Recovery. I found this link while messing around: 200 ways to revive a dead hard drive. I’ve used some of these methods myself in the past. I imagine I’ll get to use more of them in the future.
Wiping. I needed a program yesterday to securely wipe out a hard drive. I was just going to low-level format it, but Western Digital’s drive suite, whatever it’s called, refused to do anything to the drive because it was returning an error code of 0207. The drive still worked, but according to my Web search, an 0207 means imminent failure. Hey, that’s why I needed to low-level the drive–we got a replacement for it and had to send this one back, but the drive was in an executive’s computer and probably had sensitive data on it.
Incidentally, if you’re getting an 0207 and you’re here because you want to know what to do about it, back up your data immediately and get it replaced under warranty. No, it’s not practical to fix it. If it’s out of warranty, I’m sorry. Sadly, it happens.
But I digress. How do you wipe the drive to ensure no one’s reading your sensitive data? I found some DOS freeware to do it at my usual sources, but one of them wouldn’t run under Win9x’s DOS, and the drive is too big to be recognized under 6.22. Another one wouldn’t handle drives bigger than 2 gig. Another one seemed to work, but seemed awfully fast.
Disk wiping isn’t a terribly complicated thing, so maybe I should just write a program myself to do it. It’s been forever since I programmed, and I do kind of enjoy doing that… once a year. Or every couple of years.