How To Rapidly Clean / Wipe Hard Disk Drive

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Sunday, April 6, 2008

How to overwrite your hard disk with random characters
dd if=/dev/random of=/dev/sda

How to overwrite your hard disk with zero characters
dd if=/dev/random of=/dev/sda

Replace sda / hda with your hard disk identifier.

Either of the procedure requires the system has Linux installed or accessible from Linux operating system. You can use a Live Linux distribution like Ubuntu Live CD or System Rescue CD.

May 3, 2010: 7:32 pm

Should it not be this command for writing a har drive with zeros ?

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda

March 18, 2009: 4:00 pm

there is one more “if” input file than /dev/urandom it is dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sd{a,b…z} this is by far the most destructive method. yes it does a 0 bit bucket format destruction of hard drive data and cannot even be recovered even by the most advanced method of data recover using magnetic resolution and all. and to make this even safer? just incase you have a mirror stripping 5 raid disk? try the shred command.
shred -n 25 -z -u -v -x /dev/sda
and even more paranoia ones? may try hdparm or sdparm. hdparm is for IDE drives and sdparm is for SCSI drives and can be used on SATA 1&2. hdparm and sdparm can even fix the drive with bad raw sectors and also can do a destructive rampage of your hard drive. man hdparm & man sdparm, before you do something uber cool.

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