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Disk drive erasing / formatting utility for Alpha servers.

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John E. Goetz
Frequent Advisor

Disk drive erasing / formatting utility for Alpha servers.

We are decommissioning some Alpha servers and need a tool or commands that would work best in wiping the disk drives associated with the server of all there data.
5 REPLIES
Venkatesh BL
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: Disk drive erasing / formatting utility for Alpha servers.

Hein van den Heuvel
Honored Contributor

Re: Disk drive erasing / formatting utility for Alpha servers.

A simply/naive tool is ofcourse:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/dskXXc bs=512K

Some sites require a secure erase: multiple passes with a random-ish pattern believing that a single stream of null could leave data to be uncovered with sophisticated tools.

For some sites only physical destruction (think smelter) is good enough.

Google for more help.
Lots has been written on the subject.

For FORMAT help we'd need to knwo exactly what drivers/controller you are using.

hth,
Hein.
Rob Leadbeater
Honored Contributor

Re: Disk drive erasing / formatting utility for Alpha servers.

Hi John,

If its possible to hook the drives up to something x86 based, rather than an Alpha, check out DBAN http://www.dban.org

Cheers,
Rob
d.yoman
Advisor

Re: Disk drive erasing / formatting utility for Alpha servers.

You may use disklabel -z /dev/dsk/diskname
It shall make the label zero and the data will be lost.

One more thing can be done as follows
Imagine that you have 2 disks dsk1, dsk2

Use rmfdmn to remove the domain information and then do disklabel -z for each disk. Then do disklabel -rw diskname. Now do mkfdmn for all the disks and new domain will be formed which will have no data in it.

Victor Semaska_3
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Disk drive erasing / formatting utility for Alpha servers.

d.yoman,

Your method only removes access to the old data. That data still remains on the disks. You have to write something over the old data in order to get rid of it.

As Hein mentioned, we'd need to know what type of controller the disks are attached to. When we had HSZ70 disk controllers I used its disk execiser to write over the data. If there isn't something like that he can use one of the methods suggested by others over even use /usr/field/diskx.

The crudest method would be to re-initialize the disk as you mention and then write a script that pumps whatever out to a file on those disks until it fills up. Something like this:

while [ 1 = 1 ]
do
ps -efl >> $FLE
netstat -an >> $FLE
done

Once it fills up, repeat the process until you're satisfied the old data is gone.

Vic
There are 10 kinds of people, one that understands binary and one that doesn't.