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Best Way To Totally Wipe Hard Drive Clean?


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#1 bloomcounty

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 01:43 PM

I'm going to be getting a replacement laptop soon for my current one (which I'll need to send back), so after I copy over everything to the new laptop (and use the old one to compare settings, etc., to get it all set up the same way), I want to make sure my programs/files/data/etc. on the old one is gone and can not be recovered before I send it back to the manufacturer.

I've got recovery discs that were made when I first got the laptop (before I installed anything). And there's also a D: partition on the hard drive for recovery purposes (I guess?).

1. So should I use one of those two things to restore the computer back to it's original state before sending it back?

2. If so, which one?

3. How do I do it?

4. And will that make it so any programs/files/etc. I had on the computer can not be recovered in any way?

Thanks! :thumbsup:
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#2 Ryan 3000

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 02:03 PM

I think you can just press delete and empty the 30GB recycle bin. That will make it hard to recover except by professionals I THINK. I don't think anyone will care about what is on a returned laptop.
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#3 oldf@rt

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 02:07 PM

Get the Ultimate Boot CD. On this there is a program called DBAN (Derek's Boot and Nuke) The can wipe a disk so thoroughly that forensic data recovery will have problems.
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#4 bloomcounty

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 02:20 PM

Hmmm... I'm not looking to install any new software, if avoidable. And I'd rather not have to go through and uninstall every program manually...

What about using the recovery discs or the D: Partition to restore the computer back to its original state? Wouldn't that wipe out anything I've put on there since I got it? Or could it still be recovered?

Or should I maybe just format the hard drive first, then use the recovery discs?

If anyone knows if any of that would work, please let me know the best way (how to) do it too. Thanks!

Edited by bloomcounty, 24 July 2007 - 02:21 PM.

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#5 oldf@rt

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 02:28 PM

When a drive is formatted, the partition tables are just emptied. The data is still left on that hard drive. the recovery disks just load the original data onto the hdd, overwriting the sectors needed. the rest of the data is still there.

The ultimate boot cd is burnt from an iso image, so nothing is installed on the drive.
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#6 bloomcounty

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 02:49 PM

When a drive is formatted, the partition tables are just emptied. The data is still left on that hard drive. the recovery disks just load the original data onto the hdd, overwriting the sectors needed. the rest of the data is still there.


I thought the recovery discs restored the computer to the state at which it was in when the discs were made (which was right out of the box)? That's not true? And formatting a hard drive doesn't blank it out? Huh...

So what's the difference between the link you provided and this link?
http://dban.sourceforge.net/

Which would be better to get?

And how do I get it and what do I do? I don't really see any clear instructions anywhere... There's a faq there and a readme file, but none of them really tell you what to do to actually blank the hard drive...?

For Ultimate Boot CD, I found this tutorial for burning it to cd:
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/roxio7.html

So, you burn the cd, then you restart your computer (I've got a laptop) and it should boot from this disc instead and then you should get this text screen: http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/index.html
Is that correct?

But then what? How do you get to the DBAN program? And then what do you do?

Also, after the drive is wiped, would I *then* use the recovery discs to reinstall Windows XP, etc., making the computer back to its original state? (Though I probably don't need to do that if I'm returning it as defective, eh?)

Edited by bloomcounty, 24 July 2007 - 03:00 PM.

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#7 oldf@rt

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 03:14 PM

The cd works like an old dos based menu, dban is under hard drive tools. You can download the one from sourceforge.net in the cd format, then the cd only has DBAN on it, once you have wiped the drive, the recovery disks will reload all the original software, or you can just leave the drive blank, as you are getting rid of the laptop.
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#8 bloomcounty

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 03:34 PM

The cd works like an old dos based menu, dban is under hard drive tools. You can download the one from sourceforge.net in the cd format, then the cd only has DBAN on it, once you have wiped the drive, the recovery disks will reload all the original software, or you can just leave the drive blank, as you are getting rid of the laptop.


Thanks for the reply. A couple more questions:

1.
Where are the instructions on how to actually use DBAN to wipe the hard drive? (I see screen shots at the sourceforge.net site, but have no idea what they mean...)

2. Will wiping the hard drive with DBAN also wipe the D: partition?

3. Do the recovery discs actually reinstall XP onto the computer as well? (My computer did not come with XP discs, just the D: Partition and the recovery discs I made.) Do they recreate the D: Partition too? (I will verify with the Manager from the manufacturer if it's okay to just send back 100% wiped, and if so, I'll leave it at that... but let me know just in case I need to know...)
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#9 oldf@rt

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 04:28 PM

1. when dban starts just type "autonuke" at the prompt and hit enter.

2. Yes

3. Recovery disks also create the d drive.
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#10 bloomcounty

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 09:26 AM

Thanks for the info!

And, obviously, the hard drive is still "good" after being wiped in the way you say to do it, right? Meaning, the recovery discs could be reloaded onto the wiped hard drive (would it just boot from them if you have it in the drive when you start the computer?) and the computer would be back to its original state?
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#11 oldf@rt

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 01:14 PM

The recovery discs would place the computer back in original factory state.
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#12 bloomcounty

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 01:21 PM

The recovery discs would place the computer back in original factory state.


Gotcha.

Download/burn DBAN to a cd. Run it and type in "autonuke" and just send it back wiped.

How long does it take to wipe a hard drive with "autonuke"? I've got a 100GB drive that's about 1/3 full.

Thanks!

Edited by bloomcounty, 30 July 2007 - 01:23 PM.

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#13 oldf@rt

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 01:55 PM

at least 10 hours plus or minus. it wipes the whole hard drive, not just the data area.
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#14 bloomcounty

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 02:04 PM

at least 10 hours plus or minus. it wipes the whole hard drive, not just the data area.


Wow, that's a long time. Guess it doesn't *really* matter though... But do you think it's worth doing it that way?

The HP Manager person mentioned that you can wipe the data part of the hard drive (or something like that) by using the recovery discs (I think). But I'm guessing that wouldn't really wipe my data from the hard drive. Is that correct?
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#15 oldf@rt

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 02:31 PM

All the hp recovery utility does is a simple quick format it does not wipe the hard drive. any data on the user partition can still be recovered, and I have done it!

Quick format = marking the file tables unused
Full Format=marking the file tables unused and writing 0 to the beginning of each cluster

DBAN Wipe= Writing random numbers to every complete cluster on the hard drive, more than once.
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