I've got a Dell PowerEdge 2900 with 8 SAS slots in the front. I want to be able to load drives quickly without setting them up in RAID. We have a pile of about 50 SAS drives that need to be wiped. Is there any way to quickly get them seen by the OS to wipe them without initializing them through the RAID controller?

  • are you talking good old fashion scsi disks or are these really sas disks, if old fashion scsi then I'd just take a hammer to them. – tony roth Jun 24 '13 at 20:24
  • Ah, they are in fact SAS. – Lifeling Jun 24 '13 at 20:34
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    damn I was looking forward to hitting them with a hammer.. – tony roth Jun 24 '13 at 20:54
  • So thei 2900 will be hooked up to a working server of some sort right, you can with dell poweredge scripts create a bunch of single disk arrays then run a wiping tool on these individual arrays. – tony roth Jun 24 '13 at 20:57

I assume you're trying to blank these drives for some kind of "certified" data destruction?
If that's the case bashing them to bits with a hammer is the fastest (and most fun) method.
A close second is using a high-power degaussing wand (or machine), though this will likely render the drives unserviceable for any future use.

If you want to reuse the drives again you're probably in for a long process no matter what you do.
I can think of two options to speed things up:

  1. You can disable the RAID controller on PowerEdge systems, but I'm not certain the PowerEdge chassis would still allow the drives to "hot swap" in that configuration (you'd have to shut down to swap the disks between blanking runs).

  2. You could also simply create an array, blank it, then repeat the process until you're out of disks -- This should be adequate for simple zeroing-out of the drives (they'll have RAID metadata on them, but the rest of the volume will be zero'd out and not trivially recoverable).

(In both cases you'd need some kind of boot device - USB drive, Live CD, etc. - to actually run your erasure software from, otherwise you'd be going through an OS install every time.)


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