VMS Drive Cleanup Assist

der Mouse mouse at Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA
Wed Oct 26 16:47:24 CDT 2005

> I've got a DEC Alpha system that I can grab from work but not until I
> clean off the hard drives.

> The question is: how do I clean the drives completely without any
> real chance of data being recovered?

Depends on what kind of adversary you're trying to defeat.

If you don't care about someone opening the drive up in a cleanroom and
using an atomic force microscope or its ilk on the platters, just write
something meaningless (all zeros, for example) over the whole drive.

If you do, buy a new drive and melt or vaporize the old one (thermite,
plasma torch, whatever).

> I don't really know VMS and I'm not sure what versions are available,
> etc.

You don't need to stick to VMS; for example, you could boot the NetBSD
install floppies/CD and then shell out to, eg, dd /dev/zero onto the

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