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How to clean a donated XP PC?


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#16 hamluis

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 10:54 AM

...what Brian said.  I thought the same thing after reading the initial post by the OP.

 

A system with XP installed... is a prettty poor "gift" of any type in today's world.  The O/S is unsupported, there are security flaws inherent in running a system that has not seen regular critical updates from MS in years...and the browser is persona non grata at most websites.

 

Louis


Edited by hamluis, 28 September 2017 - 10:55 AM.


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#17 Cynthia Moore

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 11:03 AM

...what Brian said.  I thought the same thing after reading the initial post by the OP.

 

A system with XP installed... is a prettty poor "gift" of any type in today's world.  The O/S is unsupported, there are security flaws inherent in running a system that has not seen regular critical updates from MS in years...and the browser is persona non grata at most websites.

 

Louis

If I completely wipe the hard disk it will not have XP or anything else installed. No?


Running Win XP with Office 2007


#18 JohnC_21

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 12:11 PM

Download this iso of Partition Wizard bootable. Burn the iso on any Windows 7 or later computer by right clicking and selecting Burn Disk Image. Boot and select Wipe Disk. Use the DOD 7 pass even though on modern drives one pass is sufficient.

 

https://www.partitionwizard.com/help/wipe-disk.html



#19 Cynthia Moore

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 11:27 PM

Download this iso of Partition Wizard bootable. Burn the iso on any Windows 7 or later computer by right clicking and selecting Burn Disk Image. Boot and select Wipe Disk. Use the DOD 7 pass even though on modern drives one pass is sufficient.

 

https://www.partitionwizard.com/help/wipe-disk.html

 

These are Win XP, not Win 7, machines.


Running Win XP with Office 2007


#20 Platypus

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 12:24 AM

It makes no difference what OS is on the systems that are going to have the hard drives wiped.

The instruction to use Windows 7 or later to create the bootable wiping disk is because Windows 7 and later can directly burn the .ISO image to the disk. You might not be able to do it using one of the XP computers before it gets wiped.

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#21 Cynthia Moore

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 12:43 AM

It makes no difference what OS is on the systems that are going to have the hard drives wiped.

The instruction to use Windows 7 or later to create the bootable wiping disk is because Windows 7 and later can directly burn the .ISO image to the disk. You might not be able to do it using one of the XP computers before it gets wiped.

 

I don't have a Win 7 machine. I am currently stuck on Win XP myself untiI can replace a mission-critical piece of software that cannot run on Win 10. Perhaps this is the cause of the confusion (at least mine). I have updated my signature to reflect this.

 

I just finished downloading the Win XP .iso file suggested by JohnC in post #3. He suggests that I can use it to reinstall a clean XP OS. I am hoping that I can find a utility, like Active@KillDisk, that will completely erase the hard disk and then I'll re-install the .iso file from a thumb drive.

 

Is that a good plan?


Running Win XP with Office 2007


#22 Platypus

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 01:06 AM

If the school is planning to use the PCs for parts or to experiment with Linux, I think your plan from post #15 would still be best and the least trouble - just wipe all data off the drives and pass the computers on with empty drives. They can then do as they wish and you will have fulfilled your obligation to remove the previous owner's data. An XP computer may not be able to boot from a thumb drive, many can but not all. There are extra steps to making the .ISO bootable from thumb drive compared to from an optical disc.

If your XP computer has burning software like Nero on it, or even a free burning program, that could be used to make a drive wiping CD. An alternative approach if you don't mind removing hard drives, is to put the drives you want to wipe either into your own computer as a second drive if it's not a laptop, or into a USB drive adapter, and wipe the drives with a wiping program installed on your own system.

Also, occasionally, if you go into the BIOS setup screen on the system you want to wipe, some have a section where you can choose to erase or zero-fill the hard drive directly from the BIOS. That would be quite adequate to prevent any of the data from being recovered from the drive, but would not comply if the owner or the school asked for something like DOD 7-pass erasure. (Overkill as JohnC_21 has said.)

Edited by Platypus, 29 September 2017 - 01:08 AM.

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#23 Cynthia Moore

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 02:05 AM

The below steps may not delete all data. Some settings could  still reside in the Administrator's registry account. The only sure way is to do a factory reset.

 

Create a new admin account with no password then login and delete all other user accounts in Control Panel.

Use TFC and CCleaner to delete any additional temp files.

Delete the Page File and disable System Restore.

Use CCleaner to wipe the free space of the hard drive with a 3 pass wipe. Erasing method is under options > settings. The dropdown box will give you the 3 pass option. Also check Wipe Data Streams, Cluster Tips, and MFT. Wiping disks is under the Tools option. Be sure to select Free Space and not Disk

 

The Dell allows a factory reset, if the recovery partition is intact, by pressing Ctrl + F11 at boot then releasing both keys. This would essentially wipe the drive and set it back to date of first purchase. 

 

http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/desktop/f/3514/t/19180386

 

I am not sure if the Samsung allows a factory reset.

 

If you are up to it you could reinstall XP using the iso in this post. First link.

 

OK. I started with the Dell,because it is set to English. The other one is set to Chinese, probably Mandarin.

 

I created a new admin account and let it complete the configuration. That took several minutes.

