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Posted on 2003-03-01
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I have an older computer that I want to turn into a game server. All that I want to do is rid the computer of all of it's contents (including win 98) and install Linux. I need to know how to purge the drive of everything its got. (Btw, windows is screwed up and it wont load, which is part of the reason why im doing this). Thanks ahead of time.
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Question by:CrankyCookie
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Expert Comment

by:CmdrThor
ID: 8047888
Your best bet is to use a Windows boot disk (can be made from the windows 98/me add/remove programs section under control panel.)

Start the computer with the boot disk and once it has loaded up use fdisk to delete all the partitions.

Alternatively you could simply start the linux install and when you re-partition the drive (during the installation process) you could remove the partitions then.

Hope this helps.
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Expert Comment

by:jeffryan
ID: 8048010
I believe all Linux install disks will allow you to delete your partitions.  Its part of the beginning of the install process, it will show you the space available on the hard drive, and what type of partition it is.  Just delete all partitions, create a new partition (single or multiple) for your Linux install, and install.

Now if you want to OBLITERATE the information that was on your disk.  This takes a little more effort.  Most harddrive companies have a floppy disk image you can download that will write X's to your harddrive.  This will fill the harddrive up, then remove them.  You would have to do this a few times to minimize any of the data still existing on your harddrive.  This is only needed if you don't want anyone to be able to come back and find the data.  Usually never needed.

cheers.
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Expert Comment

by:motherboard
ID: 8048085
ok


here's a site where purging of a hard drive is covered.

http://www.zdnet.com/anchordesk/stories/story/0,10738,2894701,00.html

motherboard
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Accepted Solution

by:
rid earned 90 total points
ID: 8048944
At IBM web site, you can find a tool called "ZAP", which will clean out the drive completely by doing a partial zero-fill (to the first crucial sectors). It comes with an instruction (zap.txt) and it is really useful for creating a "new start" situation. Put the program on a bootable floppy and run. Easy.

Regards
/RID
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Expert Comment

by:msa2003
ID: 8048992
The best way is to use Linux partitioning program. Different Linux installers uses diferent partitioning programs. The most popular are Linux FDISK and DiskDruide (DiskDruide is simpler), but some Linux installer (such as ASP Linux) has even partitioning programs with graphical interfacs similar to WinNT's Disk Manager. You will only need to delete DOS partitions and create Linux ones (read Linux manual to learn how to do it). If you will tell me what Linux distribution you are going to install I could probably (if I know this one) tell you what steps you need to perform.

Good luck ;)
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Author Comment

by:CrankyCookie
ID: 8049034
I think i should rephrase this...

I need a way to reformat the hard drive with out going through windows. Just delete EVERYTHING and start all over. Whether it is through BIOS or DOS, just a way to delete it all without going through windows (b/c of it being messed up).

ps. couldnt edit the question, the link was messed up or something
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Expert Comment

by:steve_gro
ID: 8050021
You need to obtain a boot disk.  Ask a friend to make one for you, or if you can get online go to:

http://www.bootdisk.com

To delete partitions, insert the boot disk into the floppy drive, turn the computer on, and when you see the C:\> prompt, type:

fdisk

follow the on screen instructions.

alternately, if you only want to format and don't have any partitions you want to delete, type:

format

and follow the on screen instructions.

If for some reason it won't boot to the boot disk, you'll need to go into the BIOS and change the boot order to have it look at the floppy drive first.

Hope that helps.

-Steve G

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Expert Comment

by:jeffryan
ID: 8050065
Go buy a Linux install and it will come with the boot disks.  Put a disk in, boot the computer, and it should all be prompts from there.
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Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 8050988
It is much better to add a comment, than to edit the question.

The ZAP utility needs only a bootable DOS6 or win9X floppy.

/RID
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Author Comment

by:CrankyCookie
ID: 8052878
That is exactly what i needed. Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 8053087
You're welcome!
/RID
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