The ATA specifies a command called "Secure Erase" than can be used to erase all sectors of a hard drive.
More information here:
I did a search and found a link to some freeware programs that should be able to help:
Might try this site. I just spent the day playing with it with a spare computer and drive. Download a copy of ubuntu 10.04. Use the Try tab after you burn the ISO to a CD and boot from the CD. Then use the following info.
I am having an issue with HDPARM. I get an I/O error when trying to erase it from Windows 7 safe mode command prompt as a enclosure on my Dell XPS M1210 Laptop. Any suggestions on getting pass this?
Are you trying to USE hdparm of delete it? Your question is worded very ambiguiosly.
Have you read the above link? and do you understand the dangers and ramifications of Hdparm?
Thanks for the follow up. I am trying to use hdparm to delete it. I have been skimming through the links to find a quick solution. I probably do not know the ramifications of hdparm as well I should, but at this point the drive is being replaced by the retailer I purchased it from. However, I still would like to find a quick solution to delete it in general before returning to the manufacture or even restoring it myself given it sounds like I am going to have issues with this piece of hardware down the road.
Message was edited by: tsevan
Do you mean erase the drive? You can't delete the drive, only erase the data on it! Once again read this. There is NO quick and easy way. It will take you a least 1 day to erase the drive.
Download a copy of ubuntu 10.04. Burn the ubuntu to a CD. Use the Try tab after booting from the CD. Do not install ubuntu, you want to run it from the CD!
read and use the following info.
Thr procedure is fairly straight foward, BUT you must understand what it is doing.
If you're running Linux, can't you just overwrite the drive with zeros? For more on this, see the http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Securely_Wipe_HDD securely wipe hdd artile on the Arch wiki.# dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdX bs=4M
Very possibly true, I don't know. If # DD allowes you to access all blocks that would be my prefered method as clearing an SSD for a raid 0 array is all I would need. As I am not a Unix person I can't speak to the Intricacies of # DD. I have found by experment that hdparm works from ubuntu 10.4. I'll explore # DD from unbuntu and see what I can find out.
sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdX bs=4M appears to be working from ubunto.
I'll confirm when it completes.
This command writes a file to a requested partition, but it does not delete the partitions. Expermenting with a drive it appeare the only way to completely erase the drive and all blocks and partitions is the hdparm command. If there is another way someone please chime in.
Thanks everyone for replying with the all the suggestions. hdparm running in Ubunto turned out to do the trick in my case. Along the way I discovered a few things that may be useful for other heading down this path in the future:
1) traditional disk wiping programs (e.g., DBAN) may not actually destroy all the data as intended due to the wear-leveling built into SSDs. This premise is somewhat contested but what I read cast enough doubt that I looked for other options.
2) the ATA Secure Erase command - if supported by the drive manufacturer - resets the drive back to factory status. For an SSD, this means clearing all the cells. For an HDD, they likely implement a 0-write or DBAN-type algorithm to wipe the contents.
3) HDDErase 4.0 doesn't support the Intel X25-M line, but there's apparently a 3.3 version that does. I ran into numerous issues getting 3.3 configured on a bootable USB flash drive and then having it actually recognize the drives in my system. This could be related the old hardware I am using.
4) there's a Windows version of hdparm out there that looked like it may work for me. But even though the drive was not in use, Windows must've had some lock on it because hdparm on Windows would always fail with a Input/Output error when running the --security-erase command.
In the end I followed the instuctions from https://ata.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/ATA_Secure_Erase to create the Ubunto Live CD and succesfully ran hdparm from there. The insturctions on running the tool are very clear and concise.
Thanks again for all the responses!