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reformat hard drive

Posted on 2014-08-30
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Last Modified: 2014-10-17
We are moving office and I need to dump several old PC's.  I would like to remove all the data from them and just leave the os intact.

Is there a quick way to do this or should I just drive a nail through the hard drive?
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Question by:Nemetona
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pjam earned 2000 total points
ID: 40294345
Drill bit works better.  If this is old OS not worth saving.
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by:noxcho
ID: 40294368
There are tools for wiping drives. DBAN or Disk Wiper.
http://www.dban.org
http://www.paragon-software.com/home/dw-professional/
If drives are too small and useless then simply destroy them as you want.
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by:rindi
ID: 40294442
If you want to sell or give the PC's away, you MUST also remove the OS, as company PC's usually use Volume Licenses, and those licenses are company property and can't be transfered to new owners (unless of course you transfer all the licenses to the same person).

If the licenses aren't volume licenses, you should still reinstall the OS from scratch, so there is no software left on the PC's that would be licensed to you, and also because a 2nd hand PC should just have the bare factory setup on them.

So use DBan (already mentioned above), to clean the complete disk along with the OS, and then either sell / donate the PC's without OS, or if they originally came with OEM OS versions installed, restore them to the original factory setup.
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by:joinaunion
ID: 40294894
Depends on type of computer.

Most newer computers have recovery partition to recover to a state in wich you purchased them.

I would run that as this will wipe and replace info as if computer was just purchased.
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by:nobus
ID: 40295175
or install ubuntu (free ) on them
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by:Mike T
ID: 40295889
Hi,

wiping works but will take a long time - the bigger the drive the longer; and then you have the job of reinstalling a copy of an unlicensed OS. Given the trouble and time that takes and you used the word "dump", I vote for the nail/drill.

Mike
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by:nobus
ID: 40296148
i never use that method -  but i don't like to dump things either
what you can do, is put another drive in it, and keep the disks
you can then erase them when you've got more time (holiday?)
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by:rindi
ID: 40296235
It's not manpower time it uses that much. You just need to start the erasing process, and after that the PC/disk does it's job without needing user input. You just need a room to be able to keep the PC's running somewhere undisturbed. What might take time is installing a fresh, non Volume License OS, so just sell the PC's without OS (then the new user can decide what he wants to install and use).
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by:Mike T
ID: 40297412
Hi,

Yes, I see your points. Unfortunately I am talking from the experience of being required to wipe a 1TB drive using something similar to DBAN. After about 36 hours I had to give up on it and do "format quick". Some things just take a long time, so am trying to set expectations.

Mike
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by:nobus
ID: 40297810
usually, deleting partition, and installing a fresh OS is sufficient for most
i agree there is a possibility that some data is not overwritten then
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