Formatting the C Drive in Windows 7

Hi

My disk is about to fail, so I got a replacement disk. However, I would like to format the current drive before I dispose it for security reasons; whats the best/quickest way of doing this? In the old days, I would boot of a floppy and run the "format c" command. I dont have a floppy or a USB, so is there a better way to format the C drive from within?

Regards

Yamin
yaminz66Asked:
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Chris MillardConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You can right click on the drive from within Windows and select the Format option. Alternatively yuo can open a command prompt and use the format command.

HOWEVER, simply formatting the disk will not remove the data, and data recovery software may be able to recover any files etc that were present on the disk.

You would be better using a disk wiping program suck as Active@ Kill DIsk which is available as a free version from http://www.killdisk.com
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JAN PAKULAICT Infranstructure ManagerCommented:
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html

After burning the ISO

1. With computer off, remove good HDD(s) from computer and install HDD you want to erase.
2. Boot the CD and select HDD tools, then HDD Wiping, then select "Darik's Boot and Nuke".
3. Follow the on-screen instructions.


JAN MA CCNA
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yaminz66Author Commented:
Hi

You cant invoke the format command as I am doing this from within the C drive. Likewise you cant do this from within Windows. Is there another command or do I have run the command from another drive?

regards

Yamin
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arnoldCommented:
Get the new drive and copy the current drive to it using todo-backup
http://www.todo-backup.com/download/

One you have the system booted with the new drive, attach the oldone get the tools referenced here, or www.sysinternals.com, etc. and they have a wipe utility. That would format the system and make it harder to recover data (not impossible).
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I hope you realize that formatting a disk is hardly secure.  If you gave me a formatted disk, I could almost certainly recover everything you THOUGHT you erased.

You should use a disk wiping program - I think one or two have been mentioned, but I prefer Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN).  That should ensure all the data is wiped.

How?  Make sure (just for safety reasons) that the disk you want to wipe is the ONLY disk installed in the system, then boot to the DBAN CD and walk through the steps (I ASSUME you understand how to properly burn an ISO image).
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yaminz66Author Commented:
Hi

Yes I know formatting can be recovered. I meant a low leve format or the use of disk wiping program. I know Norton used to have this in the old days.

regards

Yamin
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JAN PAKULAICT Infranstructure ManagerCommented:
This one will do it "Darik's Boot and Nuke".

JAN MA CCNA
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navaidfarooquiCommented:
the easiest solution i know is just insert Windows 7 DVD, boot from it ... it will run the setup... when the time comes where it want to you select the drive to install select the drive Remove the partition and either go ahead where it starts to install and turn of ur pc or just close the installation program after it finishes the removal or format... It should work as it worked pretty easily in Windows XP
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BitsBytesandMoreCommented:
Depending on how critical it is for you to make sure that no one can recover the data, even the most sophisticated DOD wiping applications leave data behind that can be recovered (thus why you see most offer you the option of 2 passes, 3 passes, 4 passes...etc.)

The only "True" eraser is using a degaussing tool that renders the magnetic media completely unusable and damages the storage system. This is due to the devices having an infinitely variable read/write head positioning mechanism which relies on special servo control data that is meant to be permanently embedded into the magnetic media. This servo data is written onto the media a single time at the factory using special-purpose servo writing hardware (wikipedia).
 
Degaussing indiscriminately removes not only the stored data but also removes the servo control data, and without the servo data the device is no longer able to determine where data is to be read or written on the magnetic medium (wikipedia).

This said, critical degaussers are expensive and many corporations who handle sensitive DoD, customer or patient data prefer to use an outside, certified firm who can legally guarantee the data destruction (http://datakillers.com/home/corporations/degaussing/hard_drive_degaussing).

You can though, make your own degausser by purchasing neodymium magnets. These can be found at a site such as K&J Magnetics (http://www.kjmagnetics.com/) which sells super strong neodymium rare earth magnets.
 
The neodymium magnets will fully erase a hard drive in around 30 secs of rubbing in circles on both sides of the drives. You do want to be careful, read the warnings about the magnets on K&J's site. The magnets are much stronger than you imagine. Getting your skin/finger caught between two magnets will cause a serious pinch. Also they are incredible hard to get apart once they stuck together.

I hope this helps.

Bits ...


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