How to clear drive

Nicholas Leippe nick at
Thu Aug 11 10:07:13 MDT 2005

On Thursday 11 August 2005 09:32 am, Al Byers wrote:
> I am trying to do a new install of SUSE 9.3 on a machine with an Athlon
> 2800. I believe the CDs I have are bad and I can't get through the
> install. When I get a new set of disks (anyone have some? I'm not picky
> on the brand) I would like to install to a clean drive, as when it tries
> to install packages over ones that are there I get lots of failures. My
> question is whether there is an easy way, possibly within the install
> process using the partitioning instructions, to clear the HD so I don't
> run into these conflicts? As you can guess, I don't do this very often,
> so simplicity is the key :0)

If you can boot to the 'recovery' shell or whatever (most distro cds have
one) that gets you a root shell, simply do:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda bs=512

This will zero the entire drive.  If you just want to zero the boot sector
and partition table do:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda bs=512 count=1


Nicholas Leippe
Sales Team Automation, LLC
1335 West 1650 North, Suite C
Springville, UT  84663 +1 801.853.4090

More information about the PLUG mailing list