At my place of employment we need to get erase around 50 hard drives so that we can sell the pcs since they are too old for us to use. Is there any way we can erase all the hard drives at once or do we just have to do them individually?
There probably is a way to do it if the computers network cards support pxe booting but it would likely take some rigging. In the end you have to ask yourself, spend a long time figuring out how to do it all at once or spend the same amount of time just doing it individually and getting it over with.
If your company has very sensitive stuff on those hard drives then destroying them would be a much better way to go. Just formatting a drive will not remove its data, it is always possible to get something off depending on how much time and effort someone is willing to put into it.
Pulling the hard drives out to be destoryed is very labor intensive but the most effective way. Otherwise you could probably just get a really big magnet and put it upto the case around where the hard drive is. That would make mincemeat of that drive though it may take out other things with it...
I agree with Folken, You are better off removing the HD and destroying them. I don't think the big magnets work very well on these modern HD.
There are several free programs for wiping HD. If the computers have a floppy or CD you could make a bootable disk to erase the HD, that way you want have to open the cases. These programs take a long time to run depending on the size HD.