NOTICE: As of March 3, 2005, Autoclave is no longer supported. Please see the End-Of-Life Notice for details and an alternative.

Autoclave v0.3

April 9, 2002

hard drive sterilization on a bootable floppy

Usage Instructions

1) When Autoclave has finished booting from the floppy, you should see a screen which looks something like this:
[boot message screenshot]
For some additional information press F2, to see copyright information press F3, and to launch Autoclave press enter. When you press enter, it will take a while to launch. There will be some scrolling messages, which you can safely ignore.

2) Once you get the following screen, it's safe for you to take the floppy out:
[confirmation message screenshot]
To continue, you must type "I understand.", including the period but not including the quotation marks. I'm just covering myself, here. I want to make sure you know that using Autoclave is irreversible.

3) Once you've confirmed that you understand the risks, you should see a list of drives Autoclave has found in the computer, like so:
[drive list screenshot]
If you have more than one drive you wish to erase, it's a bit tricky. I'll cover that at the end. For now, choose a drive. In the example above, there is only one drive, so you would type "1" and hit return. If there were multiple drives, you could choose between them. There is a bug in Autoclave if you type, for example, "1-1" as your disk choice--so only use single digits. (If you're feeling adventurous, you can read these instructions to see how you might be able to speed Autoclave up at this stage. If you're not comfortable with a unix command line, you really ought to skip those instructions, though, and just continue from here.)

4) When you've chosen a drive, Autoclave will ask you how securely you wish to erase it. Notice that all the options are slow. Option 3 is the one you want to use to comply with the Unversity of Washington's computer surplus policy.
[wipe options screenshot]

5) When you've chosen a level at which to erase the drive, Autoclave will ask you one final time for confirmation:
[final confirmation screenshot]

6) When you've confirmed that you do want to erase that drive, this is what you should see:
[progress screenshot]
The percentage done should creep upwards. When it reaches 100%, it will move on to pass 2 of 3, then 3 of 3, and then it will be done.

Multiple Drives
If you have more than one hard drive in the machine to erase, follow these steps for the first drive. Once the first drive is being erased, type alt-F2 (hold down the "alt" key and press the "f2" key). You should be returned to step 2, and you'll have to type "I understand." again. Follow the steps again, but this time choose a different drive than the one you chose the first time. While it's possible to choose the same drive you chose last time, I wouldn't try it. It won't complain about trying to use the same drive twice--it will go ahead and try to do it, which will slow it down incredibly. So don't do that.

If you have yet another drive, hit alt-f3 to get another return to step 2. alt-f4 will get you another, and alt-f5 yet another. If you have more drives than that, let me know, because Autoclave currently only allows up to 5.

To check on the status of drives being erased other than the one currently being displayed, press alt-F1 through alt-F5 to go back and forth beteween screens.

--Josh Larios <jdlarios at cac dot washington dot edu>