I'm selling my portable HDD on ebay, can they recover deleted files?

Discussion in 'Off-topic Discussion' started by SuperPowers, May 25, 2019.

  1. SuperPowers

    SuperPowers Fapstronaut

    I'm selling my portable hard disc drive on ebay, is there any way they can recover deleted files I use to have on the HDD?

    I need certainty, thank you
  2. Ginny Weasley

    Ginny Weasley Fapstronaut

    They can actually, not sure how many people know about that but it's certainly possible. There are certain types of software that exist (even the government has their own) which can dig up deleted files quite easily even after you've reformatted. Usually after being recovered the file names can get corrupted or altered but the pictures, documents, and even videos can still be fully or partially intact depending on different factors.

    There are programs that "shred" files but I'm not sure how reliable they are honestly, as I've never tried them. If you're selling it your best bet would be using a reliable and trustworthy drive wiper.

    There's information at the bottom of this site on the drive wiping tools that work well, because they overwrite the HDD's cells with random, useless bytes, thereby overwriting the recoverable data. If you have a modern SSD non of this applies as once something is deleted it's permanently gone.

  3. Ginny Weasley

    Ginny Weasley Fapstronaut

    Why? It can still be used and probably sold for a decent price.
  4. Yes, it is possible that someone might be able to recover the files that have been deleted from the drive. The likelihood of that happening though isn't very high. It takes a lot of time, and determination. Typically, something like that is only done if there's some sort of motive behind it.

    As long as you haven't been doing anything illegal, I don't think you really have a whole lot to worry about. ;)

    I'm someone that is planning to go into information technology, and I'm familiar with some of the software and techniques used for this sort of thing. I'll tell you that typically, it would take at least several hours to recover that much content. And there's no telling what will and won't be useful. With that being said, it's a whole lot of effort that may or may not have much of a reward.

    The only way to really be certain that nobody could ever recover anything is to completely destroy the drive, but it doesn't sound like you're really wanting to take it that far, so I wouldn't worry too much.

    Hope this helps! :)
  5. Excuse my unintended facetiousness, assuming it contained no files relating your financial or personal security, you could sell the drive with the porn as added value. Check the legality of selling porn if the transaction is online? If its cash with a friend that's low key. It's just that then there's no worry or anxiety about it. I'm just thinking outside the box.
    henry_the_mule likes this.
  6. overclocked

    overclocked Fapstronaut

    Of course they can. I have friends whose hobby it is to buy old hard drives from ebay and flea markets in order to recover all deleted files on them. It was just done for fun, it is very unlikely that someone would use your files against you. In fact, most buyers wouldn't bother to restore the old data, instead they would rather reformat the HDD/ wipe it clean before they would use it.

    One of my friends had at one point acquired over 300 (non pornographic) movies thanks to our little hobby. He has a really funny blog, trash talking the guys and girls whose hard drives he bought, of course without doxxing these people.
    Unfortunately, people aren't that interesting anymore. Everyone watches/ listens to the same sh*t these days.
    I quit doing it and even my blog writing friend has lost interest in that hobby.
  7. Mr. McMarty

    Mr. McMarty Fapstronaut

    I bought a hard drive a few weeks ago from a garage sale solely for the purpose of restoring any deleted files for the fun of it. All you need are couple cables and some free software.
    overclocked likes this.
  8. andi1987

    andi1987 Fapstronaut

    With some tools you can overwrite and null deleted files so they can't be recovered anymore. For example with Secure Eraser you can overwrite data even with high sec - methods. But that really takes a lot of time.
  9. Cassie W

    Cassie W New Fapstronaut

    It's very likely that they can recover the deleted even formatted files, because they are just invisible to users.
    I know somebody will buy second-hand storage device and recover data from it for fun. There's no need to worry too much as long as no confidential or illegal files are kept in.
    If you don't want leak any information, you may choose a professional tool to erase the drive thoroughly and permanently as well.
  10. Fightyourlowerself

    Fightyourlowerself Fapstronaut

    Hey, there is free software you can get called nuke Darins boot and nuke (google it) and it will wipe your drive properly (formatting doesn't do it).

    If you have doubts, get a big file you dont mind someone getting hold of (like a film or something) and paste it into your hardrive over and over so that all 100% of the space fills up (i mean 100% - not 1mg free). And then run the programe after that. In this way the worst case scenario is that they will be able to recover that and nothing before it. Hope that helps.
  11. Tao Jones

    Tao Jones Fapstronaut

    There are definitely tools that can zero out a drive, making it exactly like it was on the day you purchased it, completely empty and unrecoverable. It's good practice to do this with any old drives before you dump them.
  12. klava

    klava Fapstronaut

    Now technologies and software are developed enough. There are programs to recover files.
  13. wwtl

    wwtl Fapstronaut

    For normal means, it's good enough to overwrite the external drive using the built-in FORMAT utility. On a PC press Win+R, then enter:

    FORMAT X: /P:1
    X: ist the drive letter of the external drive and /P:1 specifies one overwrite pass. More isn't needed to make file recovery impossible on a modern hard disk drive.

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