Delete all the info on a hard drive?

Discussion in 'Computers & Website Forum' started by computerjunkie, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. computerjunkie

    computerjunkie
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    I have a new computer and have FINALLY gotten everything off my old computer that I think I need/want. I plan on giving the old computer to my church.

    What's the easiest and best way to clean everything off my hard drive? I've deleted most of the programs and personal information I had on there, but I want to make sure everything is gone.

    Thanks
    CJ
     
  2. JamieinNH

    JamieinNH
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    Well there are a couple ways to do this Format or FDISK

    Both options need to be done from DOS, so you will need a floppy disk that you can boot to, most Windows versions will allow you to create a boot disk easy enough.

    From there, you can Format the hard disk, or FDISK.

    Since it's going to the church, and you probably wouldn't be worry about people trying to retrieve the information, I would go with Format.

    After you boot up to the floppy, type Format C: It will ask you if you want to erase everything, and you have to comfirm this.

    This will clean you disk and give you a complete blank slate. It will delete everything on the hard drive, including the Operating System.

    FDISK is a way to completely wipe everything from your hard drive so you can't retrieve any information ever again. After doing an FDISK, you will have to format the disk using the above command.

    FDISK is an extra step you should take if you are giving a computer to GoodWill or someone you don't know. Even though a hard drive has been formated, you can still use tools to retrieve information. Again, since your giving it to the church I wouldn't worry about it.

    One other thing, since your giving it to the church, you could just go through the Add/Remove option under Windows and remove anything that you don't want them to have and leave the OS in tact. I wouldn't do this for many people, but since it's going to the church, I wouldn't think you would have anything to worry about either.

    It all depends on how through you want to be.

    In either case above, you will need to reinstall, or they will have to reinstall the OS and all program files. Remember, both options remove everything from the hard drive.

    Jamie
     
  3. computerjunkie

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    Thanks, Jamie!

    I work at my church and I think this computer is going in the library. It has Win98SE on it, and I know they will install WinXP. It has a 40gig hard drive, so it should be OK for the library. There is some church library software they will install plus install our church database software. It will be connected to our network. It has 256 RAM, and I know they will add RAM up to 512.

    I have already deleted a lot of programs and info, but I still think I would like to use FDISK as one never knows where it might go later in life!

    So, can you be more specific about how to do FDISK...starting with how to create a boot disk? I've never done it, and am not sure how!

    Thanks for your help!
     
  4. JamieinNH

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  5. Pete

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    Eraser 5.7 is free, wipe free space of HD with that before format and everything is REALLY gone [​IMG]

    (I haven't used it's Nuke Disc, so can't recommend trying that part)
     
  6. JamieinNH

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    Nice link Pete! I will have to bookmark that one.

    Jamie
     
  7. computerjunkie

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    Thanks for all the info, guys! Jamie, I read all the stuff on the links you provided. Was about to do FDISK when Pete posted the link to Eraser 5.7.

    I downloaded it to my new comp as I don't have an internet connection on the old one. No floppy drive on the new one, so unzipped it, burned it to a CD, and installed it on the old one. Created a boot disk on the old one, figured out how to change the boot order to boot up from the floppy drive, and now I'm running Boot & Nuke on the old comp. Looks like this could take HOURS? It's on pass 2 of 71...at about an hour per pass...well...you get the idea.

    Great learning experience! Nothing to lose if I mess up the old computer!

    Thanks for all the help with this. Even though the computer is going to my church, I just feel better knowing everything is wiped clean!
     
  8. El_Guero

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    makes want to know what was on that HD ;)
     
  9. computerjunkie

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    LOL!

    Well, guess we'll never know NOW, will we?? :D
     
  10. JamieinNH

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    Hiya,

    I would have guess it would have taken a while. One of the reasons that formatting isn't enough is because formatting doesn't delete your data.

    What it does it remove the first segments of data. Without that, the data can't be "seen" That is where tools comes in handy, you can retrieve the segments and rebuild the data.

    The only thing to stop is is to rewrite each segment with new data. That is what this program is doing more than likely, over writing the data to remove the old data.

    Take care and Good Luck!

    Jamie
     
  11. Pete

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    :eek: To quote Pete "(I haven't used it's Nuke Disc, so can't recommend trying that part)" :eek: [​IMG] Let me know how it goes [​IMG]

    I'm slightly paranoid about security/passwords etc so wipe free space now and then [​IMG]
     
  12. pinoybaptist

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    Whyn't you just go buy a new hard drive and change the old one ?
     
  13. gb93433

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    Be sure to find out if it will do any good to add RAM. Some of the older computers will no do any better with more RAM because the computer will not go any faster with more.

    I had a compuer that would only accept up to 320 RAM. Any more was useless.

    I have Windows XP and use 1 gig of RAM. I have another computer that has 512 and it is much slower.

    If you fdisk or format the hard drive it will get rid of everything.
     
  14. computerjunkie

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    UPDATE!

    I totally nuked the hard drive, including the OS. In the process, however, I omitted what is most likely one of those critically important steps...I didn't create a Win98 boot disk.

    So, now I have a totally clean hard drive and am trying to load Win98. Got as far as "Make sure Win98 Boot Disk is in Drive A...to continue, press ENTER." Don't have the boot disk.

    Any way to recover at this point? Or do I now have a large piece of scrap metal?? :D
     
  15. exscentric

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    Do you have a friend that has a 98 boot disk you could borrow?

    I'd guess I might have one in the garage if you want a copy. (Email me and I will dig around a little :)

    You might try sticking the windows cdrom in and see if it won't boot and install windows. You might need to get into setup and be sure the cdrom drive is okayed to be a boot disk.
     
  16. computerjunkie

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    I'm using the windows cdrom...that's where I got hung up. It works up to the point I have to reboot from the Win98 boot disk, which I don't have.

    I have the DVD/CDrom Drive installation disk. Maybe I should install that and then it would let me boot from the Win98 CD? Just not sure what installation will work and what won't without an OS.

    (I'm in totally new territory here, so excuse any question that may sound silly!)

    I can already tell I'm going to run into another little "snag"...I don't have the product key for my win98 cdrom. :D
     
  17. standingfirminChrist

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    I just put the cd in the drive and tell the bios to boot from cd. Installs with no prob
     
  18. exscentric

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    Look in the book for the computer if you have it and find out what key to press to get into setup. It is usually F8 or F10 or Delete key. When you turn the power on, start tapping the key until a screen comes up allowing you to get into setup. Go to the boot area and make the cdrom drive bootable. You may have to move it up above the hard drive to get it to work, then save and reboot with the windows cdrom in the cd drive.

    however, without the key the point is not all that relavant :-( -- find the key before wasting your time.
     
  19. computerjunkie

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    Thanks! I had changed the bootup to the CD-ROM and that didn't work...didn't know to move it up! I've done that, and now it's formatting drive C! Yea! [​IMG]

    I found an old product key so as soon as it's formatted, I'll try that one and see if it works...assuming it asks for one, which I assume it will... [​IMG]

    Stay tuned...I may get this working yet!
     
  20. standingfirminChrist

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    I found a neat trick years ago when installing a Windows product upgrade on a formatted hard drive. It asked where the original was on hard drive because of it being an upgrade. I didn't have the original, but had bought the upgrade. All you have to do when that happens, is tell the setup that the original is on the cd drive from which you are installing. It fools itself into thinking the upgrade is the original and proceeds with the install!
     

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