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How To Delete Your Content On A Dedicated Server

There are few options for deleting your dedicated server. You can delete the dedicated server itself, or you can securely wipe the content before the dedicated server is deleted. These methods ensure that your content is not recoverable even after deleting the dedicated server.

If you want to delete your dedicated server, you will need to contact our billing team to cancel the service. If you want to securely delete your content before deleting the dedicated server, follow the steps below.

How To Securely Delete Your Content 

We will provide  two different methods of erasing your data.  

  1. Write Zeros (Quickest) 

  2. Write Random Characters (Longest) 

For reference, we ran a test on a SSD VPS1GB which includes 25GBs of storage.  

  • Writing zeros wiped 25GBs of data in 5 minutes. 

  • Writing random characters wiped 25GBs of data in 1.5 hours.  

Keep in mind that this was on an SSD VPS. If you want to complete this same task on a dedicated server, it will take longer due to the differences in storage devices.  

To accomplish the deletion, you will need to boot the dedicated server into recovery mode. Please contact support to have us boot your server into a CentOS Recovery. If you have access to IPMI you are welcome to do this from your end. If you need assistance connecting to IPMI, please follow the directions found in this article.   

Note that this step is optional. If you would like to see a progress bar or something to reference how much of the disk has been erased, you can install PV (Pipe Viewer). Tinstall PV, run the command below. 

rpm -i

After PV is installed, you will need to find the name of your disks. To find the name of your disks, run the command below: 


 This will output a list of drives and partitions. The drive you are looking for will look like this: 

vda    253:0   0    25G  0  disk

Write Zeros:  

This first method will show you how to write zeros to all of your content. This is a secure method, but not the most secure. If you want to make sure your content is gone, you will want to use the random write method below.  

If you chose not to install PV, please run the command below: 

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/%hd% bs=1M 

Replace %hd% with the name of the partition or drive. In the example above it would be vda.   

This first method will not show progress if you aren't using PV. You will have to wait for the command to finish running, which can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. The time spent running the command is based on the size of your drive.  

If you installed PV, use the command below:  

dd if=/dev/zero | pv | dd of=/dev/%hd% bs=1M 

Replace %hd% with the name of your drive.  

Write Random Characters:  

This deletion method is the same as the process above. The only difference is we will change /dev/zero to /dev/urandom. 

If you chose not to install PV, please use the command below: 

dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/%hd% bs=1M 

If you installed PV, use this command: 

dd if=/dev/zero | pv | dd of=/dev/%hd% bs=1M 

After running the command with PV, you will see an output of how much data has been written over with zeros or random data and how much time has elapsed.

Once complete, you can now contact our billing team to cancel your dedicated server.

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