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I'm trying to wipe the drive of an old company computer with DBAN so I can install Redhat Enterprise and learn Linux (it's a Dell Inspiron 1210, if that matters).

I burnt DBAN to a CD and boot from that CD (running on an external USB CD drive). Whenever I try to run the utility--whether it's Autonuke, or any of manual wiping methods-- it spits on the errors:

ERROR /dev/sdb ERROR /dev/sda

From what I've read on some other forums, there are some issues with other drives or removable media interfering however I've disabled all other drives in bios, leaving just CD/DVD and the Hard Disk but still no luck. Any advice on how I can reconcile these errors and wipe the disk?

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migrated from Jul 4 '12 at 20:18

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

What is your reason for feeling the need in the first place to wipe the drive with DBAN before installing Linux on the computer? If you just want to play around and learn, just pop in the installation CD, boot from it, tell it to use the entire disk and you'll be good to go. DBAN is commonly used for things like wiping drives before they are decommissioned, which doesn't seem to be anywhere near what you are looking to do. – Michael Kjörling Jul 4 '12 at 21:01
Its an older company computer and potentially has proprietary information on it, so boss-man says I need to wipe it first before taking it home. – premiumFrye Jul 6 '12 at 14:08

REALLY old computers (and old DBAN disks) may need to address the hard drive as /dev/hda rather than /dev/sda. Just depends on how new/old the software you're using is, and how old the hardware is, since that can trigger the kernel to use the older hdX device names.

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Actually i was under the impression that was the kernel, and in these situations, it should work automatically. – Journeyman Geek Jul 6 '12 at 7:06
It is a new DBAN disk. How can I make DBAN address hda, not sda? Sorry, I'm kind of a rook. I wear the FNG hat around the office. – premiumFrye Jul 6 '12 at 14:10
well, look in /dev, see what files are there... are there 'sda/sdb' or 'hda/hdb' I'll admit it's kind of a shot in the dark. Worth a look though. (Don't worry, someday, you'll be able to pass that hat on to someone deserving) – lornix Jul 6 '12 at 14:55

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