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Hard driver erasure

I have an old computer I'd like to give to charity, but I need to know the best way to erase my hard drive. Any suggestions?

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Generally a hard drives information can pretty much be recovered with the exception of a program that will cause the drive to be unrecoverable. problem is depending on the size of the drive you would need to run the program for up to a week. very thorough but for most cases it's not needed. you would need to remove the drive in any case to run it as a spare drive on another computer to run the program to erase it. my suggestion if the information is very private that it causes you concern is to remove the drive and donate the computer itself. i do use another method which is to open the hard drive and use sandpaper on the internals disk(s). very very effective except the drive can't be used again.

Posted on Jul 13, 2010

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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The standard answer is that you can't. Formatting involves erasure of the data to some extent, so it is best to copy all that data to some other media before going ahead.

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How to completely erase the hd


A hard drive is the brain of a computer. However, over time, that brain can become overworked and overly saturated with old software and outdated information. It becomes clogged and needs a fresh start. By erasing a hard drive, you can give your PC that fresh new beginning. With a few steps you can erase your hard drive manually, without the aid of expensive software.

Make sure your data is protected before you proceed. Whatever you do not save will be lost once you erase the drive. Use a CD or jumpdrive to save your information. Boot with a system disk. Before you continue to erase the hard drive, use the system to create a system disk. Use a 3-1/2 inch floppy disk and format it with the command "format a: /s"; this will create a bootable disk that contains system commands. Place it in the drive of your system and turn it off, then back on. Reformat the hard drive. Once you've booted with the system disk, type "format c: /s"; this will reformat the hard disk, virtually destroying the old hard drive you used to know. Depending on the of the drive, the formatting may take a fairly long time. Once the formatting is over, use the command "fdisk" to create partitions (which are logical sections for your hard drive's storage). Given the newer hard drives and operating systems of today, you can fdisk the drive and use all of the space. or if you dont have a floppy drive Download a disk wiping utility, such as Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN) or KillDisk. DBAN is an open-source product, while KillDisk is available as a free, closed-source download. http://www.dban.org/ http://www.killdisk.com/ Once you download the file, save it to your computer somewhere easy to remember. Insert a blank CD into your computer and use a CD writing program to burn the hard disk wipe utility to the blank CD. If you are using Windows Vista or 7, there is a built-in utility that will perform this task. Back up the data on your computer that you want to save, if necessary. Insert the CD that you created into the computer that is attached to the hard drive you wish to erase. Power on the computer and choose the setup option to boot from the CD. Once you have booted from the CD, you will enter into the hard disk wipe utility. Depending on which utility you chose to use, this screen will vary, but the choice you want to select is to erase or wipe a disk drive. Choose the hard disk that you wish to wipe and confirm that you wish to permanently erase the data on it. Before confirming this, you may wish to physically double check and ensure that you are erasing the correct drive. Once you start the erasing process, it cannot be halted, paused or reversed. You will have to wait for anywhere from a few hours to even a few days for the process to complete, depending on how large your hard drive is.
or you could just reinstall another operating system this will automatically delete the old wrong one you installed.



Hope this helps.

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Reformat unmountable flash drive on mac?


Instructions
    • 1

      Open the system drive, usually titled "Macintosh HD." Open Applications, then Utilities and double click the "Disk Utility" program to open it. A window will open giving a list of all the drives currently mounted on the computer.

    • 2

      Select the disk that needs to be formatted on the left. It is not possible to format the startup disk unless the system has booted from the Install Disk. It is important to note that formatting the startup disk will permanently erase the data stored on the disk. If you are planning on erasing the startup disk, back up all important files and applications.

      • 3

        Click on the "Erase" tab to the right of the list of drives. The window will now display the options for erasing the hard drive and formatting it to work on the Macintosh computer.

      • 4

        Select the Volume Format from the pop-up list. In most cases it's best to leave it at "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" as this is the default. This setting is the best option for running Mac OS X. If there are other requirements for the disk, then select the format that best suits your needs. If you have questions about the formats, refer to the Apple user's manual.

      • 5

        Name the hard drive. Type a name for the disk in the field where it asks for the name. This name will always appear when the disk is mounted on a Macintosh computer.

      • 6

        Click the erase button. A window will open asking to verify the erase procedure. Click the erase button in this window to start the process of erasing the disk. Once the process is complete, the drive will appear with the name it was given on the left side of the window with the list of drives and on the desktop of the Macintosh computer.

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    I purchased a Toshiba Canvio 3.0 500 GB portable hard drive, and plugged it into my MacBook with Mac OS X Tiger. The icon for Toshiba EXT came up on the desktop but wouldn't do anything. The box came...


