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Erase hard drive?


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#1 markg2

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 07:31 AM

We are done with an XP machine and wish to erase the hard drive prior to storage for possible future use or donation.

Is there an easy way to create a CD boot disk that will remove all but the OS and in the absence of that option, remove all?

Mark

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#2 Allan

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 07:44 AM

Remove all but the OS? If everything is on one partition then no - you have to manually delete whatever you want (or use one of the methods in this link to securely delete individual files: http://www.google.com/search?hl=&q=securely+delete+files&sourceid=navclient-ff&rlz=1B3GGGL_enUS369US309&ie=UTF-8&aq=0&oq=securely+delete). If you have multiple partitions / drives you can format the non-system partitions (or you can use a 3rd party app to securely delete highly sensitive data if you feel the need (http://cmrr.ucsd.edu/people/Hughes/SecureErase.shtml). You can use the same or a similar utility to delete the system partition as well if you so choose.

#3 markg2

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 07:54 AM

I'm just curious why a bootable CD couldn't put enough of the OS in memory to minimally run the computer while erasing all of the stuff on the hard drive? Is there an easy answer?

Mark

#4 AustrAlien

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 08:16 AM

Certainly you can wipe the whole hard drive clean using a bootable CD: I include instructions to do so using dban.

Download dban (Darik's Boot and Nuke):

"Darik's Boot and Nuke ("DBAN") is a self-contained boot disk that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers. DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction."

If you do not already have a suitable burning program for writing .ISO images to disk ...
Download and install ImgBurn (be sure to un-check the box agreeing to install the Ask toolbar): Choose "Write image file to disc". The CD will be bootable.

Boot from the CD, and with ONLY the one hard drive connected to the system ...
This will completely wipe ALL drives connected to the system!
Type autonuke at the prompt and press the <ENTER> key.
Allow to complete.
Be patient: It may take some considerable time, depending on the size of the HDD.

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#5 Allan

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 08:18 AM

I'm just curious why a bootable CD couldn't put enough of the OS in memory to minimally run the computer while erasing all of the stuff on the hard drive? Is there an easy answer?

Mark


I don't understand the question. Are you asking why the OS can't be "saved" while formatting the rest of the drive? If that's your question, it simply doesn't work that way.

#6 markg2

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 09:05 AM

Thanks for the heads up on the two files. If I run into a question I may be back.

Mark




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