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Most Secondhand Hard Drives Still Have Data

Although more users are wiping clean hard drives before disposing of them, seven out of 10 disks examined still contain data that can be reconstructed, according to a study commissioned by O&O Software.

Although more users are wiping clean hard drives before disposing of them, seven out of 10 disks examined still contain data that can be reconstructed, according to a study commissioned by O&O Software. The Berlin, Germany-based maker of hard drive utilities purchased 200 drives on online auction site eBay and examined them for evidence of recoverable data. More than 71 percent of the disks held data that the company could rebuild.

Among the data that O&O was able to pull off the secondhand hard drives was internal memos and legal correspondence of an unnamed government agency, credit ratings from a drive once owned by a major German bank, and documents related to accusations of fraud and embezzlement at a mid-sized company, according to O&O. In a similar study conducted by O&O in 2004, researchers discovered that 88 percent of 100 disks bought on eBay contained recoverable data.

"In 2005, the results show a small improvement," the report said. "However ... the 'quality' of recovered data has improved dramatically."

The full report can be viewed at www.oo-software.com/en/study.

Courtesy of TechWeb News, a CMP Media property.

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