Best/Cheapest Way to Erase Hard Drives

I have about ten hard drives that I need to wipe and they are in about five servers. I don't want to power on all of the servers and use software because that will take days. I heard that you can use electric magnets to erase all of the data but i'm worried  that it will cost too much. What's the fastest and cheapest way of doing this?

Thanks!!! :)
eshiramAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

 
TCB1Commented:
Will these hard drives still be used? Or are you disposing of them and need to wipe them for security reasons?
0
 
eshiramAuthor Commented:
They are still going to be used. They are being sold to a liquidator.
0
 
gzarnickCommented:
I would use XP Disk Manager if you could:

You can navigate to there from the control panel,
Performance and Maintenance, Admin Tools or
Click Start, click Run, type compmgmt.msc, and then click OK.


Or you can right-click on the Drive and press "Quick Format"
0
Ultimate Tool Kit for Technology Solution Provider

Broken down into practical pointers and step-by-step instructions, the IT Service Excellence Tool Kit delivers expert advice for technology solution providers. Get your free copy now.

 
gzarnickCommented:
I use AEFDISK on a bootable CD which lets me delete all partitions from a fast booting comand prompt. AEFDISK.com
0
 
eshiramAuthor Commented:
I would like to remove the data without powering on the servers.
0
 
MarkCommented:
The term used for magnetically erasing a hard drive is "Degaussing"
Here is a service that provides degaussing for hard drives.  http://www.garner-products.com/Degserv.htm

I would use Dariks boot and nuke first before sending them anywhere,  especially if they have sensitive data on them, but that would take time.
 http://www.dban.org/
IMHO it would be cheaper and faster to buy new drives and take a sledge hammer to the old ones.
0
 
MarkCommented:
Without turning them on?? You'll at least have to remove them from the server if that's the case.
0
 
TCB1Commented:
First of all, the cheapest way to do what you need is to use software to wipe the disk. Second, if you want the drives in a usable state after the wipe, software is the only method to use. Here's a link to a demagnetizer. Note the number 10 at the bottom--# Remark: media except for the hard disk are reusable after demagnetization

http://www.x-magnet.net/Machinery/PCT-220D-Demagnetizer.html
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by ConnectWise

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
 
aleghartCommented:
>What's the fastest and cheapest way of doing this?

Fastest: degauss, but it destroys the drive.  If you buy out the service, you are also paying for shipping and return (or certificate of destruction).

Cheapest: software.  Require time and some electricity.  But, the drives are re-usable (salable).

Because you have the caveat that the unit are slated for sale, there is no answer for both Fast and Cheap.
0
 
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
A few comments ...

=>  First, I assume when you say "...  I need to wipe ..." the disks, you mean you want the data to be totally destroyed and unrecoverable.   The following comments are based on that assumption.

=>  Do NOT use Disk Manager with a Quick Format as suggested above --- that does NOT destroy any of the data; which would be easily recoverable  (even a full format would not wipe the data).

=>  The same thing is true with AEFDisk, which does not wipe the data -- just the partitioning information.   The data is still easily recoverable by any reasonably competent "techie".

r.e. "... I would like to remove the data without powering on the servers ..."  ==>  Not possible unless you remove the hard drive from the server and either use an external degausser (expensive) or attach the drive to another system.

=>  The cheapest way to do what you want is to use DBAN (as suggested above by sparkmaker).   To do this, you'll need to attach each drive to another system; then boot to DBAN and let it wipe the drive.   This will take some time (depending on just how thoroughly you set the wiping parameters) ... but the data will NOT be recoverable when it's done.   It requires an available system to do the wiping, but other than that it's free ... so it certainly meets your "cheapest" criteria :-)
0
 
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
... One caveat about DBAN => it does not work with external (USB) drives; so you'll need to attach the drives to an internal controller on the system you're using to do the wiping.    There are commercial products that will wipe USB drives if you'd prefer to simply attach the drives via a USB adapter => for example the $99.95 "Pro" version of WipeDrive will wipe up to 50 drives:  http://www.whitecanyon.com/wipedrive-erase-hard-drive.php?gclid=CM3ovdOrnZYCFRJuxwodBWeLoA
0
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.