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wiping hard drive


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#1 jjross

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 06:15 AM

Hello All, I am new to the board and my name is Judy. I became "computer literate" about 6 years ago but feel I am still in "grammar school" I have an old Gateway computer that I now practice on and do thing to I wouldn't do to my new Sony. I would like to wipe the hard drive of this old computer which runs Windows 98. I would then restore the programs again just for "fun". I have heard it is easy if you know what you are doing. Can anyone give me any tips?

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#2 stidyup

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 07:10 AM

If you want to completely wipe the hdd ie a full zero format as opposed to a normal format by fdisk, download the UltimateBootCD this has several free tools that will completely wipe the the hdd for, it also contains many other useful tools that no one should be without.

Although if you have a win98 startup disk, format C: will erase all the information allowing you to reinstall everything from scratch.

#3 Rimmer

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 08:50 AM

Hi Judy,
No great mysteries involved, there are three levels of formatting possible, only two of which are relevant.
The three levels are:
1. Low level format.
2. Set up Partitions.
3. Format partitions.

Low level format:
Is (was) a function of the BIOS which caused the hard drive to re-write cylinder and sector information. Mainly used if there was some hardware problem with the drive and no longer relevant.

Partition and Format:
Before you format you have to have some bootable media - a floppy disk or a CDROM - with appropriate utilities included. The most common is a Windows boot disk which uses MSDOS commands.
With all information to be preserved backed up from the hard drive, you boot the PC from the floppy drive (or CDROM) and, if booting from a floppy, arrive at an A:\ prompt.
Here you type FDISK which is a primitive partition manager that will show you the partitions set up on the hard drive. If you only have one hard drive, and only one partition, you can skip this step. If you want to split your hard drive into C: and D: etc partitions, or if you want to change the filesystem from FAT16 to FAT32, then this is what you use. You can delete the hard drive partitions which will effectively make it 'blank'. You must define at least one active partition with FDISK to become your C: drive. Then exit FDISK and reboot.
Having rebooted from your floppy you can now format the partition(s) you created above. To format the first partition, type FORMAT C:. This makes the partition ready to accept files, including the operating system files.
Now you are ready to boot from the Windows CD, or for Win 98, boot from the floppy with CDROM support, and run the Windows Setup program to reinstall Windows.
when you reboot you will have basic Windows back on your machine (probably with internet explorer 3.0!). You need to install the drivers for your motherboard, video card and sound card and for any other devices connected to your system at this stage, then you will need to install all other applications, anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall required, then you need to set up your dial-up networking properties and go online to run Windows Update and Anti-virus updates.
This is assuming you want your PC returned to usable real-world condition.
And that's it.
Simple really.
(Drive images are a wonderful thing.)

hth
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#4 Herk

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 10:20 AM

And now for the simple answer:

Make a startup disk. Go to Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel.

Insert a blank, formatted floppy disk.

Go to the last tab - "Startup Disk" and click "create disk."

When that's finished, you have a floppy that will start your computer in DOS.

You will need:

A Windows 98 install disk

Your license number, which can be obtained using a keyfinder if you don't know what it is

Drivers for your hardware and whatever software you wish to install, including license keys.

Put your Windows disk in the CD-Rom. Put your floppy in the A: drive.

Shut off your computer. Restart, and the computer should start with the floppy.

You will get a DOS prompt, which looks like A:\>

Type format c:

You will be instructed that all files will be deleted. Press Y.

When the format is complete, you will be returned to the prompt.

Type setup and the letter of your CD-Rom - such as

setup d:

The Windows install will start. Follow instructions and insert your key when ready.

Windows will probably find most of your drivers. When the installation is finished, open your system properties by pressing both the Windows key and the Pause/Break key. Check your Device Manager for any yellow exclamation points or question marks on any of the devices. It is possible that you will have to download a driver for any of the ones that aren't working properly.

Install printers, scanners, and so on.

At this point, before you go on the internet, you need to have an antivirus and firewall installed. If you have programs you've been using install them. If you have a burner on your newer computer, you can download the install file for an antivirus like AVG and a firewall like Zone Alarm.

Then get all the Windows Critical Updates. Install all your other programs. Add spyware programs like Spybot Search and Destroy and Ad-Aware.

The less you load the machine with, the faster it will run.

Have fun and good luck.

#5 jjross

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 11:35 AM

Thanks everybody. I don't quite understand it all but will try it as this is just a computer I am practicing on. I found an old Norton CD that has an erase function on it althought this computer has McAffe on it I was thinking of trying that as it would have prompts etc

#6 Leurgy

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 05:46 PM

If you want to do this properly you first need to do an inventory of the hardware on your computer to gather the drivers you will need after you reinstall Windows.

Do you have any CD's that came with the computer? If so those may contain your drivers. If not, make a list of the items that appear in Control Panel>System.

When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail. Abraham Maslo

**** We use our powers for good, not evil ****

 Trying to remove your data from the web is like trying to remove pee from a swimming pool


#7 jjross

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 05:59 PM

I have everything that came with the computer in 1999 and actually did have to install some drivers once. Actually just now I tried the Norton wipe and it did NOTHING. So I will try to follow the steps some of the people have described. I guess I thought this might work because I seem to have talked to people who were just able to wipe with an easy program or something.

#8 Leurgy

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 06:55 PM

Its very easy to wipe. Just make a boot disk with the 98 machine. You can do that in Start>Settings>Control Panel>Add/Remove Programs>Startup Disk>Create Disk. Then boot the computer with it (You may need to go into the Bios to set the first boot device to A:). Start the computer without CD Support when asked and when you get to A:\> type in:

Format C: /u

When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail. Abraham Maslo

**** We use our powers for good, not evil ****

 Trying to remove your data from the web is like trying to remove pee from a swimming pool





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