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i get donated computers for my local organzation.
i need a Bootable linux Distro that will allow you to destructively erase a partition. by overwriting the existing data on the disk or file with either random numbers or a series of zeros and ones (or some such bit patterns).
anyone know of any?
Any live distro should let you do this. If you don't want to modify one then booting to (for example) knoppix and running "dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda" or "cat /dev/zero >/dev/hda" (you will probably have to become root) will overwrite everything with zeros. Replacing /dev/zero with /dev/urandom will overwrite with (pseudo)random bytes.
If you want this to be automated then you could take any bootable distro and add the command to the startup scripts. If you did this then you may want to trim the disc a bit - i.e. no need to start X, detect network/sound/etc in order to erase the hard disc and therefore starting with a more minimal rescue distribution may be simpler. It should be possible to fit what you need on a floppy disc so looking for one of those to modify might be a good idea.
I recommend DBAN (Darik's Boot and Nuke), a free download. It allows you to simply zero-fill or overwrite with random data multiple times. It downloads to your choice of bootable floppy or bootable CD.
I also need to use the usb flash with linux to completely wipe some hd's.
I downloaded the DBAN ISO from the DBAN site.
Ran YUMI to install on a usb stick.
Booted from it in MOBALIVE CD program / virtual machine
and it has the error in QEMU:
no configuration file found
I really would like to get this one going...sounds like what I need.
I am a linux newbie. How to change the configuration file to boot from a usb stick?
Any ideas how to use the iso or add it to other distros like UBUNTU .