Document Type

Conference Proceeding


School of Computer and Information Science, Edith Cowan University


Computing, Health and Science


Computer and Information Science, Centre for Security Research




This article was originally published as: Valli, C. , & Patak, P. (2005). An investigation into the efficiency of forensic erasure tools for hard disk mechanisms. Proceedings of 3rd Australian Computer, Network and Information Forensics Conference. (pp. 79-83). Perth Western Australia. School of Computer and Information Science, Edith Cowan University. Original article available here


One of the common anecdotal complaints used when defending the insecure erasure of hard disks is the length of time taken to affect a secure erasure. This paper discusses results of experiments conducted with Unix/Linux based hard disk wiping software when run on various machines and hard disk mechanisms in terms of size, speed and interface. The initial research has uncovered a range of issues and factors that affect the speed of erasure of hard disk mechanisms. Some of these factors included memory configuration and CPU but not in ways that were expected. This paper includes results from contemporary ATA and the newer SATA IDE hard disk drives in use today.