My plan to wipe my MBWE II drives--will it work?

I upgraded to a new NAS and might want to sell/give away my MBWE II white lights. But I want to zero out the drives first. Here’s my plan—will it work?

  1. Restore to factory settings (This will delete my files and should leave the firmware partitions intact, but I’m guessing that it will not zero out the data partitions.)

  2. Remove one of the drives and use my PC to write all zeros using disk wiping software

  3. Put the zeroed drive back in the MBWE and have it formatted and rebuilt to match the other newly reset disk

  4. Remove the other drive and zero it using my PC

  5. Put the second drive back in the MBWE and have it formatted and rebuilt

Will this work? Any issues I’m missing?



I believe it should work as long as you allow the drive to rebuild after you format one of the internals and before you format the second one.

If you format both and do not allow to rebuild then it is not going to work.

Thanks–I agree that it will work, i.e., not brick the device. 

However I’ve been reading up and I think that, since the rebuilding does a bit-for-bit copy to the second drive, it will copy the old file data back to the second drive.  Thus it will overwrite my newly zeroed drive with the remnants of the data that I want to wipe.

Just to close up this thread, I used the method below to zero out the data portion of the drives. The method was initially suggested by user TeinturMan on Wikidot.

first, ssh in as root and then:

cd /shares/Public
cat /dev/zero>dumpfile
rm dumpfile

The zero command will write all zeros into the dumpfile until the partition runs out of space, effectively wiping the partition. Then you delete that file to get the free space back.

Two notes:

  1. I set a case fan on top of the NAS to pull air up through it during this operation since the disks would be writing constantly. They stayed nice and cool.
  2. I have 1TB drives and this took a long time—over five hours. I should have run this as a script and included a “date” command after the write zeros command to see how long it actually took (I let it run overnight and woke up to the expected “no more disk space” error).