1. Download our Official Android App: Forums for Android!

Multiple Wipes. Is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by ardchoille, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. ardchoille

    ardchoille Android Expert
    Thread Starter
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    333
    Posts:
    3,684
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011

    Mar 8, 2011
    3,684
    1,940
    333
    Male
    Ordained Minister
    Seattle
    I'm seeing some packages in the community such as "Superwipe" that perform a normal wipe numerous times. I'm sure the developers of these packages are have good intentions, but I have to ask.. why?

    Is a single wipe reliable? What about the second wipe? Or the tenth? Or the hundredth? If we cannot trust the first wipe to be reliable what makes us think we can trust the fourth wipe?

    Does the phone sit there and say "the user wants a wipe but I don't feel like wiping. I'll just pretend I wiped and report that I actually wiped. Hit me up later and I'll see how I feel about actually preforming a wipe."

    No matter how many times you multiply garbage you're still left with garbage.

    Is this a case of someone starting a myth and others jumping on the bandwagon without thinking first? Similar to when everyone knew the earth was the center of the universe? Or when everyone knew the earth was flat?

    I flash a lot of ROMs on my phones and I've never seen an instance when a single wipe wasn't enough.

    What are your thoughts?
     

    Advertisement

  2. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Android Expert
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    213
    Posts:
    7,059
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010

    Jun 7, 2010
    7,059
    967
    213
    To me it really matters how sensitive your data is. If you're wiping to flash a rom, it doesn't matter. If you're wiping to give/sell your phone to someone, then I think it could matter. Multiple wipes (if they're really wiping and not just saying they are) are better insurance against someone malicious recovering data from your phone.
     
  3. dan330

    dan330 Android Expert
    Rank:
     #26
    Points:
    1,123
    Posts:
    12,076
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2010

    Jan 22, 2010
    12,076
    3,685
    1,123
    i dont think the wipe command really goes in and erases each and every memory location. it just deletes the file that know the location of all files. it might randomly rewrites info on top of that file. so the data on the memory card is really still there. just no way to know which file is what.

    the phone moves data in and out of cache and around internal memory... and the size of cache changes... so data can be still hiding in memory... random small files ...(guessing)

    multiple wipes helps to ensure that file location get fully cleaned out... so the old files can not be found.

    full Formatting.. (not quick format)...will destroy all data...
     
  4. UncleMike

    UncleMike Android Expert
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    163
    Posts:
    2,323
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009

    Nov 15, 2009
    2,323
    484
    163
    Central NJ
    A few years ago I bought a manufacturer-refurbished PC that was sold as having no operating system. That was fine - it's what I wanted. But when I got the machine I was curious to see what (if anything) had been done to the machine. I booted my partition manager CD and saw no partitions on the hard drive. I then used the software's undelete feature, restoring a single partition on the drive. After removing the CD, the machine booted the original OS, with all the previous user's data intact.

    Wiping goes a step beyond the above example, overwriting the original data - either with all zeros, a random pattern, or a predetermined pattern. This makes casual recovery of the original data impossible, but with advanced tools, some of the original data may still be recoverable. Multiple wiping, especially with different patterns, makes recovery even more difficult.

    I've been cleaning out my basement lately, finally putting in the effort to properly dispose of hard drives. For those that are still functional, I'm using my partition manager to do a 35-pass wipe. The last one took about 60 hours. For those that are not functional, I'm removing the platters and physically destroying them, but this is far more time consuming (hands on) than wiping.

    I think the same basic concepts apply to the internal storage media in a phone, but how effective multiple wipes are really depends on the software doing the wiping.
     
  5. ardchoille

    ardchoille Android Expert
    Thread Starter
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    333
    Posts:
    3,684
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011

    Mar 8, 2011
    3,684
    1,940
    333
    Male
    Ordained Minister
    Seattle
    This thread is about wiping an android phone prior to flashing a ROM.


    As far as I know, the wipe command formats the partitions rather than deleting the files.
     
  6. dan330

    dan330 Android Expert
    Rank:
     #26
    Points:
    1,123
    Posts:
    12,076
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2010

    Jan 22, 2010
    12,076
    3,685
    1,123
    you can selective wipe certain files.. so not a partition wide format.
    at least i dont think so.
     
  7. takeshi

    takeshi Android Expert
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    163
    Posts:
    3,354
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009

    Dec 6, 2009
    3,354
    283
    163
    Ignorance + parroting. Just my opinion though.
     
  8. ardchoille

    ardchoille Android Expert
    Thread Starter
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    333
    Posts:
    3,684
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011

    Mar 8, 2011
    3,684
    1,940
    333
    Male
    Ordained Minister
    Seattle
    I would have to agree.
     

Share This Page

Loading...