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Wiping computer memory


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#1 sherrylynne

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 06:07 PM

How difficult is it to completely wipe a hard drive? A client gave me her old computer with all of the reinstallation cd's. Her request was to have the hard drive wiped of all data, personal and otherwise. Her kids had downloaded a ton of stuff, with the resulting myriad viruses, worms, etc., so rather than deal with it, they just got a new one.
My question is, can I do this myself, or do I need to take it in to have someone else do it for me?
Thanks in advance!

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 07:01 PM

Well...it's the hard drive that you wipe, not the memory. The memory is only temporary storage, while the hard drive is where all files, programs reside until called into the memory for activity.

There are any number of alternatives, IMO.

Although I've never used it, I believe the following is one of the best for such, Darik's Boot And Nuke Hard Drive Disk Wipe and Data Clearing - http://www.dban.org/.

Louis

#3 sherrylynne

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 08:23 PM

Thanks! I'll download it to that computer, and see what happens :thumbsup:

#4 sherrylynne

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 10:09 PM

Silly question, lol. I've downloaded to a disc, but have no idea how to start the disc running on the other computer! I booted the computer with the disc in place, and nothing. How do I get it to run?

#5 dc3

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 10:18 PM

You may need to go into the BIOS and make the CD/DVD the first device in the boot order so that the disk will boot from it rather than the operating system.

If you can tell me what the make and model of your computer I will see if I can find detailed instructions on how to do this.

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#6 sherrylynne

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 07:32 AM

It's a Dell? Sorry, can't find anything else on there. I do know it's Window's xp home edition for the os.

#7 sherrylynne

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 03:40 PM

All I can find is Dell Dimension 8300. Not sure if that's what you need or not?

#8 kisk

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 04:31 PM

For most Dells, the Boot Selection Screen is brought by pressing F12 about once a second when you first start the computer (POST screen).

You can then select to boot from the CD.

Another option is to change the boot order in the BIOS. You can access the BIOS by pressing F2 (again, on most Dells) instead of F12 at the POST screen.

Edited by kisk, 27 August 2010 - 04:33 PM.

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#9 MilesAhead

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 06:12 PM

All I can find is Dell Dimension 8300. Not sure if that's what you need or not?


If you have the PC restore CDs then all you should have to do is boot the restore CD and tell it to reinstall everything as it was when the machine was first purchased. That should wipe the drive well enough.

After the machine boots up, download Malwarebytes anti-malware and run a complete scan. If it comes up clean you should be ok.

Edited by MilesAhead, 27 August 2010 - 06:13 PM.

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#10 dc3

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 07:09 PM

If you have the PC restore CDs then all you should have to do is boot the restore CD and tell it to reinstall everything as it was when the machine was first purchased. That should wipe the drive well enough.


The problem that they are having is booting from the CD. I previously suggested that you may need to change the boot order so that the computer will boot from the CD. That is assuming there weren't any technical glitches with the download of boot and nuke.

As soon as your computer begins to load Windows press and hold the F2 key. This should open the BIOS for you. You will need to navigate with the up and down keys to get where you want to be, and then press Enter to open that section. After you are finished, press the Esc key, click on save changes.

One other question, probably the most important one, do you have the installation CD for the Windows operating system?

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#11 sherrylynne

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 01:15 AM

I will try all that tomorrow when I'm not working! And yes, I have the windows xp home edition installation disc. I think that's what you mean? I have that one, as well as the windows xp professional editon for the one I'm on right now. You think I should load the home edition, or the professional edition once it's wiped?

#12 sherrylynne

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 01:21 AM

Actually, here are the discs I have for it:
SMC1244TX Driver and Documentation cd
Logitech Setpoint 2.31a Microsoft Windows xp
Dell Drivers and Utilities
Dell Application Tools System Software
Operating system reinstallation cd xp home edition
Dell 1703FP Color Monitor User Documentation
CyberLink Power DVD
Sound Blaster
Dell Application for reinstalling Roxio Easy cd creator 5.3.4 SP8 Basic

#13 dc3

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 01:56 AM

It looks like it's going to be XP Home.

When you get ready to wipe the drive and reinstall the operating system, make sure that you have the product code in front of you. If it is on the disk you may want to write it down so that you don't need to take the disk out of the optical drive.

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#14 sherrylynne

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 04:51 PM

No code on the disc, but there is one on the back of the sleeve.
DS/N US05768D-71392-38S-85V0
Does that look about right?

#15 sherrylynne

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 07:16 PM

Ok, I've gone into the "boot device menu", tried switching to "IDE cd-rom device". I just keep getting
"isolunux 4.00 4.00-pre46 etcd copyright © 1994-2010 H Peter Anvin et al reading sectors error(edd)
No default or ui configuration directive found.
I get there from F12
From F2 I go into "set-up", go to Boot sequence, select IDE cd-rom device", saved it, and it still won't boot from the disc

Just to make sure I'm doing this correctly(please remember- computer illiterate here, lol), I'm starting the comp with the disc in place. Do I need to do something different?




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