data safe on returned hard drive?

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data safe on returned hard drive?

Postposted on Fri Nov 29, 2013 6:09 pm

Hi all:
I have a WD Caviar Green 2.5 TB hard drive that was working but after a few episodes of VERY slow file transfers and a couple of disappearing acts has now disappeared completely from bios and disk management. I am sure the drive has completely failed because it still doesn't show up when changed to a different sata port, tried new cables and even moved it to an external case and it didn't show up on 3 other computers. No problem....still under warranty.............but I have to return the drive to WD for a replacement and one of the two partitions on the drive contains a "Windows Image". Is there likely any possibility that WD might repair the hard drive for re-use and someone being able to access my financial data and passwords? The passwords and all sensitive material were kept in a TrueCrypt encrypted file in case of computer theft but I am concerned that that data may show up if someone access "recent places" and it showed my passwords file the last time it was opened from TrueCrypt? Am I safe or should I not return the drive? I can't get it to run so I can "scrub" the drive!
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Re: data safe on returned hard drive?

Postposted on Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:07 pm

Pretty sure they scrub the drive if they are going to re-sell it as a refurb. There's still the issue of whether you trust WD with the data though.

If it makes you feel any better, I believe "recent places" entries are only bookmarks. In other words, just a pointer to the encrypted copy in this case.
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Re: data safe on returned hard drive?

Postposted on Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:03 pm

Hi Just Brew It:
Thanks for your input! Unless WD can or even wants to break the TrueCrypt file password I should be safe. No sensitive data outside of the TrueCrypt file and that password comes up as "Best" on the Microsoft PW checker site.
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Re: data safe on returned hard drive?

Postposted on Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:41 am

Hi again Just Brew It:
I decided to really play it safe! I spent hours composing new passwords for all my sensitive online accounts and then accessing each site and changing my password. I didn't make any changes to accounts like Tech Report, etc since I couldn't imagine any problems from someone accessing those passwords. I'm probably being over cautious but I once had 2 airline tickets charged to my credit card by some unknown criminal and went thru quite an ordeal getting the charges removed and taking steps to protect my identity from further theft!
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Re: data safe on returned hard drive?

Postposted on Sat Nov 30, 2013 12:38 pm

senior_player wrote:I decided to really play it safe! I spent hours composing new passwords for all my sensitive online accounts and then accessing each site and changing my password.

Regularly changing password is just good practice, regardless whether you have lost a drive or not. Good for you! ;)

BTW, I hope you have backups to your data.
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Re: data safe on returned hard drive?

Postposted on Sat Nov 30, 2013 2:46 pm

I just had to return an SSD to Samsung since the controller died... I sure would have loved to have had a chance to do a secure wipe of the drive contents first, but since the controller was dead as a doornail, I couldn't run the process. I don't encrypt the whole partition, but sensitive financial stuff gets encrypted with PGP.
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Re: data safe on returned hard drive?

Postposted on Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:31 pm

Flying Fox...the defective drive was not the operating system drive but did have one partition with a Windows Image of the Operating System Drive and another partition used for storing video recordings. I can make a new Windows Image but the recorded tv videos are just gone. Fortunately I had only just begun using the drive for recordings and only lost about 20 shows I would have watched when tv turns to all re-runs next summer!

Chuckula.....nice to know that I'm not the only one who uses encryption for sensitive information!
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