Secure erase via IDE to USB adapter - OT

mike cloaked mike.cloaked at
Thu Aug 19 16:17:19 UTC 2010

This is not directly a Fedora question but I only run Fedora on all my machines!

I have one machine where the disk is throwing up "smart" errors though
the machine is still running so far, and the overall assessment (via
Palimsest) is "healthy". Every few days there is a popup warning that
the disk is about to fail!

I am planning to replace the disk and install F13 from scratch on the
new disc - but the question I have is that if I plug the old
(not-very-healthy!) disk in to a sata-to-usb external adapter, and
then hotplug the usb cable into the new machine on a usb port, I am
guessing that I will not be able to pass hdparm commands to the old
disk connected in this way in order to to secure-erase the old drive
via its onboard controller?

I am not keen to go and try to find a spare computer to put the old
drive in the internal bay and then run a live distro to issue secure
erase commands, since it is a hassle, and it would be so much
nicer/easier to do it via an external cable.

I have been told that usb does not support the full ata command sent
and the secure erase commands are likely not to get through - even
"hdparm -l /dev/sdb" might be problematic?

If there is a particular adapter that would allow me to do this I
would love to hear about it if anyone knows about these things.... yes
the platters will ultimately be removed and beaten out of shape but I
would like to remove the data first.


mike c

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