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Data wipe and re-installation of Windows from disk


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#1 Shoban Sen

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 11:56 AM

I am not sure if this is the right forum for this question. I am buying a new computer running Windows8. I need to dispose off my old laptop and old desktop both running WindowsXP. Since I have very important personal info in both the old computers, I want to completely destroy all data (wipe the hard drive) before I dispose them off for the peace of my mind. I know clean installation of Windows automatically formats the hard drive, but I want more safety so that even a professional bad guy cannot recover any info from my computers.

 

I have two questions in this regard. Which free software do you recommend for this purpose which is not only totally reliable but also relatively easy to use? I would say I have medium knowledge about computers. I cannot handle software that are too technically demanding for use. Secondly, it would be helpful if you can outline the exact steps for using this software. I have never done this kind of work before. After downloading the software, do I have to install it first? When I have saved my data or transferred my data to the new computer, can I use the data erasing software straight away or do I need any other preparation? How long does it normally take to wipe a medium size drive (280 GB)? And lastly, can I re-install Windows XP after the hard drive is wiped clean (I have the necessary keys). Without the operating system installed, nobody will have any use of the old computers, right? What do people usually do when disposing off (selling or donating) their old computers?

 

Thank you for your help.


~Shoban Sen~
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#2 buddy215

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 01:43 PM

You can transfer files from the old comps to the new by one of the methods mentioned in link below.

Transfer files and settings from another PC - Microsoft Windows Help

 

I suggest that you either remove the drives from the old computers and use them for backup/ external storage or do a clean 

install of XP on both and then use Ccleaner to wipe the free spaces.

Piriform - Can data cleaned by CCleaner be recovered?

 

How long it will take to overwrite will likely be an hour to several hours depending on hdd size and number of times you overwrite.

 

If you live in the states then you can use Craig's List to sell the computers. You can get an idea of what you might be able to sell

them for by viewing the ones listed there.


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#3 synergy513

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 03:21 PM

the only sure-fire way to wipe an old drive is with a drill, 12mm bit and several holes completely through.

 

       re-installing windows is a little complicated with the licensing requirements and all. most veteran users refuse to sell their old PCs with a OS hard drive installed, or a singular hard drive period if it is OS enabled. then there is always trusty linux mint 16, its licensing is good either way.


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#4 Kilroy

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 02:54 PM

For the data wipe use Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN).  DBAN will totally wipe the disk so that data recovery would prove to be too expensive for an individual.  DBAN is easy to use, download the ISO and burn to CD.  Boot with the CD and type AUTONUKE when prompted.

 

After you have wiped the drive you can reinstall Windows XP.  Using a manufacturer's recovery disk would be the preferred method.  The real problem is that Windows XP is end of life April 2014.  Using XP after it goes end of life is just asking for trouble, especially if you are connecting to the Internet with it.



#5 Shoban Sen

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 02:26 PM

@ RKilroy: I read about Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN) and was thinking of using it. It looks like your thinking and my thinking are very similar. I do have some follow up questions for you. 1. After copying the files and folders that I want to transfer to my new computer to an external hard drive, can I just use DBAN to wipe my hard drive clean? 2. What exactly is ISO? 3. Can I choose to have DBAN make more than one pass? 4. Does DBAN show any kind report/certificate showing everything has been wiped clean after it does its work?  5. I hope once I make the DBAN CD, I can use it to destroy data in both my computers? (I am getting rid of 2 computers running XP). 6. I know Microsoft is getting rid of XP in April 2014. That is why I am buying a new computer  running Windows 8. My question is how can I recover SOME MONEY from my old machines? If no buyer is be found, there is no need for me to re-install Windows XP (I do have recovery disks along with the needed keys). I am even willing to donate the machines to a needy student or school....better than throwing in the trash! Any advice in this regard will be highly appreciated!  :)


~Shoban Sen~
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#6 Kilroy

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 04:46 PM

1. Yes, but be double sure that you have everything you want off of the drive.  After you use DBAN it isn't coming back.

 

2.  An ISO is basically an image file.  You should be able to burn it to a CD with your CD Burning software on your machine.

 

3.  I believe the Autonuke of DBAN does three passes, but yes you can do more.

 

4.  I believe it just shows that it has done.  I haven't had a need to wipe a drive in a while.

 

5.  Yes, you can use DBAN multiple times.  You can also do multiple drives at once.  I had a machine that I was using to wipe drives four at a time.

 

6.  Forget about getting money for your machines.  I've used Freecycle in the past to get rid of old stuff.  My problem has always been that there isn't anything wrong with my stuff, it is just old.



#7 rotor123

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 03:16 PM

For what it is worth I have seen Commercial leasing companies use DBAN on computers that came off lease before selling them with a blank hard drive. I know this simply because Where I worked they would buy lots of 20 to 25 off lease computers and every now and then I would find the DBAN CD in the drive where they forgot to remove it. They were marked and sold as Secure wiped.

 

We did some Portable DVD player refurbishment too. You would be amazed how many had DVDs in their drives. Unfortunately we had no way to find out who they used to belong to.

 

Be kind to the buyers and include the Disks that came with the computers.

 

Good Luck

Roger


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