Cleaning a hard drive SOLVED

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richnbernie
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Cleaning a hard drive SOLVED

Post by richnbernie » Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:55 pm

I have a USB external hard drive that has a bad sector and I want to use a spare drive that has a linux system on it.

I want to clean off the drive but mint will not let me. I see I do not have privileges. It seems to be under Root. Mint is protecting the linux system that is there now.
I tried to write a file to the external but mint will not let me.
Is there a way to clean and format the drive?

Thanks.

rich
Last edited by richnbernie on Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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robert-e
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Re: Cleaning a hard driveI have a USB external hard drive th

Post by robert-e » Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:30 pm

There are various ways...one way is to install it in any compatable computer and boot the Dereks Boot and Nuke, either the live cd or a boot floppy, and wipe at least the first few sectors..usually about 5 percent of the drive will do it. Otherwise boot a live cd and run linux fdisk and remove all the partitions; or use in the same live cd, you can use the gui app gparted and do the same thing. Note, I am not sure if gparted will work on an external usb drive. Another option is to use the hard disk manufacture's diagnostic utility. They usually have an option to zero a drive. Maxtor's diag wants to find at least one Maxtor drive in the system before it will let you do much, however it claims to work on a usb drive then. I have not tested this to see it actually does.

Anyway, there are a few options that might meet your requirements.

Regards,
Bob

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Re: Cleaning a hard driveI have a USB external hard drive th

Post by Aging Technogeek » Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:44 pm

Gparted will work on an external USB connected hard drive. I used it just yesterday to wipe Mint 8 and Windows XP off of a drive I wanted to use for long term storage.

Just plug in the drive, boot the computer, start Gparted (if it is installed) or boot from the Gparted CD or a recovery CD like Parted Magic that has Gparted installed.

If you are using Gparted from the installed OS, you will have to unmount the drive to work on it. When Gparted is running, select the drive you want to wipe, and right click it. Select "Unmount" from the drop down menu. and the drive will be unmounted. (If there are any partitions on the drive, they will have to be unmounted individually.)

Right click the drive and, in the "Device" menu, select "New Partition Table". You will get a warning about destroying all data on the drive but you can ignore it since that's what you want.

Click the green check mark to perform the operation.

Once the new partition table is installed, you can format the drive by right clicking it, and selecting "Format to". A menu will drop down giving the various file systems available. A good general choice is fat32. Both Windows and Linux can read and write to this system so you will have access to your data from most computers.
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richnbernie
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Re: Cleaning a hard drive

Post by richnbernie » Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:07 pm

Hello Aging Technogeek

OK to a point. I cannot use “Format to”. It is grayed out. The picture is where i am at right now. There is an unallocated 7.94GB section left.

rich
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wayne128
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Re: Cleaning a hard driveI have a USB external hard drive th

Post by wayne128 » Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:13 pm

richnbernie wrote:Hello Aging Technogeek

OK to a point. I cannot use “Format to”. It is grayed out. The picture is where i am at right now. There is an unallocated 7.94GB section left.

rich
There is a triagular alert in gparted.. hmm, may be something in the partition?

On terminal, type sudo fdisk -l and <enter> to see what fdisk say about the USB drive.

richnbernie
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Re: Cleaning a hard drive

Post by richnbernie » Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:54 pm

OK, hee is what I get.

Disk /dev/sda: 82.0 GB, 81964302336 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9964 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00039af6

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 9554 76737536 83 Linux
/dev/sda2 9554 9965 3303425 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 9554 9965 3303424 82 Linux swap / Solaris

Disk /dev/sdb: 8522 MB, 8522825728 bytes
64 heads, 32 sectors/track, 8128 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 2048 * 512 = 1048576 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

Disk /dev/sdb doesn't contain a valid partition table

rich
Last edited by richnbernie on Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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wayne128
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Re: Cleaning a hard driveI have a USB external hard drive th

Post by wayne128 » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:02 pm

Disk /dev/sdb: 8522 MB, 8522825728 bytes
64 heads, 32 sectors/track, 8128 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 2048 * 512 = 1048576 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

Disk /dev/sdb doesn't contain a valid partition table
So your USB drive is a 8.5G ?
It has a unusual C/H/S geometry, normally 255 heads, 63 sector, but this one has 64H/32S..
Do you remember what was done to it to have this unusual head/sector geometry?

It seems you might need to use fdisk to totally change it. Hopefully you have nothing inside that need to save.

richnbernie
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Re: Cleaning a hard drive

Post by richnbernie » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:32 pm

No, the drive is a 80 GB, Western Digital WD800. I had clicked on 77 GB Filesystem which is between Network and Trash in the File Manager for the photo.

rich
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Last edited by richnbernie on Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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richnbernie
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Re: Cleaning a hard driveh

Post by richnbernie » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:09 pm

Well I have been muddling along for a couple hours and I think I cleaned and formated the 80gb drive. I will try a backup and let everyone know if the backup is successful. Not sure what I finally did to solve this.
I will post a Solved when the backup is successful.

rich
Last edited by richnbernie on Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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richnbernie
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Re: Cleaning a hard drive, SOLVED

Post by richnbernie » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:41 pm

Ok, everything works just fine. Thanks for the help. I picked up a external drive case that has Firewire and usb connectors. I have some spare drives.

rich
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