Low Level Format for multiple harddisk

How to do the low-level format for multiple harddisk (more then 1 set hd ) simultaneously ? Any softwares ? Thanks!!!


What do you mean by low level format? Write 0’s to the drive?

when the hard disk processed a low-level format, all data stored on the hard disk will be completely deleted and not able to recover. Just like the new hard disk at the initial state.

Many manufacturers offer their own low-level format tool for this. I’ve used Western Digital’s and Seagate’s in attempts to wipe hard-drives that were flakey, to see if this would solve those problems (no, they never did).

Then, there’s DBAN (Darik’s Boot And Nuke) program, which many security-conscious companies use on their hard-drives before releasing old computers to recycling warehouses.

These can take DAYS to complete, by the way.

I’ve use the same tools a Christine as well as a Maxtor one.

I usually just use the one that came with Acronis TI. I’m not sure it’s “low level” .
A lot of software will overwrite unused disc area. So after a format with one of the above even CCleaner has several selections of overwrite depending on what you want. I’ve never use the Gutman 35 pass. I assume it takes a long time but is very effective.
I’ve never needed to do more than one disc at a time .

Just full format the drive. But, if you’re really that paranoid you need to shred the HD to be safe.

[QUOTE=cholla;2700920]I’ve never use the Gutman 35 pass. I assume it takes a long time but is very effective.[/QUOTE] Any procedure that uses more than a single pass is a waste of time on any modern harddrive. The days are long gone when there was enough magnetic redundancy on harddrives so that data could be retrieved using special equipment after one or a few overwrites.

Anything more than a single pass is just to satisfy a placebo effect or possibly to satisfy official but outdated standards.

I’m not that paranoid but I do use the single pass occasionally. More like a good cleaning than anything else.
I don’t have any of the special equipment & haven’t even read about tests done with them on modern harddrives.
I do have 3 harddrives that are older . One was manufactured 1999. Would it have the “magnetic redundancy on harddrives so that data could be retrieved using special equipment after one or a few overwrites.” ?

[QUOTE=cholla;2700950]One was manufactured 1999. Would it have the “magnetic redundancy on harddrives so that data could be retrieved using special equipment after one or a few overwrites.” ?[/QUOTE] Probably not. I’m not sure exactly when harddisk technology got to the point where retrieving overwritten data became impossible, but we’ve been there for years.

I think all of you have misunderstanding on my question. The question is how to use low-level format on more than one harddisk, say 4 harddisks, at the same time.

The background of why I asked this question is, my firend is providing the service to company that destroy the data on harddisk in order to sell to re-use market. Otherwise, all these harddisks will be magnetizing.

There have few hundred sets harddisks and the low-level format processing time for one harddisk is long (about an hour). If anyone of you can advise a method that can let one computer handle say 4 harddisks at once time. It would be more efficient.

I believe the proprietary drive makers’ software allows that. I don’t recall DBAN’s command line, but it obviously works with its own SATA drivers since it can see a SATA C: Drive after booting from the CD drive - I wouldn’t be surprised if I could edit that starting command file, copy the line, only replacing the appropriate target drive-letter with each new line.

I know it’s been a month, but in case this is still an issue for the OP, I might have something to suggest.
I’ve never looked into doing this with a manufacturer utility, so maybe that’s the way to go.
I tried DBAN once (on a single drive), but found it’s just unacceptably slow. I think it doesn’t use any DMA, perhaps out of overkill paranoia, causing it to take forever. I’m afraid this may discourage people from using it at all, and resort to destroying working drives.

I don’t know if you’re comfortable with a UNIX/Linux command line environment, but in case you are:
I found wiping a drive was much faster by booting a live linux CD (knoppix, or whatever you like) and using the ‘dd’ command. There’s also nothing to stop you from doing it against multiple drives in parallel.

From memory, the line would be something like:

dd  if=/dev/zero  of=/dev/hda  bs=1M  &

I could have the syntax wrong. This is a destructive operation so you’d want to double check it.
‘if’ is the infile - the source of data that will be “copied” to the target. In this case, you use ‘dev/zero’ which is a phony “device” that generates an infinite supply of zeroes.

‘of’ is the outfile - the target that you are writing to. Hard disks usually have names like ‘/dev/hda’ or ‘/dev/sda’ but it varies depending on the OS. Subsequent drives would be named ‘/dev/hdb’ ‘/dev/hdc’ etc. I think you can use the ‘fdisk’ command to get a list of the names, but I’m foggy on that.

‘bs’ is the blocksize, ie how many bytes will be written at once. The default is much smaller and will slow down the operation.

If you put the ampersand ‘&’ at the end of the command line, it should put the ‘dd’ operation in the background and immediately return you to the prompt. This way you can then enter another identical command for another drive (/dev/sdb, /dev/sdc etc).
If you know how to write scripts, you could script it to launch simultaneous ‘dd’ wipes against multiple drives with a single script command.

If you aren’t familiar with the ‘dd’ command, then read up on it first. You have to figure out the correct device name for the disks you’re trying to wipe. That command can wipe out the wrong drive if you aren’t careful.

Safest way to do this IMO would be to use a bootable linux CD, and the only writable drives in the system should be the ones you want to wipe out. That way no disasters can happen.