iPhone Hard Drive Recovery Question

Michael Baturin

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Jul 11, 2007
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#1
I sold a friends iPhone 4 on eBay for him. He had around 15GB on there and when he went to the post office to mail it he did the "erase all content and settings". He said it took literally 10 seconds. He was concerned the data was not deleted so I had him restart and activate the phone to check. Everything was gone. He erased all content and settings again but is not convinced. I guess he has some proprietary work information on there and is concerned the person it is being sold to will attempt some kind of data recovery. My question is- given that this is flash memory, is it recoverable?
 

enjoylife1788

Member
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Jan 7, 2011
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#2
I sold a friends iPhone 4 on eBay for him. He had around 15GB on there and when he went to the post office to mail it he did the "erase all content and settings". He said it took literally 10 seconds. He was concerned the data was not deleted so I had him restart and activate the phone to check. Everything was gone. He erased all content and settings again but is not convinced. I guess he has some proprietary work information on there and is concerned the person it is being sold to will attempt some kind of data recovery. My question is- given that this is flash memory, is it recoverable?
The only answer to your friends paranoia is to restore phone as new. M sure he would be convinced. And yet he is not, don't sell the phone at all. ;)
 

acosmichippo

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Sep 10, 2007
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#3
The data on iPhones (3GS and later) is hardware-encrypted. The reason "erase all content and settings" only takes a few seconds is because instead of over-writing the data, the encryption key is just erased. No key, data is irretreivable even though still technically there.

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2110
 

enjoylife1788

Member
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Jan 7, 2011
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#4
I guess that answers your question. And good to know about it. And quite smart on Apple's part too.
 

Michael Baturin

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Jul 11, 2007
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#5
The data on iPhones (3GS and later) is hardware-encrypted. The reason "erase all content and settings" only takes a few seconds is because instead of over-writing the data, the encryption key is just erased. No key, data is irretreivable even though still technically there.

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2110
Thanks for the info - it put my buddies mind at rest.