How to erase all data / format hard drives?

Forum Forums General Tips and Tricks How to erase all data / format hard drives?

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  • This topic has 7 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated Jul 5-2:28 pm by Andy3142.
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  • #38076
    Member
    AvatarAndy3142

    I want to erase all data on all hard drives before giving the machine away. How do I do that, please? If that means reformatting the drives and re-installing Antix, that is OK.

    Ideally I’d like to scrub the drives to be beyond recovery, but if that is complicated, a simple erase will do.

    Many thanks

    Andy
    Bristol UK

    #38082
    Member
    XecureXecure

    Hello.

    You could use shred (already included in antiX) from an antiX live system (antiX base in CD, or from USB) to rewrite all the disk with zeros.

    Searching the web will give you more info. An example (first result)

    Perform a Zero Fill Using a Linux Live CD

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by Xecure.
    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by Xecure. Reason: Added link
    #38094
    Forum Admin
    rokytnjirokytnji

    If that means reformatting the drives and re-installing Antix, that is OK.

    I have done that . I make user the name of home and root with a simple password like toor.. It is up to threm to change user name and password later on.
    A note with runwiththedolphin video url usually covers that.

    Othwise. Gparted. Make a new msdos drive partition using that. leaving drive blank with no file system. With a note like I described above. Is simpler.
    Have to use a live run to do this though.

    Sometimes I drive a crooked road to get my mind straight.
    Not all who Wander are Lost.
    I'm not outa place. I'm from outer space.

    Linux Registered User # 475019
    How to Search for AntiX solutions to your problems

    #38096
    Moderator
    masinickmasinick

    Yeah, shred is one way and a fairly easy way to do it.

    Depending on how serious you are about completely wiping everything out, I think that shred even has options to write, rewrite and zero out data multiple times.

    Why? Even when data is erased, sometimes there are obscure traces that can be pieced together and “recovered” to some extent. Using either shred or something else like dd to write over the data is good, but if you are particularly paranoid about the data, repeatedly write different patterns of 1 and 0 over the data, then zero it and that will reduce the chance of recovering any unwanted information on the drive.

    Brian Masinick

    #38103
    Moderator
    masinickmasinick

    By the way the shred command is included in the coreutils package, so if you don’t see it, make sure this package is installed.
    Once coreutils is installed you can find shred at /usr/bin/shred
    You can run /usr/bin/shred –help to learn more about the options and methods of using this tool.

    https://www.computerhope.com/unix/shred.htm
    https://www.howtoforge.com/how-to-securely-destroy-wipe-data-on-hard-drives-with-shred
    https://www.howtogeek.com/425232/how-to-securely-delete-files-on-linux/

    Hopefully these additional sites provide sufficient information and examples. Note that by default shred writes random data three times, attempting to effectively clean and wipe the data; if three times doesn’t do it, you have a high degree of paranoia. Physically destroy the disk with hammer, scratches on the disk surface, etc. and that will definitely ruin the drive. However, it is nicer to give usable equipment away if you are not planning to use it and shred will reasonably clean your disk with time and moderate effort, so I recommend it.

    Brian Masinick

    #38526
    Member
    macondomacondo

    I use shred too. I go by partitions at a time:

    # shred -fuvz -n9 /dev/sda1 (press Enter)

    and continue with sda2, sda3, etc by default shred goes 3 times per partition and the fourth time fills it up with zeroes, I go even further and do it 10 times (9 shredding and 1 with zeroes)

    antiX Core 64 Bit Runit XFS JWM

    "Sometimes a man finds his destiny on the road he took to avoid it."

    #38528
    Moderator
    masinickmasinick

    I use shred too. I go by partitions at a time:

    # shred -fuvz -n9 /dev/sda1 (press Enter)

    and continue with sda2, sda3, etc by default shred goes 3 times per partition and the fourth time fills it up with zeroes, I go even further and do it 10 times (9 shredding and 1 with zeroes)

    A forensic analysis of your filesystems after running shred would not find mui. Students of forensics may know that data that has been on a system for a while can sometimes be recovered to some extent.

    What you do, macondo, greatly reduces the risks of unwanted information to be recovered. It’s far more likely to get data when it is convenient on a network, so shred is an excellent idea. Only the most persistent individuals have any chance of getting anything from you once a disk gets cleared up by shred.
    I’d give them less than a 1/10,000 chance once cleared but a good chance with no protection. Someone could just use dd to read ones and zeros, then try various codesets, protocols,etc. and figure out what is there.

    Brian Masinick

    #38561
    Member
    AvatarAndy3142

    Thank you everybody. I used shred and it was simple.

    Just to say – Antix is great! The machine in question is an old Samsung N220 netbook I used for a special job. I originally tried a lot of distros – 9 or 10 – but the one and only distro that got all parts of the hardware working properly was Antix. Well done to everyone involved.

    Regards

    Andy

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