How to wipe a hard drive drive before getting rid of it.

I recently decided to sell a few of my older systems, but I didn’t
want just anyone being able to pop in my hard drive with a boot disk
be able to browse around my personal files. Deleting your partitions
and files is better than nothing, but it doesn’t even stop novice data
thieves from getting at what was once there. We need to shred the
data, and scramble it’s brains.

What you’ll need:
1.) A way to hookup the hard drive (if it’s already in your system
great, your done).
2.) A Linux live boot disk (I’d use a Debian disk, but any should do –
if you have older hardware try turning off edd by using edd=off as a
boot option – I have to do that frequently with Toshiba laptops)
3.) An application to digitally shred the drive – conveniently Linux
has an application called shred.

How to do it:

1.) Boot up your PC with the Linux boot disk
2.) Identify the drive you want to blow away (# fdisk -l)
3.) Shred it:
(# shred -n 6 -z -v /dev/hdabcd) – example for IDE drives
(# shred -n 6 -z -v /dev/sdabcd) – example for SATA drives

What the options in the above command mean:
-n Overwrite the partition 6 times with random data (A rough
interpretation (not compliant) of DoD 5220-22M spec would require 6
shred passes)
-z On the last shred just write zeros (zero the drive)
-v Be verbose about shredding progress progress

Note: Be prepared for this to take a long long time – like a day or
two (yes 24-48 hours per disk) depending on the size of the disk of
course.

Posted in Reviews, Recommendations, Best Practices

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