[CentOS] Looking for a good disk exerciser

Fri Apr 13 20:15:20 UTC 2007
John R Pierce <pierce at hogranch.com>

Mark Hull-Richter wrote:
> Capstone (so to speak):
> I booted from the Seagate CD and ran both the quick and full 
> diagnostics on the disk.  It failed them both.
> Now I'm wondering what's the best way to destroy all the data on the 
> drive so I can return it without my stuff, unreliable or not, on it.
> I suppose a dd from /dev/zero to the whole disk might work - am I 
> right?  I'm not sure what block size or how many - it's a 400Gb drive....

the block size doesn't matter except for performance.  use 1048576 (1MB) 
or something.

Alternately, run the seatools destructive sequential write w/ random 
data diagnostic, at least 2 full passes of random data will completely 
scramble any residual data beyond any possibility of recovery.  the old 
DOD standard 1111, 1010, 1100, 0011, 0101, 0000 thing is obsolete, and 
was based on MFM/ESDI/PLL bit encoding patterns, which no longer apply 
to modern disks...

but, if the drives failed the diagnostics, it may not even let you write 
patterns over the full media.

I suppose you might explain your data destruction requirements (are 
these corporate policy, or government/military based, or just personal 
policy?) to the Seagate customer services people, and ask for their 
guidance.   surely, they have a provision for this as it can't be 
uncommon...     they probably won't let you physically destroy the 
drive, as I've heard something like 80% of drive returns are retested 
and turn out to be 100% AOK, and can be reformatted, 'refurbished', and 
put back in service.