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Deep Format of a Harddrive on a Linux System

Do you know tools (linux live cds, bootable dos tools ) to wipe hard drives ?

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marked as duplicate by Chopper3 Oct 13 '10 at 15:08

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
So fire isn't an option? –  Chopper3 Oct 13 '10 at 15:01
2  
Somehow a duplicate of serverfault.com/questions/48922/… –  Cristian Ciupitu Oct 13 '10 at 15:05

7 Answers 7

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Dban "Darik's Boot and Nuke ("DBAN") is a self-contained boot disk that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers. DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction."

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dd bs=1MB if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sdX

from a USB bootable key.

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I'll use dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/*disk* bs=1024

ISTR that DoD recommends 7 passes, so you could do something like:

for n in {1...7}; do dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/*disk* bs=1024; done

Just be careful you get the correct disk or you could really shoot yourself in the foot. If I'm wiping a desktop or laptop I'll boot off a linux liveCD and run dd from that.

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You can use shred which is installed by default in Ubuntu. So just get a live CD of that.

shred [OPTIONS] filename

or secure-delete (most likely not installed by default)

srm myfile.txt
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DBAN boot disk

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I like Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN):

http://www.dban.org

Very handy for secure drive wipes!

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what's wrong with dd? dd is a tool that comes with (my belief) any linux live/install/repair image.

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/diskname

isn't zeroing the disk clean/secure enough? just wondering

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There was something called The Great Zero Challenge that offered a reward for any company that could recover data from a hard drive zeroed out with dd. The reward was never claimed, however that really doesn't say much, as it was a small amount of money, and if you're the conspiracy type person, isn't it better for the public to think that dd is a secure way of wiping a disk? –  brent Oct 13 '10 at 15:07
    
come on :) you must really be into "something" if your disk is getting such attention (assuming zeroing isn't really zeroing). normal people just need to wipe out their passwords and adult movies and NSA won't spend money for recovering common passwords and bad movies ;) –  sysfault Oct 13 '10 at 15:14
    
Depends on the data being wiped. Supposedly drive recovery companies can get data back from zeroed disks and/or slack space in the drive, but you're talking lots of lots of cash and they are analyzing it on the platter for residual charges. The way to wipe it short of physical shredding is to zero, write data, zero, write it again, repeat several times until even that signature of a charge is irrelevant. There's a document for the military that talks about wiping procedures depending on the information being secured. –  Bart Silverstrim Oct 13 '10 at 15:14
    
@Adirau: if the OP works for a bank, medical institution, etc. their data is supposed to be secured for auditing purposes, if nothing else, when retiring hardware. Other institutions having an accidental slip can cost a lot of money if, for example, credit card info slips into someone's latest score of cheap hardware from ebay or dumpster diving. The extra hours wiping the drive is little compared to the potential PR/financial disaster for an organization. –  Bart Silverstrim Oct 13 '10 at 15:15
    
what i am saying is that even if zero recovery is doable it probably costs too much to implement. i agree to some point tho. the down vote wasn't necessary. i consider zeroing secure "enough", as i said. –  sysfault Oct 13 '10 at 15:24

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