troubleshooting Question

Wiping hard disks

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petepalmer asked on
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One of my clients has a handful of PCs that they want to give to a local school / college. The problem is, these PCs have all had confidential information on them. To erase a disk how effective is the following Linux command :

cat /dev/zero > /dev/hda

This writes zero's across the whole disk, but is this effective in permanently erasing all the data and to prevent recovery? would /dev/random be any better?

Thanks in advance!

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