    1 . Open the system drive, usually titled "Macintosh HD." Open Applications, then Utilities and double click the "Disk Utility" program to open it. A window will open giving a list of all the drives currently mounted on the computer.

    2. Select the disk that needs to be formatted on the left. It is not possible to format the startup disk unless the system has booted from the Install Disk. It is important to note that formatting the startup disk will permanently erase the data stored on the disk. If you are planning on erasing the startup disk, back up all important files and applications.

    3.
    Click on the "Erase" tab to the right of the list of drives. The window will now display the options for erasing the hard drive and formatting it to work on the Macintosh computer.

    4. Select the Volume Format from the pop-up list. In most cases it's best to leave it at "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" as this is the default. This setting is the best option for running Mac OS X. If there are other requirements for the disk, then select the format that best suits your needs.

  1. 5. Name the hard drive. Type a name for the disk in the field where it asks for the name. This name will always appear when the disk is mounted on a Macintosh computer.

  2. 6. Click the erase button. A window will open asking to verify the erase procedure. Click the erase button in this window to start the process of erasing the disk. Once the process is complete, the drive will appear with the name it was given on the left side of the window with the list of drives and on the desktop of the Macintosh computer.

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    If it is not seeing it then you will need to format it properly for Mac's most hard Drives are pre-formatted for PC's.
    You also need to make sure the SATA cable is plugged into the right place on the board.
    SATA Hard Drives do not need a pin out. Only IDE drive's have that function.

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    Open the system drive, usually titled "Macintosh HD." Open Applications, then Utilities and double click the "Disk Utility" program to open it. A window will open giving a list of all the drives currently mounted on the computer.
  3. Select the disk that needs to be formatted on the left. It is not possible to format the startup disk unless the system has booted from the Install Disk. It is important to note that formatting the startup disk will permanently erase the data stored on the disk. If you are planning on erasing the startup disk, back up all important files and applications.
  4. Click on the "Erase" tab to the right of the list of drives. The window will now display the options for erasing the hard drive and formatting it to work on the Macintosh computer.
  5. Select the Volume Format from the pop-up list. In most cases it's best to leave it at "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" as this is the default. This setting is the best option for running Mac OS X. If there are other requirements for the disk, then select the format that best suits your needs. If you have questions about the formats, refer to the Apple user's manual.
  6. Name the hard drive. Type a name for the disk in the field where it asks for the name. This name will always appear when the disk is mounted on a Macintosh computer.
  7. Click the erase button. A window will open asking to verify the erase procedure. Click the erase button in this window to start the process of erasing the disk. Once the process is complete, the drive will appear with the name it was given on the left side of the window with the list of drives and on the desktop of the Macintosh computer.


  8. I got these instructions off ehow.com

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    • Open the system drive, usually titled "Macintosh HD." Open Applications, then Utilities and double click the "Disk Utility" program to open it. A window will open giving a list of all the drives currently mounted on the computer.
    • Select the disk that needs to be formatted on the left.
    • Click on the "Erase" tab to the right of the list of drives. The window will now display the options for erasing the hard drive and formatting it to work on the Macintosh computer.
    • Select the Volume Format from the pop-up list. In most cases it's best to leave it at "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" as this is the default. This setting is the best option for running Mac OS X. If there are other requirements for the disk, then select the format that best suits your needs. If you have questions about the formats, refer to your Apple user's manual.
    • Name the hard drive. Type a name for the disk in the field where it asks for the name. This name will always appear when the disk is mounted on a Macintosh computer.
    • Click the erase button. A window will open asking to verify the erase procedure. Click the erase button in this window to start the process of erasing the disk. Once the process is complete, the drive will appear with the name it was given on the left side of the window with the list of drives and on the desktop of the Macintosh computer.
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    Good Luck.

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    I want to erase everything on my external hard drive. How do I do this?


    If you aren't sure what you're doing, bring it to a service tech or you may render that external hard drive completely useless:
    Before you start cleaning make sure you back everything up onto another disk. If you are giving your computer away check with the person or organization to see if they plan on cleaning your hard drive for you. However, the best thing to do is to clean it yourself.
    Download a hard drive cleaning program or go to a computer store that sells computer software and buy the program. This is the safest way to make sure the hard drive is all wiped clean. Running the software program over writes all the data on your drive, making the hard drive impossible for anyone to read. The software works by over writing the drive many times.
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    Since I don't know the operating system or the type of format that was on your old hard drive, it is possible that the current operating system you are using will not recognize the old one.

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    If the hard drive does not boot up, then your hard drive has lost its information. You might need to take the hard drive to a data recovery company like ontrack.

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    It would best to be understood by knowing that a hard drive already contains files on it when you buy your computer. Standarded files, if the hard drive is old, Then you might want to erase your hard drive. a simple reformat would free up the used hard disk space.

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