I'm about to backup files from various hard disks and I need to securely delete the hard disks before I get rid of them.

At the moment I'm using my PC and SysInternals SDelete. Deleting a disk via USB 2.0 takes a long time (7 hours per 500 GB, that's ~5 days for a 8TB disk).

During that time I accidentally shut down my PC or it needs to reboot due to Software Installations, Windows Updates etc. Therefore I'm looking for new solutions.

The software must

  • run on Raspberry Pi (install on SD card)
  • have a UI which is usable on the Raspberry 7" touch screen (800 x 480)
  • detect hard drives which become attached via USB
  • prompt whether or not that hard drive shall be deleted
  • overwrite the disk a single time with zeros. No special DoD or other procedures needed.
  • show the progress (and ideally the remaining time)
  • signal the completion, so that I know when I can remove the disk
  • be able to recover from an interruption, e.g. store the current progress and continue the deletion when it boots up next

I am not looking for solutions where I need to type dd if=/dev/zero of=something. The tool may use that internally.

Additional note due to a comment: The disks I'm talking about don't have a SATA interface. Maybe they have internally, but that would require me to remove the housing etc., which I don't want for usability and ESD reasons (electrostatic discharge, would require technical equipment).

  • I'm not sure what you mean by erasing a hard disk "via USB". Why not boot the computer from a different medium, such as an optical disk or a flash drive, and erase the hard disks using your favorite program running on the medium? That's the fastest you can erase a disk short of physically destroying it. – Kodiologist Dec 30 '17 at 22:44
  • @Kodiologist: the Rasbperry does not have any disk controller. You can only attach hard drives via USB. Internally, the Raspberry uses an SD card to boot from. I'll install the software on the SD card. I cannot use my favorite software, since that one runs on Windows only. It's not possible to run Windows on Raspberry. – Thomas Weller Dec 30 '17 at 23:13
  • I'm suggesting you use your PC instead of the Raspberry Pi. – Kodiologist Dec 31 '17 at 0:04
  • @Kodiologist: didn't I make it clear enough in the question why the existing solution using the PC is not good enough? Erasing a 8TB disk will take 112 hours, that's ~5 days. My PC will never be on for so long. I cannot ensure it will not reboot or something else. And I want to be able to use my PC during those 5 days. – Thomas Weller Dec 31 '17 at 0:48
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    @Mawg: The disks I'm talking about don't have a SATA interface. Maybe they have internally, but that would require me to remove the housing etc. I updated the question. – Thomas Weller Aug 28 '18 at 10:15

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