Blog: hard drive

We had a new ESXi host to install recently with the latest 4.1, but the server didn’t have a disk (yet) for us to install it on. Fortunately, our Fiber Channel SAN had a spare LUN with some extra drives that we could use. I destroyed the LUN and the virtual disk and pulled out a spare drive to stick it into the new server. Simple enough and now we can install ESXi.

Well, not quite… [more]

When we started the installer, it would always hang on loading the storage drivers. No matter what version of ESX or ESXi we attempted to install, the application would hang before the software even had an opportunity to start installing and always at the storage drivers. After some discussion with one of the other engineers, I had an epiphany. Maybe that drive still had some remnants of the old RAID 5 array and the server was looking for the remaining disks. I booted the server to a SmartStart CD, fired up the Array Configuration Utility, destroyed and recreated the array, and attempted the reinstall of ESXi. Success!

Moral of the story: When repurposing a hard drive that was formally a part of an array, make sure to actually wipe the disk clean instead of simply destroying the array to completely verify that there are no longer any remnants of the former array configuration.



What do you get the paranoid schizophrenic who has everything?

An "EnhancedHardDrive" from Ensconce Data Technology, of course! Tired of destroying your hard drives at home the old fashioned way using fire/thermite? How barbaric! How messy! The EDT Enhanced Hard Drive will flood itself with an acid mist using up to 17 remote triggers, rendering the drive forensically unrecoverable. [more]

After talking with a customer about how to dispose of old hard drives, I started doing some research on different data disposal methods and I happened upon EDT's site. I doubt any of use will encounter anything of this level of security, but it seemed interesting so I thought I'd share. It seems like the niche market for a product like this would be pretty small, but I recently read that their sales goal for this next year is somewhere around 25 million. Someone's got something to hide :)



I recently moved my laptop backups to an Acomdata external hard drive.  I noticed that it mounted two partitions, a hard drive partition and a CD partition, but did not worry too much about it since I had plenty of disk space on the hard drive partition.  The CD partition was created by the manufacturer to store their disk utilities and, like a normal CD, appeared to my laptop as read-only.  After saving multiple backups to this disk, I received a new internal hard drive and tried to restore from the backups on the external hard drive.  However, I could not boot to the external hard drive because my laptop would only recognize the CD partition during boot, not the hard drive partition.  [more]

After some Googling, I discovered that these CD partitions have caused quite a few issues, including not allowing some Linux distributions to mount the hard drive partition.  The easiest fix at first seemed to be to take the hard drive out of the external casing, connect directly to a desktop PC's internal hard drive controller and re-partition/format the entire drive.  Right before giving in to this solution, I found a blog post on LinkedIn which is no longer available.

This author spent some time with Acomdata support and got them to provide a software tool to remove the CD partition while it is connected externally via USB.  In the end, I moved my data off of the external hard drive, ran the tool, formatted the external hard drive as a single partition, moved my data back, and was able to boot/restore from the external hard drive.  I even have a little bit of extra space now that the CD partition is gone.