Automatically Testing & Formatting Multiple HDDs En Masse

Hi, I read the following posts:
DBAN Wipage of multiple drives
Hard Drive Test/Wipe System
SCSI Batch Testing

I have about a month to set up a system for testing HDDs.
I'm staring down about 2000 IDE and SATA drives per month, and that's just to start.
So I was wondering, would it be possible to test these with a KVM switch controlling 4 motherboards, with 4 drive bays attached to each motherboard?
I'm not exactly sure if this counts as a "system," on this forum, since it doesn't resemble any of the other systems I've seen on here. Still, it is a computer system, albeit a bit Frankensteined up.

That way I could attach 4 drives while the other 12 were running tests and formatting.

If I got into a rhythm, I could test about 2 drives a minute, I think. I might even have time for school!

Can you guys recommend any good motherboards or drive slots for this?
I'm looking at the following right now :

Maybe I'm digging my own grave here, but I think there's hope for something like this to work.
Tom's Hardware Forum seemed like the right place to post about it.

For my little 1-at-a-time system I've been scripting smartctl, dd and fdisk to wipe and format the disks, but if anyone can suggest some better linux software for erasure/auto-formatting, do enlighten the blind. I'm told that DBAN is OK, but could that be made to auto-format the drives as well?
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More about automatically testing formatting multiple hdds masse
  1. Maybe this kind of system is too complex for the tomshardware homebuilt system forum. I'll post it in the hard drives and storage section instead.
  2. Quote:
    Maybe this kind of system is too complex for the tomshardware homebuilt system forum. I'll post it in the hard drives and storage section instead.

    It's not that it's not too complex. The question of whether or not you could achieve a system with that kind of technology with what's out there is what I am pondering. There's cases out there like the Corsair Obsidian 850D and Cooler Master Storm Trooper that allow for hot swapping SSDs and HDs so maybe start there.

    The Obsidian 850D allows you to hot swap up to four HDs at once and has internal room for up to 10 - this would probably be the best place to start.

    If your budget is maybe try something like this:

    Case: Corsair Obsidian 850D - $279.99
    PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 950W - $149.99
    Motherboard: Asus P8B - $219.99
    CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230 - $239.99
    Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $34.99
    RAM: Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) ECC Unbuffered Server Memory - $69.99
    SSD: 64GB Samsung 830 - $119.99
    HD: Seagate Barracuda ST 1TB - $129.99
    Optical: Lite On DVD Burner - $21.99
    Video Card: ATI Fire Pro V5800 - $359.99
    OS: Windows 7 Pro - $139.99

    Total: $1,774.89
  3. I can get hot-swappable drive bays for about $60 each.
    Since I plan on leaving the motherboards bare and managing these systems straight from the shell, I don't think there is any outright need for cases. Still, they could be convenient.

    I had a look at the obsidian 850D, though. 5 drive bays on the front is a nice little feature. Could I perhaps install
    Since all I really need are the motherboards and drive bays, a case is probably not really all that necessary. If there are hot-swappable 5-bay drive racks out there, they would serve better than my current plan of simply screwing 5 drive bays on top of each other to a baker's rack.
    On the whole, at this point, for convenient access to the hardware, I was looking at an open air case:

    I noticed that the 850D had the following description: "Boasting four 3.5" SATA hot-swap drive bays, and five 5.25" external drive bays as well as two 3.5" internal drive bays, the Corsair Obsidian Series 800D provides supreme expandability. "
    Could I just stick five of the following drive bays into the 5.25" slots?

    As to the budget, if I could spend $1.5k, I would just get a powervault md1000 and call it a day.
    I'll probably do that if I end up doing the first few batches of drives successfully, but at this point there are too many unknowns to dish out more than $1k.

    The goal here is simply to quickly plug-in 4-8 drives per motherboard, have them somehow automatically tested, dd-ed, and formatted before removal, with a minimum of fuss.

    Thanks for replying so quickly.
  4. Well, I think in the interest of speed and convenience, I will be going with the $250 case. Can you recommend a motherboard with lots of SATA ports that's a little cheaper?
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