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Wiping Server Drives

Posted on 2013-12-22
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Hello All,

I have a large task ahead and wanted to get some suggestions on how to proceed.  I have about 75 Dell 6950 Servers that each have a approximately 8-10 drives.  My client has asked to wipe out the drives securely.  Other than pulling each one out and zeroing out the drives, is there a better way to handle this type of wipe?  Software suggested?

Suggestions greatly welcomed

Thank you
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Question by:alexfl73
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Norm Dickinson earned 500 total points
ID: 39734603
Active @ Killdisk is the way to go. Create a boot disk and erase them with minimal time involved on your end. See http://www.killdisk.com/features.htm - there is even a free version, although I use pro. Print certifications after and really look like a pro.
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by:alexfl73
ID: 39734608
One by one though?
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by:Norm Dickinson
ID: 39734614
You could simply start each server up with the boot disk set to automatically wipe the drives and walk away - then come back the next day and finish up with the certificates. It does multiple drives simultaneously and offers a number of secure protocols to choose from, from a simple overwrite of zeros to multi-pass, government and military grade standards.

Command Line Mode

The utility has a command line mode. It allows you to start the erase procedure automatically. By running the utility with parameters you can:
 •Start erasing any / all USB / floppy drives, hard drives or all detected drives of different types
• Cancel confirmation of the erase command
•Specify data destruction method
•Show or hide error messages (if any)

Example:

This example shows how you can run the utility with command line parameters. It will automatically detect and erase all detected hard drives using DoD 5220.22 M data destruction method (3 passes) with no user interaction.

 A:\killdisk.exe –eraseallhdds -erasemethod=2 -noconfirmation

If you've placed this line to the "autoexec.bat" and placed the disk into the USB / floppy drive, all you have to do to erase everything on the machine is Turn On the computer!
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Author Comment

by:alexfl73
ID: 39734618
sounds like a winner!  I will keep you posted...thank you!
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by:Norm Dickinson
ID: 39734625
You are welcome - good luck!
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by:awawada
ID: 39734707
We use Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN is 100% Free):
http://www.dban.org/
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by:dipersp
ID: 39735121
We use Killdisk as above, but if I was doing that many drives, I'd rent a degausser.  Not cheap, but I assume you're getting paid well.  ($500 for the week for some.)

I have a local recycling company I use for this kind of stuff when I don't need the drives.  They put the drives in a shredder and come out as little bits of metal.  Doesn't get any more secure than that.  Might want to see if you have anyone local that can handle that.  I can even drop them off and watch them get dropped into the machine.
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by:Norm Dickinson
ID: 39735150
I really like KillDisk for the certificate feature for compliance purposes.
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by:madunix
ID: 39745579
If you want to use a format utility, I suggest dban http://www.dban.org/ 
Dariks Boot and Nuke. I use it a lot it works with Windows or Linux etc.

Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN) is free erasure software designed for consumer use. DBAN users should be aware of some product limitations, including:

"...No guarantee that data is removed
Limited hardware support (e.g. no RAID dismantling)
No customer support
DBAN is a self-contained boot disk that automatically deletes the contents of any hard disk that it can detect. This method can help prevent identity theft before recycling a computer. It is also a solution commonly used to remove viruses and spyware from Microsoft Windows installations. DBAN prevents all known techniques of hard disk forensic analysis. It does not provide users with a proof of erasure, such as an audit-ready erasure report...."
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by:Norm Dickinson
ID: 39762527
Have you reached a conclusion yet as to the best answer(s) for your question? Please remember, we run on the points you assign and are all volunteers on this site otherwise. Thanks!
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