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Write zeros the the hard drive EASILY

Posted on 2003-10-29
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Last Modified: 2010-05-18
Hi,

What is THEE easist way and FREEist way to completely wipe clean a hard drive for a real clean re-install?  I want to write zeros to the hard drive, not format it as I've heard this leaves alot of room for retreival of my old files.  So far I've had no luck doing this, even preparing a disk with a program called pci-emaxx, and even a Gateway product, but I don't know how to boot off of a floppy.  How can I do this step-by-step?

Thank you,

Mike
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Question by:imwmt
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Expert Comment

by:AlexJ
ID: 9643346


Hi

U can delete the whole partition. Its much better than Format
If ur disk is FAT32 partition

1. Create a windows 98/ME boot disk from www.bootdisk.com
    download the 98 file and run it to create a boot disk

2. Insert the disk and reboot. Choose 'Start computer witrh CDROM support' <Enter>

3. At A:\ prompt, type

     FDISK   <Enter>
     
From the main menu, select 3 to delete partition

Once done, Hit ESC

Boot from Windows XP disk and run setup




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Expert Comment

by:AlexJ
ID: 9643394

take a look at this for NTFS file system drive.

HOW TO: Partition and Format a Hard Disk in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=313348

How do I format a computer?
www.duxcw.com/dcforum/DCForumID7/704.html


All the best
Alex

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Expert Comment

by:sramesh2k
ID: 9643802
seagate tools:
http://www.seagate.com/support/kb/disc/faq/ata_llfmt_what.html#why

XP Cipher.exe command:
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/default.asp?url=/technet/security/tools/cipherfaq.asp

http://www.jsiinc.com/SUBH/tip3800/rh3827.htm

Microsoft has developed an improved version of the Cipher.exe tool, offering an important new option – the ability to permanently overwrite (or "wipe") all of the deleted data on a hard disk.

http://www.ntcompatible.com/story4959.html
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Accepted Solution

by:
Luc Franken earned 125 total points
ID: 9644271
Killdisk => http://www.killdisk.com can do this easely and it's free!

Also most drive manufactors give out tools to do this on their harddrives.

LucF
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Author Comment

by:imwmt
ID: 9644295
Thank you.  I have Killdisk running as we speak.  The free version offers one rewrite, but that will do.

thanks,

Mike
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Expert Comment

by:Luc Franken
ID: 9644605
Glad I could help.

> The free version offers one rewrite <= this is the zero fill
The Professional version does more writes to completely destroy data beond recovery using the Gutmann's algorithm => http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/

LucF
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Expert Comment

by:tomsee
ID: 9683510
I think i may try LucF's http://www.killdisk.com  the OS is 98SE on the one i am getting rid of!  Thanks Guys
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Author Comment

by:imwmt
ID: 9683887
http://www.heidi.ie/eraser/

It's freeware, it offers multiple overwrites, it overwrites unoccupied space on the hard drive, ie. deleted files, it rules hands down...  
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Expert Comment

by:Luc Franken
ID: 9684927
Nice program... ...but it doesn't erase the partition table. So a combination of both is the most destructive for the data.

LucF
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Expert Comment

by:tomsee
ID: 9685780
OK, LucF,    Thanks for the tip,  will do!
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