Bulk erasing disk packs

From: Jerome H. Fine <jhfinepw4z_at_compsys.to>
Date: Thu Jan 23 08:36:00 2003

>Tim Myers wrote:

> I've managed to get a haul of DEC disk packs, the condition on getting
> them out is that I erase them (no drive hardware available
> unfortunately). Some kind of bulk eraser required, I feel, but can I
> make one / get hold of one easily?
> The haul is this:
> 21 x DEC RL02K-DC
> 10 x DEC RL01K-DC
> 3 x DEC RM03-P - I believe these are new and unused.
> 30 x HP 13356 - These 'belong' to the HP 1000 systems that are being
> moved out this weekend.

Jerome Fine replies:

As almost everyone will warn you, probably most, if not all
of the media, also have servo tracks which must remain if
the media are to be useful by normal users in the future.

FOR SURE that is the case with the RL01/RL02 media.
What is required, if you want the media to remain useful,
is to use the normal hardware and write in the normal way
anything else in place of the current data. Normally, a pass
of all zeros followed by all ones will do the job - unless you
get the CIA involved - then you probably need to have about
seven passes at the minimum (so I have heard) with random
values in each pass. But I suspect that two passes with zeros
and ones should be adequate for data that is not related to
national security.

Also, you are supposed to erase them within 1 microsecond,
1 million microseconds, 1 trillion microseconds? Depending
on the answer, as long as you erase them before passing them
on, you can wait to obtain the correct hardware that is needed.

Sincerely yours,

Jerome Fine
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Received on Thu Jan 23 2003 - 08:36:00 GMT

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