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I've been using Linux for less than a year and I'm still a relative newbie. Currently I've got Lubuntu installed but since the latest upgrade it crashes quite often. Also as I was 'experimenting' I've probably downloaded too much stuff and not always good
In short I want to erase my HDD completely and start afresh - I'd be very grateful if I could get answers to a few questions:
1) Will the 'shred' command erase the disc securely and fully? Or what other commands/programmes are there?
2) If not, how about this option: install Windows XP and then use something like 'KillDisc' to erase HDD? I've done it before and I know it works.
3) If I've erased my HDD before, will it damage/ destroy HDD to do it again?
3. erasing the content of the drive usually safe, will not damage the device.
2. you can safely install anything without erasing the whole drive, you only need to remove the partition table.
1. Instead of shred I suggest you to use dd (to erase disk) and you can use fdisk to remove partitions. http://www.upubuntu.com/2012/01/how-...ions-from.html
Distribution: CentOS 6 on my desktop, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on my server, Ubuntu 12.04 on my netbook and the wife's PC
Agreed. To simply reinstall the OS it is not necessary to wipe the hard drive. However, if you need to wipe a drive for some other reason such as before disposing of an old PC, have a look at DBAN http://www.dban.org/. It will do the job. BE CAREFUL.
I've looked at DBAN and frankly, I've got my doubts about using it. It might do the job but, as you said, it looks like Id have to be very careful and I'm not sure if I can use it without doing some irreversible damage to HDD
Distribution: Debian Sid AMD64, Raspbian Wheezy, various VMs
Apart from the wear caused by writing to it something like DBAN pose no threat at all to your disk.
Also, there is no need to "clean" your disk unless you feel that you managed to leave some secrets on it worth a few thousand dollars. Especially if you you are keeping the disk to install something else on.
If you are that paranoid then, when your disk dies, smash it to pieces but until then it's just a rewriteable medium.
If I've erased my HDD before, will it damage/ destroy HDD to do it again?
I've erased many hard disks over the years literally hundreds of times and have never damaged any of them by doing so. Of course there will be any natural wear and tear associated with with such chores on a mechanical device.