[svlug] Making a hard-disk UNbootable?

James Sparenberg james at linuxrebel.us
Wed Dec 1 19:04:43 PST 2004

On Wed, 2004-12-01 at 15:23, Greg Retkowski wrote:
> This is an odd one, I want to make a hard-drive un-bootable... Allow me 
> to explain.
> I have a series of machines that install via PXE/kickstart. The boot 
> order on these machines goes something like:
> Removable Media
> Hard Disk(s)
> PXE over Network
> When I first plug in and turn on a machine it comes up, figures out the 
> (new) harddisk is unbootable and drops through to the PXE boot which 
> installs the system over the network.. great!
> The problem is when the harddisk has already been installed once, I 
> can't figure out how to make the harddisk appropriately unbootable that 
> the system will drop-through to PXE again. I have tried:
> dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda bs=1024 bc=512
> fdisk /dev/hda (and remove all partitions)
> In either case the BIOS hands-off to the harddisk then the harddisk sits 
> there inoperable.
> Yes I can swap boot order repeatedly in the BIOS but I rather not do 
> that; it'd be nice to be able to scrub and re-install the system without 
> being in front of a console.
> -- Greg

It should... my notes have a slightly differnt command line though.

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

Not that the count is 1 and I don't have a bc switch.


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