Basic Hard Drive Tasks Using Linux

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Fdisk a Drive

fdisk /dev/hd[x]

m menu
n new partition
p primary
1 1 through 4
  first cylinder
  last cylinder
t change partition
1 1 through 4
c fat32 LBA
w write partition section out

Format a Drive

mkdosfs -F 32 -n label /dev/hd[x]

-F 32 Fat32 file system
-n label label the drive “label”
/dev/hd[x] drive to format

Mount a Drive

mount -t vfat /dev/hd[x] /mnt/mpoint

vfat FAT32
/dev/hd[x] drive
/mnt/mpoint mount point (must already exist)

Make a Forensically Sound Copy of a Drive


Wipe a Drive

Overwrite each sector on the drive with a zero. Use fdisk -l to determine the device names to use in place of sda.

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda

Alternate description:

time dcfldd pattern=00 of=/dev/hd[x] bs=64k

time dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hd[x] bs=64k

time report how long the command will take
if input file
of output file
bs block size
hd[x] drive to wipe

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