rebuild a decent chunk of your data. The only way to be totally sure is to get the drives in hand and then either re-purpose the drives or destroy them. Thats one of the reasons encrypted file systems are useful, although even then nothing is 100%.

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