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Re: dd: it doesn't continue after errors

From: Pádraig Brady
Subject: Re: dd: it doesn't continue after errors
Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2012 17:29:35 +0000
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:13.0) Gecko/20120615 Thunderbird/13.0.1

On 12/28/2012 04:29 PM, Bernhard Voelker wrote:
On 12/28/2012 12:41 PM, YuGiOhJCJ Mailing-List wrote:
I am trying to blank a 160 GB hard disk drive but I got an error and dd doesn't 
want to continue:
$ sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb conv=noerror,sync
dd: writing to `/dev/sdb': Input/output error
6160537+0 records in
6160536+0 records out
3154194432 bytes (3.2 GB) copied, 209.528 s, 15.1 MB/s

Only 3.2 GB have been copied...

Have you any idea on how to force dd to continue after errors?

You mean your hard disk is dying and you want to overwrite it with NULs?

As you most probably will throw it away anyway, why not
simply use a hammer to destroy your sensitive data?
And maybe using a huge magnet before or after that ... ;-)

Oops right, the issue seems to be with writing to the dodgy disk.
conv=noerror,sync confused me since this is only concerned with reading.
Anyway I had a look at shred.c and noticed this comment:

/* 'shred' is often used on bad media, before throwing it
    out.  Thus, it shouldn't give up on bad blocks.  */

So shred is probably the best tool for this.
You can get shred to write just NULs like:

shred -n0 -z -v /dec/sdb


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