 

I found two accounts. The first one took almost 10 minutes to complete the delete. The second took just a few seconds.

 

Now I am not sure what to do next. If the factory reset works, do I also need to do the TFC, CCleaner, and other steps above?


Running Win XP with Office 2007


#24 JohnC_21

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 07:35 AM

I would still use CCleaner after the factory reset to wipe all free disk space. TFC wouldn't be necessary. If the school is going to remove XP I would still wipe the disk. You can use isoburner on XP to create the bootable Partition Wizard CD.

 

http://www.freeisoburner.com/



#25 britechguy

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 09:43 AM

I will ask, again:  Have you bothered to check whether the intended recipient will even accept these machines?

 

All of this is for naught if they will not.

 

Virtually no one wants or will accept WinXP era machines with WinXP on them in any academic setting anymore.

 

The easiest way to clean up any Windows machine (of any Windows version) for donation is:

 

1.  Create a new account with administrator privileges.

 

2.  Use that newly created admin account to remove all other accounts on the machine.

 

3.  Download CCleaner and install it.

 

4.  Use CCleaner's Drive Wiper (under the Tools tab) to wipe all free space on the computer with a one-pass or three-pass overwrite generally being more than sufficient unless the previous owner was the DoD.

 

You then have a machine with a fully functional OS, a brand spankin' new administrator ID with only the files and folders that Windows configures, and a hard drive with all unallocated space having been overwritten such that its prior data is not there anymore in a form that can be used.


Edited by britechguy, 29 September 2017 - 09:44 AM.

Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website address in my profile) Windows 10 Home, 64-bit, Version 1709, Build 16299

       

    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
              

 


#26 Platypus

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 10:03 AM

I will ask, again:  Have you bothered to check whether the intended recipient will even accept these machines?



I called the school and they do want the computers


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#27 britechguy

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 10:05 AM

 

I will ask, again:  Have you bothered to check whether the intended recipient will even accept these machines?



I called the school and they do want the computers

 

 

Sorry, I missed that somehow.

 

Then my last set of advice still stands on what to do to clean a machine prior to donation.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website address in my profile) Windows 10 Home, 64-bit, Version 1709, Build 16299

       

    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
              

 


#28 Cynthia Moore

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 09:36 PM

 

 

it would be best to format the hard drives, then re-install xp from an ISO file

Having never heard of an ISO file, I did a search and discovered that it is some sort of system image file, right?

 

It sounds like I need to get a program that will create the ISO file from the XP system on each computer, right?

 

Can someone point me to instructions for doing that and recommend the right program to do it?

 

Thanks

 

 

 

you download the xp ISO file depending on which version of xp was on the computers,

 

then you can create a bootable/install usb drive using a program like Rufus

 

if the same version of xp was on both computers then you can use the same usb drive to install xp on both computers,

 

look at the product code sticker on each computer to find out which version of xp should be installed

 

 

OK, I'm making progress.With some help from LSoft Technologies tech support, I was able to create a bootable USB drive with their Killfile utility. I was then able to boot the donated machine from the USB drive,which started the Killfile utility. It is running now. It's taken 25 minutes to complete 17% of the 7.61GB drive, so it should take about 2.5 hours to finish the Killfile. I'm surprised that it's taking that long.

 

I can post the exact steps I took to get it to work, if that would be of interest to anyone. There were a couple of tricky parts. :-)

 

Anyway, next I would like to install a basic OS from an ISO file.The laptop is a Dell Inspiron 8600. It was running XP, so I assume that's what I should install. It's unlikely to bde able to run Win 7 or later, right?

 

Can you help with the steps I need to take to get that done? Do I just download the ISO file to the USB drive? And then what? Is there some kind of installutility or does the ISO file install itself?

 

Thanks


Running Win XP with Office 2007


#29 JohnC_21

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 08:15 AM

The school should be able to install the linux OS or Windows OS of their preference when the receive the computers. I would contact the schools first to determine if donating the computers with no OS is okay.

 

Depending on the RAM and CPU you can look at linux MINT Xfce.

 

https://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=244

 

For 18.2

System requirements:

  • 1GB RAM (2GB recommended for a comfortable usage).
  • 15GB of disk space (20GB recommended).
  • 1024×768 resolution (on lower resolutions, press ALT to drag windows with the mouse if they don’t fit in the screen).

If you have less ram then go with version 18.1

 

System requirements:

  • 512MB RAM (1GB recommended for a comfortable usage).
  • 9GB of disk space (20GB recommended).
  • 1024×768 resolution (on lower resolutions, press ALT to drag windows with the mouse if they don’t fit in the screen).

https://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=230

 

For creating a bootable USB flash drive use the iso file and Rufus.



#30 Cynthia Moore

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 02:17 PM

The Killfile bootable USB drive worked great on one of the donated PC.That one is a Dell Inspiron 8600 running XP.

 

The other one is a Samsung X11 running XP Home and it is in Mandarin. I cannot get it to boot from the bootable USB drive. I do exactly what I did with the Dell. I insert the USB Drive, start the PC,go into Setup, move the "Removable Drives" ahead of the HDD in the boot order, and select save and exit. It still boots from the HDD.

 

Can anyone give me any help on how to force it to boot from the USB drive?


Running Win XP with Office 2007





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