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Securely erasing all data from a hard drive

Is it possible to securely wipe a hard drive with the method outlined here using dd and little else? I have an old PC and an Ubuntu server disc which I can run a shell from, but not much is included on that.

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marked as duplicate by Nifle, Xavierjazz, 8088, Randolph West, ChrisF Sep 30 '12 at 20:40

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

@Nifle That question is about a Windows PC. There's not a trace of Windows left on this machine. I'm also asking specifically about the Gutmann method. –  Blacklight Shining Sep 30 '12 at 17:02
Related from other Stack Exchanges (try a little bit of searching my friend): Ask Ubuntu: How can I securely erase a USB hard drive?, StackOverflow: How do I erase my disk? (In a secure way) (Ubuntu) and Security: How can I reliably erase all information on a hard drive?. –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Sep 30 '12 at 17:02
The answers in that question is valid for any OS (as the OS is irrelevant at that stage). –  Nifle Sep 30 '12 at 17:05

2 Answers 2

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Not exactly an answer but in this day and age you are basically wasting your time trying to use the Gutmann method specifically.

Gutmann himself:

In the time since this paper was published, some people have treated the 35-pass overwrite technique described in it more as a kind of voodoo incantation to banish evil spirits than the result of a technical analysis of drive encoding techniques. As a result, they advocate applying the voodoo to PRML and EPRML drives even though it will have no more effect than a simple scrubbing with random data.

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So I should just do one pass from /dev/urandom, and maybe one from /dev/zero and have done with it? –  Blacklight Shining Sep 30 '12 at 17:06
/dev/zero is probably enough, but why not throw a random pass in there if you have time, as "Voodoo" can make you feel good sometimes, and that's important too. ;) –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Sep 30 '12 at 17:08

If you wish the delete all the data from drive and ensure it is all gone with no trace, if you are willing to simply burn another cd I suggest using DBAN as it will make the whole process a lot easier than using DD.

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I don't have another CD… –  Blacklight Shining Sep 30 '12 at 16:58

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