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I have an HDD which has failed in my NAS, and which I want to return to the manufacturer. I want to remove the data first since I had not encrypted the drive. The drive is recognized by Windows and the like, but it fails when creating partitions or formatting. So right now, I am stuck with what Windows says is one single RAW partition on the drive. (I do know it was two partitions before, one for the Synology firmware and the second for data).

For wiping the disk, I cannot find a tool that allows me to freely specify the range of sectors that I want wiped. All zero-wiping tools I have tried fail after at most a few percent due to bad sectors, so I never arrive at wiping the middle of disk. Is there any tool where I can choose which sections to wipe, regardless of parition boundaries?

  • If you have a Linux system or LiceCd, then using the dd if=/dev/zero of=... command with the seek= option should work. Simply writing zeros should suffice in place of "wiping the drive". – sawdust Oct 6 '14 at 18:09
  • I think this is the answer. It does not help me though, since it turns out to be incredibly slow on that drive (around 200kB/s), but that is probably caused by the hardware failure since all other wiping tools were that slow, too. – bers Oct 6 '14 at 20:49
  • The dd command with the default blocksize of one 512-byte sector can be very slow. Increasing the blocksize is a known trick to speeding up the dd operation. However the blocksize also affects the displacement of the seek option. So speeding up the operation using a large blocksize means that there would be sectors that have not been zeroed out because they were skipped over by the seek. You could use a combination of dd commands, with different blocksizes for each section that you're writing. – sawdust Oct 7 '14 at 2:01
  • Thanks, I had found that, too. I was already using a block size of 1M. Several other benchmarks (including DBAN and HD Tune) confirm that this is the max. read or write speed the drive is capable of. Tried 3 computers, 5 SATA interfaces, 5 cables, 2 OSes. That drive is as good as dead. – bers Oct 7 '14 at 6:23
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well if you know what areas of the hard drive is causing the specific problems you could use a tool called "Hirens BOOT CD"

http://www.hirensbootcd.org/

Booting your computer with that software allows you to access your hardrive within its own built in mini XP OS so you can delete the require parts or files if needed. You can also use the tool to recover any data before you reformat the drive if you need to do that.

  • Deleting files or reformatting does not remove the data in the same manner as wiping the disk. – sawdust Oct 6 '14 at 18:12

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