Secure erase via IDE to USB adapter - OT

Stephen Gallagher sgallagh at
Thu Aug 19 18:25:29 UTC 2010

Hash: SHA1

On 08/19/2010 02:04 PM, mike cloaked wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 19, 2010 at 6:51 PM, Tim <ignored_mailbox at> wrote:
>> On Thu, 2010-08-19 at 17:17 +0100, mike cloaked wrote:
>>> 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
>> It depends on the chips in the adapters (see hdparm docs).  Mine don't
>> support it, and the only one of them that I can warn you about is the
>> Seagate desktop expansion drive, the others have no branding.
> OK thanks - if anyone knows of a specific adapter that *will* work I
> would like to know - of course having the drive in its internal bay is
> likely not to work either since many (most?) bioses will freeze the
> drive from the ata command viewpoint such that it can't be unlocked to
> pass the secure erase command anyway! So having an external adapter is
> probably the only way I can easily do it but I do need to know that
> there is an external adapter that will work.  What I was unsure of is
> whether there is any that would work since I had been told that usb
> can't do it at all!
> (I did look at the hdparm man command but did not see the answer to
> the latter question)
> Mike

Well, you could always just perform a mostly secure wipe by just doing
dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sdc
several times, so that the bits are overwritten by random data.

- -- 
Stephen Gallagher
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