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Harddrive "wiping"

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#1 Alecks Little

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 05:17 PM

Here's the story:

I had a computer with Windows 2000 on it, when the internet stopped working. I checked the settings- ipconfig spat back /renew says "Unsuccesful. Access is denied." I checked the settings and is blasting aways packets- almost 1000 per second, but its not recieving anything. I did a HijackThis, posted the log, it was clean. WinPFind didn't find anything either. Ran my virus scanner in both in normal boot and safe mode. It found somethings, and I deleted them. I then rebooted and reran everything- all clean. So its not a virus/trojan anymore, something's failed, the settings are messed up on either the computer or the switch- i checked the physical connections.

So I figured my OS was due for an upgrade anyways, so I installed XP on it, figuring it would fix the problem. I also thought it would delete alot of the files, but it didnt.

My HD doesn't have very much good stuff on it anyways. So I decided that I need (and want) to completely wipe my harddrive (get rid of all of the files) and install Windows XP on it. It currently has XP on it. How do I do this? I try reinstalling XP and deleting the partition but Setup says "unable to complete operation. (deleting the partition)" Any help would be appreciated! (Note- I have the XP disc, but it isn't bootable. I also have a Win2k disc).

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#2 Saxif


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Posted 28 November 2005 - 05:44 PM

Get some glass cleaner and a big handful of paper towels, then open your computer and... no, no, sorry, I was thinking of something else...

"Wiping" just means to reformat your drive. Your OS installation CDs should present you with the option of reformatting the drive (not just deleting the partition). It doesn't matter if you use the Win2k or XP CDs, as long as they boot (every install disc I've ever had was bootable, even OEM versions). Reformat the drive in NTFS, set up any partitions you need and then install your OS.

Make sure you install a firewall of some sort and your anti-virus software before you reconnect to the net for OS updates though. I opened internet access on a brand new machine once and had multiple viruses on it within five minutes just from doing a single Google search.

#3 Alecks Little

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 07:30 PM

In My Computer the C: Drive has a right-click function where it can be formatted. Would that do the same thing?

#4 Rimmer


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Posted 28 November 2005 - 08:14 PM

There are a number of ways to do this, but you should check your CDROM/DVD drive is working correctly before you start. Can you read data from a CD OK?

Note- I have the XP disc, but it isn't bootable.

It should be bootable. Is it just your PC is not set to boot from CDROM first in the BIOS? Enter the BIOS, usually by pressing the 'Del' key at bootup, and check the Boot Device priority entries.

Check your hard drive health by using the disk error checker:
Schedule an Error Check (Scandisk).
How to find scandisk: Start>My Computer. Right click the C: drive then Properties>Tools tab, click on Check Now. In the window that opens tick 'Automatically fix file system errors' and 'Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors'. When you click 'Start' Windows will say the error checker cannot run now and do you want it to run at the next boot? Click 'yes' and then reboot.

Once you know your Hard Drive and CDROM are OK you can proceed to format the hard drive. You can do this using DOS type commands when booted in Safe Mode Command Prompt only or you can download utilities from your hard drive manufacturer to perform a low-level format or you can use a free Drive Utility called Digital Dolly which runs from a bootable CD.

Leurgy's compendium of Hard Drive diagnostics:

Digital Dolly download

I'd recommend a low-level format if you suspect virus activity.
hth :thumbsup:

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#5 acklan


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Posted 29 November 2005 - 01:29 AM

Your Windows XP, is it and upgrade, OEM, or Full verison. If it is an upgade it was ment to be installed over another verison of windows. You may have to reinstall W2k then install XP upgrade.
If you have the full or OEM verison it should install "stand alone", not needing the previous OS (W2k).
You should not need to delete the partiton. XP should allow you to install after it formats your drive. Formatting is a process in which the drive is organized by tracks and sector so that the operating system can be installed. The partition is the place on the drive in which the tracks and sector are placed. A hard drive can have several partition, and each partition can be of different types. The partition types you will be offered by XP will be FAT32 and NTSF. I recommend NTSF.
Wiping a drive is a process were 0 are written to every place on the drive. This attemps to destroy the data that resided on the hard drive before. There are three common "wipe" methods. The "Quick" with makes one pass writting 0's. The "DoD" which makes 7 pass'. The "Gutman" makes 38 pass' and is for the average user overkill to the extreme.
Try to reinstall XP without deleting the partition, even if you have to keep a FAT32 partition table. See if it will format and begin installing. If you want to delete the partition we will work on that later.
Good luck.
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