dd booboo

Charles Curley charlescurley at charlescurley.com
Sat Feb 17 20:01:25 MST 2007

On Sat, Feb 17, 2007 at 06:23:27PM -0700, Daniel wrote:
> FYI when I finished the dd booboo I did "df -h" it showed /dev/sdb1 as
> having -XXX used space.  It also said that dd ran out of space.  after
> all this I unplugged it.  I was trying to wipe out the drive so I
> could give it away.  I will try plugging it back in and see if I can
> see it.

Ah. In that case, run

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb

(Note the lack of a 1 in the device name.) That's the command I
thought you had run earlier. In addition to getting the first
partition (sdb1), you will also get the partition table and the rest
of the gap between the first sector on the drive (the partition table)
and the beginning of the first partition.

Running out of drive space was perfectly reasonable. You didn't give
dd a count, so normally it would go until it exhausted the input
file. Since your input file has an infinite supply of zeros, dd filled
up the partition. Other than clobbering the file system, the command
is harmless. The OS won't let you write beyond the end of a partition.


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