Write zeros the the hard drive EASILY


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,

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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


take a look at this for NTFS file system drive.

HOW TO: Partition and Format a Hard Disk in Windows XP

How do I format a computer?

All the best

seagate tools:

XP Cipher.exe command:


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.

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LucFEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
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.


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imwmtAuthor Commented:
Thank you.  I have Killdisk running as we speak.  The free version offers one rewrite, but that will do.


LucFEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
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/

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
imwmtAuthor Commented:

It's freeware, it offers multiple overwrites, it overwrites unoccupied space on the hard drive, ie. deleted files, it rules hands down...  
LucFEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
Nice program... ...but it doesn't erase the partition table. So a combination of both is the most destructive for the data.

OK, LucF,    Thanks for the tip,  will do!
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