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formatting harddrives

Posted on 2004-10-20
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Every year we donate our old pc to schools. Does anybody know of a quick way to format 50 drives?
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Question by:jupton007
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DVation191 earned 1000 total points
ID: 12359714
The free version of Active Kill Disk securely overwrites and destroys all data on physical drive and erases partitions, logical drives and even unused disk space
 
http://www.killdisk.com/downloadfree.htm
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by:DVation191
ID: 12359736
If you already have all the drives removed from the computer, getting one of these will make your job a LOT easier....
http://tinyurl.com/69yoa

Just connect it to the drive and stick it in a USB port.
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 12359810
If you don't have confidential information on the drive and don't care about a casual attempt to read it, using fdisk to delete the partition will work very fast.
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by:nihlcat
ID: 12360555
A REEEALLY big magnet.
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by:nihlcat
ID: 12360590
Ok, that was a joke.  DVation191 have you used killdisk?  Does it take long?
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by:improveyourpc
ID: 12360681
I recently used Drive Scrubber from Iolo and it worked great. Runs from a floppy boot disk. It took less than 1 hour to clean up a 40 gig drive:

http://www.iolo.com/ds/index.cfm
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by:DVation191
ID: 12360713
The free version of Killdisk is limited to writing Zeros to the drive. How fast this is accomplished depends on how big the drive is and how fast it can't write the zero's. Unless the information on the drives is super sensitive, an erasing algorithm would need to be used which can be found in higher-end applications.

Of couse like Callandor said, if there are no files on the drive that are sensitive at all, it may be faster to just do a "quick format" (format c: /q). It is extremely easy to recover files after such a format, however.
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Author Comment

by:jupton007
ID: 12361078
Thanks for all the input. I work for a Engineer company chances are that there is some info on these disks that we would rather not share with anybody.Yea a big magnet would but so would a hammer.Just downloaded killdisk will post after i run it.In the mean time we are  just pushing fresh images to all the machines then formatting them.What a drag.thanks
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by:DVation191
ID: 12362519
Thank you
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by:jupton007
ID: 12363551
No thank you.Killdisk is a little slow but it gets the job done quicker then making boot disc for ghost.
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Expert Comment

by:wt7331
ID: 12390803
If you have sensitive data that you do not want to be recovered, then you might also try this program. http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/eraser/eraser53.zip?.  It is a free program that overwrites senstitive data that is supposed to become virtually unrecoverable.  It does take a while to run, but it does do the trick.  It takes about 10 minutes to erase a 8 meg file. You could use it to erase only the sensitive material, and the OS files.  It can also overwrite unused space, where files have been previously only deleted. (these can be recovered if one knows how).  Then repartition and clean install an OS, (if you are donating working systems).

One sure fire method to use if you don't want anything to be recovered, which is a bit more time consuming, is to place the drives you would like to erase as slaves in one machine.  Install the eraser program on the C drive, then erase the entire "slave" drive.  After doing this you can remove the erased drive and place it back into the machine it came from and then install an OS.
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