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Old 06-20-2012, 06:37 AM   #1
brilyant
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Tiny system to wipe hdds


I have a task that involves wiping data from hard drives before disposal.

Current solution is to put hdd into Linux box and use dd to write random numbers all over it.

Is it possible to construct a single bootable floppy with sufficient software to create a running system, so I can execute a small number of utilities?

Andrew
 
Old 06-20-2012, 06:47 AM   #2
ukiuki
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This: http://www.tinycorelinux.com/ It is very small and have what you need.

Regards
 
Old 06-20-2012, 06:57 AM   #3
syg00
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That should work - I've always kept a copy of the gentoo minimal around. Has all the tools I need.

BTW, the kernel won't fit on a floppy these days - you're up for a CD. Maybe one of the minis would do for you.
 
Old 06-20-2012, 07:45 AM   #4
pixellany
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http://www.dban.org/
 
Old 06-20-2012, 08:48 AM   #5
TobiSGD
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DBAN will do the job. For a somewhat similar purpose (wiping out the MBR on all disks in the system) I created a very small (about 5MB, if I remember correctly) Linux system that can be booted from CD/USB/network. It was pretty easy, I did it this way:
1. Use Slackware's mkinitrd command to create a filesystem tree for being used as root file-system
2. Modify the init script to just initialize the hardware (using Busybox's mdev) and then use dd to write zeroes to the disk.
3. Create a kernel config that only contains the drivers you need (in this case disk controller drivers) and point it to the filesystem tree with the modified root filesystem.
4. Compile the kernel.

After that you can use the bootloader of your choice (like Isolinux for CD, Syslinux/Extlinux for USB, Pxelinux for network boot) to load that kernel, it will automatically do the job.
Keep in mind that if you want to boot from USB not to compile the driver for USB storage devices, or you will overwrite the USB disk also.
 
Old 06-20-2012, 02:33 PM   #6
jefro
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The only problem with floppy based distro's is the age of the kernel needed. You may not have driver support. Not even sure you can get linux on a single floppy anymore. If your system is supported then the old Tom's boot disk was "the most linux on a floppy" and there are a few others out there still

A pxe or gpxe of live usb live cd sort of deal could be made to do automated boots and work for larger images as noted above.

If you are simply disposing of them then get an old demagnetizer.
 
Old 06-20-2012, 03:20 PM   #7
etech3
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Thumbs up +1 dban

DBAN will do the job. I still use my copy my from 2008. Just haven't got around to downloading the one.
 
Old 06-21-2012, 02:30 AM   #8
brilyant
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Thanks everyone for the wide range of possibilities - plenty of scope for investigation.

Using an old distro may not be out of the question - I've just had to deal with a Pentium II.

Andrew
 
  


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