Trying to make a Large Storage Device a data killer for HDD's

So I have been tasked with wiping a ton of 10TB drives, they will only be used for internal use, so a serious DoD wipe is not needed. I do need to get rid of the MBR that is on the drives so that the software sees them as a fresh disk because otherwise they will reject it from the host.

I was given some old equipment to use, they are huge 100 drive storage devices. I was trying to use DABN and not having luck.

I was curious if anyone had any suggestions on what to try for such a large quantity of disks. They want me to use the server to wipe.

They are connected to the device via an HBA.

If anyone was curious, for the DBAN I was trying to use, I kept getting hung at PCI (sysfs) and it wouldn’t go any further.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly welcomed.

Thanks in advance!!

I like openssl as a fast way to generate random data, although I’ve never tried it at that scale. You might actually run into other bottlenecks besides drive speed.

# “advanced” example from the arch wiki… use with caution! (/s it’s just another version of the info above)

If you truly only need to wipe the MBR and not actually make an attempt at erasing any data, then, something like the below will work. GPT formatted disks will be slightly different, i think.

I’d just write zeroes to the first meg of the disks or so?
What OS is the kit running?


This is pretty inelegant and I’m sure my learned colleagues on here can give you a better solution but:

dd < /dev/zero bs=1048576 count=1 > source.dd

cat source.dd | tee >(dd of=/dev/sda) >(dd of=/dev/sdb) >(dd of=/dev/sdc) | dd of=/dev/sdd

etc etc etc

There is some efficiency gains to using tee to do things in parallel. I didn’t think of that.

You could make it a 1 liner- I think it will work with tee?? Definitely test and be sure you are nuking the correct drives.

dd if=/dev/zero bs=1M count=1 | tee >(dd of=/dev/sda) >(dd of=/dev/sdb) >(dd of=/dev/sdc) | dd of=/dev/sdd

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More efficient.

That’s why I love this forum.

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Didn’t someone recently post about turning a 45-drives machine into an automatic drive wiper?

As in, any drive plugged in, it just wipes?

Savage scenes

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i dunno about that.

I saw MPH visit a refurber who have drive bays that just format whatever is put in them


Nordic Computer - Secure Harddisk Deletion or Destruction - 709 - YouTube

but I was thinking of 45 drives,


(featuring t-shirt with L1 t-shirt)

45 drives set it to use KillDisk (paid for App/service, but might have a free version?)

So just look into how they set it up?

I bought a machine at my last job. It was just a bottle jack with a machined cone on one end, plus a return spring. In a box.

HDD goes in box, jack is operated, HDD gets smashy smashy.

Not very practical at scale, but hella fun.

It’s telling that a company full of *nix engineers use a paid app to do this rather than one of the numerous FOSS tools.

It must be damned good.

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The speed of the drives after the process might just fall off a cliff.
Like it’s crashed.
Perhaps like Terminal Velocity?

They felt the pinch.
Got the Squeeze…
Had a Death Hug?

Well, thy do got to make money, and can’t pad the cost with drives…

They are a company first, so gotta make money, so they can continue making cool stuff to share?

Even if they just share the good stuff with BB?

They got pinned down.
They were under the thumb.
Numbers were crunched

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True, can’t begrudge them that. Same goes for L1T.

I’m sure we could write a horrifically dangerous bash script that does the above DD / Tee pair to any disk that pops up.

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Thank you to everyone, it looks like cleaning the MBR with the tee command is going to be my first test batch since it will only take a few seconds for all the drives in the machine, I will keep you all posted on how it works. Just scripted it and gonna see what I can break. lol. Enjoy your long weekend!!!

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nwipe is the command line equivalent of DBAN for systems where you have trouble booting DBAN. All major Linux distros include it, and failing that you can compile it without too much hassle

If you just need to be rid of partition table, a bash script using parted or fdisk should knock out the task fairly quickly.

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