Looking for a device to format hard drives

We are getting ready to remove a lot of old PC's from our companies network.  I was wondering if there was some sort of device we could buy and just put the HD's into it and have them get a good low level formatting.  It would certainly save a lot of time.  Any suggestions would be welcome.
LVL 1
adml_shakeAsked:
Who is Participating?
 
hatheharikenConnect With a Mentor Commented:
the first question would be, whether you want the disks to be usable after the low level format??

if no, then take a hammer and instruct a disgruntled employee to vent his frustration on the hapless hard drives :)

if yes, then you have to spend some unit of time behind each hard drive.

Active Killdisk is a very good option to zero fill HDDs
http://www.killdisk.com/downloadfree.htm

rig up a single PC, open bed, with just the bare essentials.
it should be no frills system. no operating system is necessary.
the system will boot from a bootable CD/DVD

just plug in a HDD to be deleted, boot up from the CD, let AKD zero fill the HDD, shut down, and remove the drive
rinse, lather, repeat.

just fyi, the device you are looking for, an automatic formatter - i dont think it has been invented yet....
0
 
Randy DownsConnect With a Mentor OWNERCommented:
The safest solution is to destroy the hard drives with a hammer. Low level format may have almost the same inpact though.
0
 
pnormsCommented:
Not sure about your budget but have a look at this:
http://www.securityprousa.com/didewhbrda10.html
0
Keep up with what's happening at Experts Exchange!

Sign up to receive Decoded, a new monthly digest with product updates, feature release info, continuing education opportunities, and more.

 
adml_shakeAuthor Commented:
Thanks, I was thinking along the same lines, but my worry about a live CD is that I would have to reboot the machine every time I wanted to do a new hard drive.  We have a large number of them to go through so I'm looking to simplify the process.
0
 
hatheharikenCommented:
no go. if you want faster, have multiple PCs.

you can make nine ladies pregnant, but you cant have a baby in 1 month.
0
 
adml_shakeAuthor Commented:
Lol, good point.
0
 
Randy DownsOWNERCommented:
Just make a lot of copies of the Active Killdisk boot CD & run them all at once. Just realized my 1st pot had a link to another topic. I meant to post the Kill Disk option.
0
 
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Except for a low-end "paddle" type degausser (which requires you open the hard drives and physically remove the platters for it to work),  degaussers are fairly expensive, as they have to produce a very large magnetic field to erase the data on modern hard drive.

But they DO work very well --- fully erasing all traces of data in ~ 1 minute per drive.    Here are a few choices:  http://www.datadev.com/degausser-hard-drive-data-security-erase.html
0
 
hatheharikenCommented:
garycase:
after the magnetic therapy, will the HDDs remain operational??
0
 
aleghartCommented:
I burn copies of dban and run on the machine itself...less labor involved.  I also have a 4-port KVM, so can do 4 at a time while only using one monitor/keybd/mouse.  Also a good way to run installations in tandem.
0
 
pnormsCommented:
Yeah i'm a big fan of killdisk just go ahead and get a kvm in place and roll the systems on through, or remove the drives if you like and pop them in an external dock (you can then keep the system up and running.)
http://www.killdisk.com/
0
 
adml_shakeAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the advice.  We ended up going with a 4 bay USB/esata hard drive dock and an eraser program that can see all the HD's connected through the USB and other ports.  So far seems to be working pretty well.
0
 
hatheharikenCommented:
we are glad we could help a little.

just for the record, can you tell us which software you finally selected?
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.