Secure erase via IDE to USB adapter - OT

mike cloaked mike.cloaked at
Thu Aug 19 19:06:49 UTC 2010

On Thu, Aug 19, 2010 at 7:55 PM, JD <jd1008 at> wrote:

>> 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.

Indeed though there are two issues I thought would arise -
a) This would not deal with HPA partitions unless I was mistaken?
b) It is a lot slower than letting the drive firmware take over and
overwrite all the bits on the disk

> UCSD had released a paper a few years ago claiming that the
> drive's own firmware can do the full erase.
> The utility's name was

I am aware of that but it is a DOS facility as far as I remember and I
don't know if it can over-ride the bios freeze? hdparm is pure linux
and that is why I wanted to go that route...

> I do  not know if it does or not - they did not release the
> source code, which makes it completely untrustworthy.
> For a university to release only the executable and not
> the source code raises red flags.
> You can always resort to these linux tools:
> scrub(1),  shred(1), wipe(1)

Yes, though much slower than the internal secure erase in the drive -
and does not deal with HPA partitions (as I mentioned above) ?

> The key is to run the process with a high number of iterations.
> If the drive or partitions cannot be erased while booted, then
> you can resort to booting from live CD and then run
> dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sdX (whatever you target disk X stands for).
> will wipe the whole drive. Of course you can choose a partition thereof.
> The key is you iterate the above about 10 times.
> Start when the disk is cold and has been lying  un-powered.
> There is a very good reason for this.
> I leave it  to you to figure that out why :)

OK - I will try and figure that one out!

mike c

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