Securely Erase Hard Drives in 6 Easy Steps with nwipe

Recently, I had a drive failure on my ZFS pool. Thankfully no data was lost because I am using two parity drives. The drive is still under warranty, and I will be sending it back to the manufacturer for replacement. Before I allow drives to leave my possession for replacement or disposal/recycling, I always securely erase the drive to ensure none of my data ends up in anyone else’s hands.

In the past, I had used the excellent Darik’s Boot and Nuke (DBAN), but that requires a dedicated system to run the process. This time, however, I decided to try nwipe, a tool that’s based on DBAN but runs on existing Linux distribution.

Installation was super simple as most Linux distributions have a package available for nwipe. On Ubuntu, I was able to simply use apt to install it:

$ sudo apt install nwipe
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following NEW packages will be installed:
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 104 not upgraded.
Need to get 35.6 kB of archives.
After this operation, 104 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Get:1 focal/universe amd64 nwipe amd64 0.26-1 [35.6 kB]
Fetched 35.6 kB in 0s (98.6 kB/s)
Selecting previously unselected package nwipe.
(Reading database ... 137063 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack .../nwipe_0.26-1_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking nwipe (0.26-1) ...
Setting up nwipe (0.26-1) ...
Processing triggers for man-db (2.9.1-1) ...

Next, I identified the device corresponding to the drive in question:

$ ls -l /dev/disk/by-id/usb*
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root  9 Nov 21 18:10 /dev/disk/by-id/usb-ST8000VN_004-2M2101_000000000000-0:0 -> ../../sdh
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 10 Nov 21 18:10 /dev/disk/by-id/usb-ST8000VN_004-2M2101_000000000000-0:0-part1 -> ../../sdh1
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 10 Nov 21 18:10 /dev/disk/by-id/usb-ST8000VN_004-2M2101_000000000000-0:0-part9 -> ../../sdh9

Now that’s we’ve got the setup out of the way, we can run nwipe and then follow six easy steps:

$ sudo nwipe

Use the arrow keys to select the drive in question:


Press the space bar to select the drive to wipe, then press M to select the method for erasure:


Use the arrow keys to select the method for erasure. I typically use the 7-pass DoD 5220.22-M method. Then press space to select the method and return to the drive list.


Finally, press the S key to start the erasure process:


The erasure process is detailed, complete with an estimated time remaining:


Once the process is complete, you can rest assured that when you recycle the drive no data will be made available to anyone else. Plus, with nwipe, since you don’t a dedicated system, you can just erase the drive on your system while it’s running normally to prepare for removal of the drive and disposal.

The post Securely Erase Hard Drives in 6 Easy Steps with nwipe appeared first on Atomic Spin.

Source: Atomic Object

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