We are in a process of decomissioning a handfull of Fujitsu Primergy Servers. Before of course, we want to make sure that the hard disks are completely wiped out. But it seems there is no way to format hard disks one by one as the RAID array controller is not detected by utilites such as DBAN. I have already deleted and recreated RAID. My question is, is that enough?

Some points to note:

  • These are leased servers, so physical destruction of the hard disks is not an option.

  • I have tried to configure JBOD for the controller, but seems it doesn't support it.

  • Latest Ubuntu, Debian, Gparted or DBAN don't recognize the controller or disks.

  • How about removing the HDD's and physically destroying them? – joeqwerty Nov 6 '15 at 21:14
  • @joeqwerty These are leased servers, can't destroy them physically. Otherwise I would have happily done it. – Diamant Nov 6 '15 at 21:20
  • 3
    If your can't recognize the controller or disks, how did your data get on the drives in the first place? – Andrew Henle Nov 6 '15 at 23:26
  • @AndrewHenle, well of course, you can install supported OS using Serverview Installation manager. But then again, it doesn't solve my problem. – Diamant Nov 7 '15 at 14:23
  • @bangal How does installing what's apparently the only software that allows you to access the disks not solve your problem? Solving your problems requires you to access the disks, doesn't it? You can't get to the disks without installing the software, and you have to get to the disks to solve your problem. Maybe you can remove the disks and put them in another server and access them there? – Andrew Henle Nov 7 '15 at 15:50
up vote 3 down vote accepted

It all depends on how secure you want/need to be. Recreating the RAID won't do much to your data other than re-compute the parity bits (assuming RAID 5 or 6) but you could re-create the RAID as a different level and then DBAN the whole thing. That would be good enough for most non-DOD applications.

  • Well, I have created different level of RAID but with DBAN no success. It doesn't recognize the disks. It's just frustrating there are no such tools from the Server Manufacturer. My question is, how can I get access to each disk to format it. – Diamant Nov 6 '15 at 21:25
  • Whenever I create new RAID, it says, all data will be lost. Is that not true? – Diamant Nov 6 '15 at 21:27
  • I would try a couple linux live CDs ... see if they detect the RAID disks. If so, then use the dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda trick and wait a couple days. – user3150166 Nov 6 '15 at 21:37
  • @bangal As long as the physical disks are of the same size and you choose a RAID configuration with no spares, it is probably sufficient to wipe the RAID. That should indirectly wipe all the disks. (We can't know for sure though, it is possible that RAID format reserves a few sectors, which might not be wiped by such an operation.) – kasperd Nov 6 '15 at 23:32
  • @bangal Does DBAN recognize the RAID as a whole? You don't need to wipe each drive if you can just wipe the whole RAID. – David King Nov 8 '15 at 1:12

Finally I got the solution. According to Fujitsu "LSI Logic MegaRAID SCSI WebBIOS Configuration Utility" User's guide, virtual disk initialization can be a good start to remove data from the disk:

1.4.5.1 Initialization

The Initialize option initializes the selected logical drive by writing zeroes to the entire volume (if fast initialization is selected, zeroes are written to the first sector only).

Secondly, I was also able to detect the RAID using the suggestion here: DBAN the Drives Connected to a RAID Controller

The trick is to Configure each disk independently as RAID0. After configuring the RAID and using the latest DBAN(dban-2.3.0_i586) to boot from CD, I could run DBAN on the disk. Thanks to everyone for their time and support!

depends how far you want to go with the data protection. A) Destroy the Disks, I mean a big big hammer and destroy the disks really good. B) Delete the data with dd with random or zero bits... C) Using a tool (secure Delete). http://linoxide.com/security/delete-files-permanatly-linux/

But, deleting the RAID will not delete the data, actually, if you create the RAID again with the disks in the right order, you will be able to recover the data like nothing happened.

  • The hammer may be useful if you need to blow off some steam. But it isn't a very secure method for wiping data. Besides the question clearly stated: physical destruction of the hard disks is not an option. – kasperd Nov 6 '15 at 23:26

Take out the disks, connect them to another server (or just any computer) with a supported controller and wipe them out.

If they are mounted on hot-swap trays specific to that server model, just take them out from the trays and mount them in the trays of the other server; or just place them on a flat surface and use some cables to connect them to the controller.

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.