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Does anyone know of a self destruct program for the hard drive on my laptop and desktop PC? Answered

I am looking for a self destruct program for my computers hard drive(s). In case of my demise or if my laptop or desktop is stolen I want the hard drive to wipe out , re-format, short out, burn out or whatever if I do not personally input a cancellation code when prompted to do so either after a specified time or at boot-up. I just want to make sure that my personal information such as tax files, banking information and such do not fall into the wrong hands. The best case would be that I, and I only could resurrect the PC afterwards if I was to get it back if it was in fact stolen or, that it would be otherwise useless to whoever pried it from my cold dead hands. Thanks to all who can help.


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You might want to check www.controlsystemsintegration.com/safeworx.htm
I have a large manufacturing client that uses their systems and swears by it

Check those out. It isn't quite what you asked for but it's probably as good as anything else you could do.


9 years ago

Ok just one thing to wipe the hard drive. If you do a format (not quick format) for a single time, it is nearly impossible to restore the Data. The Chance for restoring anything usefull (and with usefull i dont mean 2 letters every 60 bytes....) is nearly0. There hase been an pretty actual study of an security expert, also companies like CONVAR (the guys who got the WTC HDs...) say that a normal format is enough to destroy the data so it can't be restored, not even with electron microscope techniques. The chances of restoring a single byte is less then 2%, now cound that up to restore a complete sentence or even just a word... And i talked to them myself, we had an interesting discussion about this term. If you wanna go shure, use 1 wipe with random data.. Anythin more then a single wipe is just a waste of time. And now to your question itself. I think the best way would be storing sensetive data on an encrypted partiation. DriveCrypt uses up to 1344 bit tripple blowfish, And if you then also use the hidden partition thing, wich hides a crypted partition inside a crypted partition, and it is impossible to detect that hidden partition without the correct passwords. You can set up to 4 passwords wich have to be enterede in the right order, you could use shorter easier passwords (still no names or birthdates...). With that, you should be as secure as it can get, as long as nobody is monitoring your keystrokes, or somebody gets to your system while you have the secured partition mounted.

Oh btw, i use DriveCrypt for several years now, and with the speed of todays computers, accessing the crypted partition is not much slower then unencryptet partitions. As long as your not planning to play games from that encrypted Partition, you probably won't notice a difference.


9 years ago

depends on how u want the data distroyed (explosives can solve most anything) but for a more reasonable approach there are programs u can download but even they will still leave fragments of data. 4 a full hard drive wipe u need goverment software and 24 hours (or a really big magnet)

my dad is going to law school and one of his professors pays someone $100,000 a year to read encrypted hard drives and he said the ONLY way to make it completely unreadable is to literally burn the hard drive because the program that the guy uses reads the entire drive when you delete or encrypt something all it does is keeps a normal computer from knowing where to look to find the file but with some program it can find it even without knowing where to look.

If you encrypt something, you can't read it without decryption. You can of course restore the file (if it was just deletet or just quickformat was used), but then you still have to break the encryption..... If you do a format (not quickformat) the software won't find anything.

I heard from some people that you could encrypt your harddrive, quick googling showed up this:
http://www.truecrypt.org/ <- open source =D

truecrypt is at current still unbreakable...I'd go with that :D

You could write a simple .bat or VBS to run on start-up that asks a simple question - e.g. "Start lengthy surface scan & degfragment - Y/N?" If you hit "N" it starts deleting your personal information, if you hit "Y" it just quits. L

keep sensitive data on a usb stick and not on the computer. store it in a safe place and use only on demand

This isn't really a great route to follow quite yet... maybe one day in a perfect world we'll all have computers equiped with some physical security methods. There were a couple of home-made solutions to phyisically destroy a hard drive on demand. "Hard drive self-destruct" picks up at least one on google. That said, the use of such a device to cover up criminal activity is obstruction of justice AND can be taken as evidence that you did, in fact, have something to hide. Of course this is not-recoverable. There are some programs out there that wipe the partition table after a number of failed logins, but that's easily recoverable for a savvy theif and does NOTHING about securing your data. Reformatting and security wipes take time, so those methods of treatment require the theif to be distracted long enough for the computer to complete those tasks. Even worse, ANY program set to automatically run when your operating system boots can be easily bypassed by simply booting another OS from a CD or USB key. From there, a user can effect changes or read information as long as the hard drive is not encrypted. Realistic solutions: -Encrypt your files and password protect your computer, keeping any important backups on ordinary media in a firesafe or a safety deposit box. Good encryption ensures that nobody can access your data unless you give them your password AND that you can easily recover it. -If you're really paranoid: Use an IronKey flash drive with it's own secure password to store sensitive data, keeping a second IronKey in a safe containing backups of the same data. Frequently do a security wipe of the blank and vulnerable portions (ie. browser cache) of your computer's hard drive or employ a secure file-deletion program. Again, the use of such a device to cover up evidence of suspected criminal activity will make the case against you stronger.

Except that the cops are onto any of the 'self destruct' programs, so it won't work like you want.