On Mon, 1 Dec 2014 12:35:38 -0500
wor...@alum.mit.edu (Dale R. Worley) wrote:

> > From: OC0915566 <joseph.sie...@gmail.com>
> > My company is upgrading the laptops and so, they're selling the old
> > ones. The problem is, we've been using the old laptops to access
> > remote git repos and the employer would like to clean all possible
> > traces of repo URLs that have been accessed in these laptops. How
> > do I do this?
> At the least, "reformat" the disks to destroy *all* the current files,
> because many places on the disk is evidence of past activities.  You
> need to be more careful if the information you are trying to remove is
> truly valuable to outsiders.

It worth reiterating that mere reformatting does not destroy the data.
These days, "quick" formatting means merely recreating the filesystem
metadata (a small fraction of space on a typical particion) while "full"
formatting means the same plus scanning the blocks to detect those
which are "bad" (unreadable) -- a feature which is hardly needed on
today's hardware which performs internal remapping of failed sectors.
See [1] for more info.

Hence the only way to ensure safety is wiping disks (which is typically
done by filling all addressable space on the drive by random (or
specially cooked) data, several times).

1. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/302686

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