A step-by-step example of how to use this
function can be found here.
DiskPatch can be used to wipe partitions, entire disks or
specific areas on a hard disk by writing a byte pattern to each sector on the
disk or the selected area. Wiping a disk can be useful for:
Disk sanitation before a disk is made available
to other parties.
For example, before selling your disk, wipe it first! This
way you can be sure others do not have access to your data even when using data
recovery or low level disk access tools.
Note: There are many Windows 'erasure' type tools available that promise
secure deletion of deleted files and/or temporary files. Do not rely on this
type of tools to make *all* data unrecoverable. The only way to
ensure all data is safely deleted is by wiping the entire disk.
Preparing the disk to receive the contents of
This is especially useful when performing a forensic clone to a larger disk. If
you're cloning from a smaller to a
larger disk (this will often be the case), always wipe the destination disk
before creating the clone. This will make sure the destination disk does not
contain leftover data that might contaminate the results for the forensic
operation that follows.
Removing a virus from an individual
partition or the entire disk.
Sometimes (boot sector) viruses are difficult
to get rid of. Low level virus code may also be in areas of your hard disk
that are not allocated to any partition at all! If the virus is contained in one specific partition, wipe
this partition only.
Replacing a vendor specific Low Level Format
On modern hard disks a 'true' low level format is not possible.
Still, some vendor specific tools offer a 'low level format' option to cure
possible drive defects. In reality this low level format is nothing more
than writing a byte pattern to all sectors on the disk, essentially the same
operation as a disk wipe. Writing this pattern will trigger the disk's
internal error management in case of read- or write errors (check the surface
scanning page for more information). Using DiskPatch's disk wipe instead
of a vendor specific 'low level' format tool offers some significant
advantages: DiskPatch can be used on any brand disk, while vendor specific
tools are often slaved to one brand only. Also, DiskPatch allows you to
perform the disk wipe / low level format either for the entire disk, or for a
Using DiskPatch to wipe a disk or partition
Use this feature with care! Once an area has been wiped, the data from that area is
There are a number of configuration settings
that affect DiskPatch's behavior during a disk wipe. Make sure these
settings are correct before starting the wipe.
The settings that affect wiping are:
- write retries
- write error threshold
- disk reset after error
- clean sectors after DOD wipe
Select [Disk related tasks], [Wipe].
You can now select one of 3 different wipe methods:
the quickest wipe. All sectors will be filled with null strings (ascii
a random pattern to the sectors.
|| will wipe sectors according to the DOD (U.S.
Department Of Defense) 5220.22-M
standard, to ensure the most thorough wipe possible.
Now select a partition to wipe or select a region of the disk manually:
To wipe the entire disk, select 'entire
disk' and leave the suggested default values (just press <enter>).
When you press <esc> during the
wipe, DiskPatch will display the settings screen:
You can adjust settings that affect the
wipe process, or abort the operation by selecting the 'Abort' option. Press
<esc> again to exit the settings screen and continue with the new
Note: If DiskPatch encounters areas that can not be read the 'estimated time
remaining' may increase dramatically. Once the bad areas are processed the
'estimated time remaining' will decrease again.