James Barrett on 26 Jul 2009 11:22:50 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Hard Drive warranty RMA

You could also use badblocks(8) to overwrite the data on the disk.
using 'badblocks -w /dev/sdX' will write a set of patterns to every
block of the disk before reading them back and checking their
consistency.  This will effectively destroy every speck of data on the

James Barrett

On Sun, Jul 26, 2009 at 1:59 PM, brent timothy
saner<brent.saner@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> TuskenTower wrote:
>> I'm going to do some Googling for a partition wiping utility.  Anyone
>> have any knowledge about these tools?
>> thanks,
>> Amul
> if it won't fsck, it's possibly that the disk is bad.
> first run badblocks(8) on it; it SHOULD be included by default in your
> distro.
> if that completes with no bad sectors, you can approach wiping a couple
> different ways.
> A.) dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/<device> bs=1024
> A.) corollary:  dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/<device> bs=512 count=1
> B.) dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/<device partition> bs=1024   [2]
> C.) using fdisk(8), parted(8), etc.   [3]
> D.) using shred(1) or wipe(1)   [4]
> [1] the first will zero out the entire drive, meaning it'll wipe out
> data AND the MBR (where the partition table resides). the second one
> only wipes out the MBR. i'd recommend the first one because if it's a
> bad filesystem format, then you want to get rid of the filesystem AND
> the partition table
> [2] this only zeros out data from a partition; the partition (and boot
> record, partition table, etc.) will still exist.
> [3] these essentially do what the corollary to A does- just let you blow
> away the partition table and start new. only instead of zeroing it out,
> they let you reconfigure it. note: if you recreate the same part table
> as before (i.e. delete the partitions, write the new part. table, then
> make new partitions at the same sectors/sizes etc.), the data will STILL
> EXIST. it's a sort of neat trick, really, but i digress. that's why if
> you want a fresh start on a drive i recommend zeroing the whole thing out.
> [4] these are secure wiping utilities. they are designed to zero out
> drives as before, but instead overwrite with several passes of random
> data making forensic data recovery increasingly more difficult with
> every pass. they are, however, MUCH slower than method A. you can also
> use DBAN (dban.org, iirc).
> Version: GnuPG v2.0.11 (GNU/Linux)
> Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org
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