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I need to delete a set of MySQL tables for a client in a manner that's compliant with the Department of Defense Data Clearing and Sanitizing Standard. I've a list of acceptable tools including wipe, but I'm not clear on how I might be able to drop a MySQL table in such a manner.

Is there a way to tell MySQL to drop the table without deleting the physical files on disk, so I can securely overwrite them manually?

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Which standard? – Michael Hampton Jan 21 '13 at 17:58
@MichaelHampton The link provided to me goes to a 404. I do know that they require a three-pass overwrite, and it mentions 5220.22-M. – ceejayoz Jan 21 '13 at 18:04

I don't believe there is any way to securely delete a table in MySQL, or to delete it without removing the file.

There are a few options I can think of though:

  • Export the database into a new one (without the tables you want to delete), switch whatever accesses the database to use the new one, then wipe the old one
  • Delete the table, then wipe the free space on the drive
  • Stop MySQL, wipe the files for the table you want to delete, restart mysql, check/repair the database

Disclaimer: I have not tested any of these methods - use at your own risk and make sure your backups are good.

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