Wiping Server Drives

Posted on 2013-12-22
Medium Priority
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
Question by:alexfl73
LVL 13

Accepted Solution

Norm Dickinson earned 2000 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.

Author Comment

ID: 39734608
One by one though?
LVL 13

Expert Comment

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)


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!
Get 10% Off Your First Squarespace Website

Ready to showcase your work, publish content or promote your business online? With Squarespace’s award-winning templates and 24/7 customer service, getting started is simple. Head to Squarespace.com and use offer code ‘EXPERTS’ to get 10% off your first purchase.


Author Comment

ID: 39734618
sounds like a winner!  I will keep you posted...thank you!
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Norm Dickinson
ID: 39734625
You are welcome - good luck!
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 39734707
We use Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN is 100% Free):

Expert Comment

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.
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Norm Dickinson
ID: 39735150
I really like KillDisk for the certificate feature for compliance purposes.
LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:Fadi SODAH (aka 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...."
LVL 13

Expert Comment

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!

Featured Post

The 14th Annual Expert Award Winners

The results are in! Meet the top members of our 2017 Expert Awards. Congratulations to all who qualified!

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.

Join & Write a Comment

More and more people are using the enhanced small form-factor pluggable (SFP+) tranceivers, and speed is of utmost importance. Testing of speeds are critical to ensure that the devices will meet the speed requirements. There are some testing challen…
In the modern office, employees tend to move around the workplace a lot more freely. Conferences, collaborative groups, flexible seating and working from home require a new level of mobility. Technology has not only changed the behavior and the expe…
In this video, Percona Director of Solution Engineering Jon Tobin discusses the function and features of Percona Server for MongoDB. How Percona can help Percona can help you determine if Percona Server for MongoDB is the right solution for …
In this video, Percona Solutions Engineer Barrett Chambers discusses some of the basic syntax differences between MySQL and MongoDB. To learn more check out our webinar on MongoDB administration for MySQL DBA: https://www.percona.com/resources/we…

587 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question