Blowing away hard disks

I decided I might as well clean up after myself, and all these old drives that I’ve no interest in using in “retro” gear (I have zero use at all for a WD Caviar in 850MB - yes, that’s megabytes), I might as well destroy any data that’s still on them and send them off to the recycler.

dd to the rescue once again, and FreeBSD’s of course because SIGINFO is life. Then an idea struck me - what if I didn’t have to keep pushing ^T to find out how it’s doing? Maybe there’s a built-in feature of dd to handle this, but who has time to read the documentation.


while :; do killall -INFO dd 2> /dev/null; sleep 1; done & 
dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/ada1 bs=1M

It’s ugly, and it doesn’t clean up after itself, but it does the job!

Horsham, VIC, Australia fwaggle



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Horsham, VIC, Australia

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