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Complete Delete

Undelete *this*!
  [vote for,

It is possible to retrieve data from a magnetic disk drive long after it has been deleted, and even overwriting the particular area with random bit patterns is no bar to the forensics team.

For those with personal, sensitive or legally questionable material - fit your hard drive with the Complete Delete Set. Several small capsules of hydrochloric acid are contained in this device, which is mounted atop your current hard drive (there's usually some space in the bay). A software triggered signal or manual activation will send your data to the ferromagnetic afterlife before the feds can say, "...with your hands at your sides!"

Advanced versions follow designs of [C Trebor] and [UnaBubba] (the hammer and atmospheric launch options I'm particularly partial to).

Detly, Oct 12 2003


       Many of today's drive platters are ceramic. Only a small solenoid-driven hammer is necessary.
Cedar Park, Oct 13 2003

       Use RAMDISK backed up by 2 reliable UPS's. on the 2nd sign of trouble, pull the plug. Dynamic RAM without power forgets all in 10 milliseconds!
mr2560, Oct 13 2003

       "with your hands at your sides?"   

       When do the Feds ever say that?   

       "Come out with your hands at your sides?"
"Down on the ground with your hands at your sides?"
"Please stand calmly with your hands at your sides?"
ywong, Oct 13 2003

       Didn’t they do this on Mission Impossible?
Anyway, I think it would be better if the button replaced your file with random garbage of exactly the same size and then replaced it to exactly the same location. Do that several times automatically, and it would be impossible to recover it. (Like I know what I’m talking about.)
pluterday, Oct 13 2003

       The Stainless Steel Rat uses thermite.
That dramatic enough for you, C Trebor?
Loris, Oct 13 2003

       [UB]: I'm talking about imparting enough force to shatter the ceramic into a million little tiny pieces.
Cedar Park, Oct 13 2003

       I can see it now. Done with my 657 page paper. Press Ctrl-S. What the hell was that noise? (looks down at hands and realized he's pressed Ctrl-d, which of course is the destruct sequence)
Worldgineer, Oct 13 2003

       Just imagine what damage a hacker could cause with access to that kind of device. HL2 would NEVER hit shelves
Letsbuildafort, Oct 13 2003

       [pluterday] - This was discussed on another thread - [bristolz] explained : "Their forensic tools can read the boundary areas between tracks and weird stuff like that. Thermal variations cause the heads to write in slightly different places and the remnants are usefully recoverable."   

       [ywong] - "Lie on the ground with your hands at your sides!" is what I was thinking, although I may watch too much TV.
Detly, Oct 13 2003

       How apt that I very nearly took on an honours project to research and develop techniques for rapid destruction of magnetic hard drive data.
Detly, Jan 15 2005


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