Yesterday I was able to complete the migration of my Dell Microsoft Windows Vista machine to a VMWare Virtual Machine so I could have one less PC running in my house. Having successfully moved everything over, no matter how painful (posts coming) it was now time to prepare the computer for disposal (eBay / Craigslist).
As I mentioned earlier this week, I usually use Darik's Boot and Nuke, called DBAN to wipe the disks and permanently destroy the data before reinstalling the operating system and getting rid of the computer.
So, I updated to the most recent copy of DBAN, 2.0.0 from the download site and dropped it into the CD-ROM to boot. I then followed the common steps I normally did to wipe the disk.
I choose my settings:
Entropy: LinuxKernal (urandom)
PRNG: Mesenne Twister (mt19937ar-cok)
Method: DoD 5220.22-M
Verify: Last Pass
I then selected both the drives that I wanted to nuke, and hit f10 to execute.
Oddly, rather than entering the progress screen dialog, I was greeted with an unfriendly message:
DBAN Finished With Non-Fatal ErrorsLogs were being written to disk, yada, yada, yada. It didn't work.
I rebooted the machine thinking that would change something. I still received the same error message:
DBAN Finished With Non-Fatal Errors
Something was pretty odd here.
I went ahead and at the initial startup prompt entered the command "autonuke" thinking that would somehow lead to a different outcome. But, it didn't.
It then dawned on me that there could be some random incompatibility between my computer and DBAN 2.0.0. I pulled out my trusty DBAN 1.0.7 disk and gave it a try. Still, the same result of DBAN exiting with the non-fatal errors. (Which ironically, is fatal since your computer basically freezes up and you have to thumb it...but, I digress.)
Then I turned to Google. After much searching and little result, I stumbled across a post which suggested that DBAN had an issue with SATA drives that possibly had to do with them not being high enough on the primary channels. That led me to notice that there were 5 devices shown for some reason in the DBAN GUI menu, three that were not recognized and the hard drives were listed as the last two.
That led me to try something out.
What I did next, since I had 4 devices in my Dell Dimension E520 -- 2 Hard Drivers, 1 CD/DVD-ROM, and 1 CD-RW/DVD-RW drive was to reconfigure that SATA cabling. I pulled out two of the devices, the 2nd CD-ROM, and the secondary hard drive and put the single hard drive on channel "0" with the bootable CD-RW/DVD-RW drive on channel "1".
With just two of the drives connected, I then gave DBAN 2.0.0 another shot. After making the configuration setting changes, I attempted to start the data destruction process. Guess what? It kicked it off and started working, showing my progress. In just a few hours, my
Lesson learned? For those of you with SATA configurations with multiple drives from Dell or other manufacturers, you made need to either disconnect some drives or even re-order how they are connected to your motherboard or SATA card. With some basic tweaking, DBAN will be back and working in no time.
Did this work for you? If so, if you wouldn't mind tweeting about it on Twitter, posting a link on Facebook, or posting a comment below...that'd be awesome!