just use dd:
assuming the disk is sda,
dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sda
will copy psuedo random data from /dev/urandom onto the disk device, sda, until its full.
be absolutley sure that sda is actually the disk you want, as if you over write something you want to save with this, it will be basically impossible to do.
if you want to do multiple passes, just repeat the command once it finishes. you can also do /dev/zero (in place of urandom), which fills the disk with 0's, and works considerably faster but less useful for concealing the size of data stored on the disk, if you later want to encrypt it, though if you are doing several passes, it is probably acceptable to do say, two of /dev/zero followed by one /dev/urandom for the same essential effect.
if you do not care about encryption and just want to cover up all the data, then /dev/zero is probably the way to go.
I guess that's one way to do it, though the real way to do it is with the "shred" command.
basically: # shred /dev/sdX
this will take a long time, though, since shred does 3 passes (same as multiple military institutions around the world do). A better way would be # shred -n 1 -z /dev/sdX
which will do one pass and set all bits to 0.
Both of these are very valid ways of doing this, but OP, what are you trying to get out of this?
Do I just copy paste this into a terminal? How does this all work?
I want a clean. HDD
Just format it then.
I'll assume you're using linux or have a familiarity with it since you're on this site.
Boot from a secondary harddrive or usb (NOT THE ONE YOU'RE WIPING) then open up your favorite terminal emulator and type in
This will show all your storage attached to the computer, find the harddrive you want to wipe. It should be /dev/sdb or /dev/sdc or something like that. You should be able to tell from the size.
After you found that type in
where you replace xxx with the sdb/sdc/whatever you found earlier.
Then use the gui to delete your partitions and then use the write button.
This should be fine for what you need.
urandom is better than zero, as it assures that you are actually writing data to every sector, not just labelling portions of the disk to be read as "zeroed out" >>944
Doesn't that just create a large file? That would still leave the locations of file headers
I think this guy just wants to use the harddrive without (rm -rf)ing the drive, and possible using his own partitions.
I think everyone here is over thinking it. I don't think he's trying to destroy data.
Yes I was trying to destroy data. I ended up using Boot and Nuke.