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Anything special to be done to securely erase a raid 1 array?

Hi Experts,

Can anyone recommend a particular application to run on servers with a Raid1 array to completely and securely erase the data they held before disposing and/or donating them?  Not sure if something like the UBCD will have the drivers to see the array to run one of it's normal apps.

Thanks!  
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Jsmply
Asked:
Jsmply
5 Solutions
 
antony_kibble<!-8D58D5C365651885FB5A77A120C8C8C6-->Commented:
Darik's Boot and Nuke.

http://www.dban.org/

Make sure you read the documentation regarding erasing RAID drives.
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JsmplyAuthor Commented:
Thanks.  Used dban on single drives.  So the raid array would have to be disassembled and the individual disks wiped one at a time instead of wiping the array?
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rsoly777Commented:
Grab a copy of Eraser

Freeware under the GNU public license - http://eraser.heidi.ie/

You can configure how many passes and what level of wipe you require.
The one caveat is that Eraser works through the file system, so Eraser will not access any space the RAID sub-system has not made available to the file system.
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JsmplyAuthor Commented:
Rsoly, would dban have that same caveat?  Turning them to normal disks through the raid manager and running dban?
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btanExec ConsultantCommented:
My understanding is that DBAN uses Linux to boot up, and can wipe IDE, SATA, XT, and SCSI hard drives. For RAID devices, if it is hardware RAID then DBAN may see one drive and wipe it without any problems (provided it recognised the controller). For software RAID, it gets tricky because when you boot from DBAN CD, the OS where the software RAID is installed does not start - therefore DBAN may not see your disks. Maybe you can try wiping each hard drive individually. You can't wipe if you can't see :)

For Eraser it attempts to write files to wipe free space, the RAID array presumably sees them as files and will do with them what it does with any other files. The caveat for Eraser stands though

Not only the RAID aspects we may also need to consider the HPA (Host Protected Area). These are areas where would be specific by vendor to store recovery information or tool or even for RAID controller to contain some details. If really going for clean wipe, these area should be erased as well. But typically there will be no user data though, so it is not a major concern. If it were of a concern, suggested in Eraser forum, you can always reset the HPA using Linux tools (e.g. hdparm) and then do a free space erase (or a partition erase found in Eraser 6.2).

Overall, do look at this forum which has vast information and helper folks in the secure wipe using Eraser and DBAN. Most of the information above is from the forum advices
@ http://www.heidi.ie/forum3/viewforum.php?f=30

Also good to note that
a) the effectiveness of the overwrite procedure may be reduced by several factors: ineffectiveness of the overwrite procedures, equipment failure (e.g., misalignment of read/write heads), or inability to overwrite bad sectors or tracks or information in inter-record gaps.

b) Three techniques are commonly used for media sanitization: overwriting, degaussing, and destruction. Overwriting and degaussing are the methods recommended for disposition of sensitive automated information.

It is always best to confirm with forensic recovery tool such as getdataback, encase etc after the erasing (this is always neglected especially when there is log of such task to complete, do not compromise :p)

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JsmplyAuthor Commented:
Thanks. Dropped the disks out of raid and dban sees them both separately and wiped them. Is there still a concern of the hpa?
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btanExec ConsultantCommented:
actually will not matter as much as mentioned it is not used for user access. the primary function of the HPA is to store diagnostic utilities as well as a boot record.

more info on hpa and dco in this link
http://www.datarecoverytools.co.uk/2010/01/15/hpa-host-protected-area/

but if you want to trust but verify, check out this using the hdparam command. would be better to check with vendor of existence of hpa or dco too

http://www.forensicswiki.org/wiki/DCO_and_HPA
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JohnDeckerCommented:
Take a large hammer to them. Seriously.

If you don't need them and are disposing them, break them.
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JsmplyAuthor Commented:
Thanks.  In some situations they would be re-used though.
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JsmplyAuthor Commented:
Thx all.
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