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Old 03-08-2006, 06:06 AM   #1
ElliotRS
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Need to wipe an old IBM PPC box of all data


I have been given the task of wiping an old IBM PPC terminal server (marked as a RISC System/6000 F30, big thing!). It currently has Unix installed and works fine but it is being retired tomorrow (Thursday).

This box has been here for years and I have never really touched it, however, it has a lot of historical data which I must remove.

I do have the option of simply taking out the hard disks and applying a hammer but it seems a shame to do such a thing, there is also very limited tools here. I do not want to try and place the hard disk in another box as I am sure we have nothing that will support the old disk.

I have never really used Linux and never on a PPC. I have used Linux boot disks on i386 boxes as the partitioning software is much better than any MS stuff which is why I am here.

Can anyone direct me to a floppy disk or boot CD that I can download and simply re-partition then a full format? Please note the process must be (pretty much) un-recoverable, work on an old PPC and be simply enough for me to use.

If I am asking too much just let me know.

Thanks

Elliot
 
Old 03-08-2006, 06:34 AM   #2
kevkim55
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If all that you want is to destroy the contents of the disk without physically destrying the disk itself ( ;^) why don't you use a linux boot disk and use the dd command to wipe out (write zeros) the contents of the disk ?
 
Old 03-08-2006, 06:44 AM   #3
ElliotRS
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Yes that is perfect, however, (sorry you will have to put up with me here);

Where can I get a Linux boot disk that will work on a PPC box, what would you recomend?

What is the syntex of the dd command?

Thanks

Elliot.
 
Old 03-08-2006, 10:05 AM   #4
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElliotRS
(sorry you will have to put up with me here);

Elliot.
Who says?....

The disk wipe utility that I use is Darik's boot and nuke (DBAN). It is on Sourceforge.

Google for "boot disk ppc" shows a few leads---many distros support ppc--ergo it is possible to make a boot disk.
 
Old 03-08-2006, 10:55 AM   #5
Dragineez
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Run What Ya Brung

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElliotRS
I have been given the task of wiping an old IBM PPC terminal server (marked as a RISC System/6000 F30, big thing!). It currently has Unix installed and works fine but it is being retired tomorrow (Thursday).
I second the motion for using dd to zero the disks. Since this machine already has Unix (probably Aix) installed, you don't need to install or alternately boot anything. I'd bet dollars to donuts you've already got the dd command on there.

It's probably best that you first unmount the drive or drives to be wiped. That's all mount points of all partitions of all drives. But that would include where the OS was loaded from, the /dev/zero, and the dd command itself. I wonder if you can run it on a drive while its still mounted? Worth a try since you're trying to blow away the disks anyway.

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/[drive]

If that doesn't work, so what? pixellany's suggestion will work too.

Last edited by Dragineez; 03-08-2006 at 10:57 AM.
 
Old 03-08-2006, 11:06 AM   #6
ElliotRS
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Thanks for the quick response everyone.

I will try the dd on the mounted drives but I am guessing that it will ultimately lead to a crash at some point (if it even lets you do it). but in the name of science kind of thing.

Okay then a real beginner question (sorry I know that Linux is really my best option here but I know nothing about it), how do I find out what drives I have? (remember this would be in Unix not Linux)

Thanks

Elliot.
 
Old 03-08-2006, 11:46 AM   #7
Dragineez
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Aix

Check /etc/fstab

If it is AIX, then (if I recall this correctly) it will be:

/etc/filesystems

This is a simple text file that will list what drives and partitions the machine has. Don't worry about the partitions, you're going after the drive itself. So if it has something like:

/dev/sda1

You would want to nuke /dev/sda

This might be helpful:

http://www.unixguide.net/unixguide.shtml

Isn't it great to have a drive that you're allowed to totally trash? (I mean that in a figurative sense, if all goes well there should be no problem with re-using those drives).

BTW: If you're really paranoid about cleansing the disk of data, you'll have to run it more than once. And another thing just occurred to me - this will take a while. Depending on the drive(s) speed and size - it could take a long while.

Last edited by Dragineez; 03-08-2006 at 12:46 PM.
 
Old 03-08-2006, 12:08 PM   #8
ElliotRS
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Thanks for the help.

I will give it a try and let you know. I think the disk is not more than a Gb (possibly more), not sure how to tell but maybe I will find out when I start to play with it (will have access in about 10 mins).

Yes I assume the box will be perfectly good after, are they worth anything to anyone? I know we do not want it.

Yes the people here are very pataniod about the data in it for a number of reasons, too boring for here and over the top if you ask me.

Lets see what happens.

Elliot.
 
Old 03-08-2006, 12:42 PM   #9
ElliotRS
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Okay next silly question;

Found filesystems but do not know how to display it, any help?
 
Old 03-08-2006, 12:44 PM   #10
Dragineez
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Several

less /etc/filesystems

cat /etc/filesystems

vi /etc/filesystems
 
Old 03-08-2006, 12:50 PM   #11
ElliotRS
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Sorry not thinking, ignore that.

Found the cat command and piped through more, however, there appears to be lots of drives; hd1, hd2, hd3, hd4, hd8 and hd9var. There is a number of lv devices too (I assuming logical volume).

Does this seem right? Any order of preference on these?

I will take another look and see if the is an sda

E.
 
Old 03-08-2006, 01:08 PM   #12
Dragineez
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Sounds Right

What you're describing matches that link I posted earlier. Just for giggles I've been looking up the specs on that machine. I think you'll have a hard time giving it away, which you should try to do. If it was completely maxed out, the most disk space you'll have is 40GB. 133mhz PPC - hard to imagine that was "top of the line" only 10 years ago.
 
Old 03-08-2006, 01:14 PM   #13
ElliotRS
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Just rebooted and it looks like it has 1/2Gb Ram but that is all I can find out. Can not find the Admin loggon either so I am going down the boot from CD or Floppy route - any idea how to do this?

I have made an ARC NT Boot disk and a CD with Darik's boot disk for PPC (but I think this may be MAC) but not sure if I need to do anything to fource it to boot from these devices. There was also a SRC image file, is that a "something RISC" disk?

E.
 
Old 03-08-2006, 01:15 PM   #14
ElliotRS
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I will ask how much it cost them, I think they did get it ten years ago.

E
 
Old 03-08-2006, 02:21 PM   #15
Dragineez
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pix

Go back to pixellany's post - he was right all along. I've used Darick's Boot And Nuke before and it's very good. I think it's just the shred command run on the whole disk, multiple passes. If that's the case, any PPC Live CD should do the trick for you. I'd have to check but I think dd and shred should both be on any Live CD.

Specs I've found for that box list 512MB as max RAM, but then again the most "recent" spec sheet I could find was dated 1996!
 
  


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