Blow away entire hard drive,remove everything with Terminal(cmdline)

Problem computer is upsetting me. The hard drive is just full of unused, messed up partitions,a failed install of some sort + some other stuff i would bet. 5 disk identifiers alone don't appear to be for anything........ OSX won't install, doesn't even see the drive. Graphical diskutility isn't really floating my boat as usual. I can't eject the install DVD, so can't use Linux i know and trust.

from what i can see, bunch of tiny partitions that don't do anything. not sure what was done to this hard drive and don't want to delve into bunch of specifics that would only be more for everyone to read and shouldn't matter once i know the answer to my question.

I would just like to know what i can do in terminal (OSX snow leopard boot CD) to just blow away everything, every single partition and the MBR and it's mom, just flatten the entire thing so I can get on with doing a fresh format and install. Familiar with bash, just not all that familiar with OSX's diskutil commands and options.

you know i could stick and apple spudger in there and get that snow leopard DVD out, should be able to use a linux tool I know...... but would like to know the few short commands in terminal that could make this an easy fix (just wait until it does a low level zero of the entire drive and go do something else while i wait).

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Type the command drutil list into the Terminal and press return . This will provide a list of all currently connected removable devices. [ScreenShot 1-DiskEject] -- connect FireWire/USB drives for this

Use the command drutil tray eject 1

In the above command, the number "1" should be replaced with whatever drive number you obtained in the first step.

I'd put the funky drive in an external enclosure to mess with it.

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Thanx for the info, I don't really have anything firewire bootable right now, if I could get it to boot my USB linux flash drive it would be fine.... I could make a bootable OSX USB but the same effort could be made to just remove the hard drive and success is guaranteed with that method. It has a Seagate ST9500420ASG and some people have complained about it with macs. I had thought i might have to remove the hard drive which isn't that big a deal I guess, the LCD hinges and clutch hinges are extremely loose and i have to fix that anyway + this hard drive might need an RMA, OSX can't repair any existing partitions, just errors (its a little beat up this machine).....just thought OSX install DVD should have a command line option to wipe the hard drive without removing it..... stopping the optical drive from spinning to force the eject on startup isn't working either, or i could try a bootable CD Linux tool solution.


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i tried it on two other computers with 3 different OS, it even locked up a linux disto, i assume at this point the hard drive is bad, as i put it back in the macbook none of the changes (it appeared that i had deleted it at one point) had actually been made.

It appears with the same partition name as before i started, with OSX disk utility giving invalid node structure, invalid b tree node size, the volume could not be repaired restore and backup files.

"disk utility can't repair this disk, backup as many of your files as possible and reformat the disk and restore your backed-up files."

SMART status is ok, so i didn't think of it, but it would seem this hard drive is just bad.

I didn't order it, so after calling and emailing I found out the worst part: this hard drive is a system integrator version (a drive meant for a large system builder like dell) Which means I can't RMA it as the retailer that sold it is responsible. Of course the seller only offers 1 year. So now i have a drive that is not under warranty, just under 2 years old, summer of 2009.

Anyone else reading this stay away from unknown, or smaller sellers on the net offering a slightly better deal then the big boys. (there is a reason their drives are cheaper, NO WARRANTY from the manufacturer ! )

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Brian will be eternally grateful.
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