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Hard drive wipe - PC Desktops

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Google it. find some free software to do it.

Posted on Jul 04, 2008

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My hard disk (C drive) is showing as "not installed" in my BIOS menu on my Dell Dimension 3000. My data is backed up and I just want to wipe the hard drive.


Open your computer and de-assemble the hard disk, clean data buses and ports and reassemble the hard disk, it will work.

Jul 29, 2011 | Dell Dimension 3000 PC Desktop

2 Answers

Want to wipe hard drive on dell dimension 8250


You don't need a recovery cd (or any other cd) to wipe the hard drive. Boot to a command prompt and type "format c:"

Reinstalling your operating system is the only time you need a recovery cd. If you have no way to reinstall your operating system, don't wipe the hard drive.

Jun 30, 2009 | Dell Dimension 8250 PC Desktop

1 Answer

Trying to wipe the hard disk of an old Compaq Evo


You message cut out. It's very difficult if not impossible to wipe a hard drive when you're using that hard drive. You need to get a program like Gparted or Disk Manager. The first is free and can be downloaded.

Mar 27, 2009 | Compaq Evo D500 PC Desktop

1 Answer

Hard drive wiped out


may be your hard drive has a bad sector.

Dec 07, 2008 | PC Desktops

1 Answer

How to Wipe, Degauss, or Destroy Data on a Hard Drive


You own a computer and then purchased a new one. After moving all of your important data to the new computer and deciding to sell or donate the old computer you are faced with the question of deleting the data or destroying the hard drive. One one hand, if you delete the data and reinstall the operating system the next owner can quickly use the computer. If you destroy the hard drive, another drive would have to be installed for the computer to be useful again. 
What if the hard drive lands into the wrong hands? Your tax return, financial records, intimate photos, and more could be used against you. 

With the 2007 NBA Playoffs on TV this month, an interesting connection has arose. It seems the San Antonio Spurs guard, Bruce Bowen, and his wife have filed a lawsuit against a local computer firm when their hard drive and data ended up on another person's computer. The recipient of the hard drive contacted Mr. Bowen and informed him of the breach of privacy. To read more about this incident visit the news article. As a computer consultant myself, I see a huge breach of computer privacy with this case and I foresee Mr. Bowen winning the lawsuit easily.  


Now what can you do to avoid a similar situation as Mr. Bowen's? First you have to decide if you want to permanently erase the data or destroy the drive. If you decide to permanently erase the data, you have several options. However let's go over what you DON'T want to do.
Don't just delete your data and empty the recycle bin
Don't just format the hard drive
Don't just format and reinstall Windows or another operating system
Why don't you want to do the above? It seems this would be enough to make sure your data isn't compromised.

Let's take a step back and understand how data is stored on a hard drive. When information is written to a drive, the location of the information is stored in a file that resembles a table of contents for a book, On computers running DOS and Windows operating systems, the File Allocation Table (FAT) or the Master File Table (MFT) holds this information. When a file is deleted, the FAT or MFT table is updated to tell the computer the space on the hard drive is available, however the actual data is not deleted until it is overwritten with new data. This is why you read about computer forensic teams, the FBI, and other law enforcement being able to recover data to solve crimes or incriminate individuals. Using software undelete tools, you can restore files that were accidentally or otherwise deleted. In more severe case, services such as Drive Savers are used to recover data that has been physically or electronically destroyed. 

Baring any of these extra efforts, you can use the procedures below to erase or destroy your data so the average individual won't be able to recover anything from your computer hard drive.

Using Wipe Utilities

In order to prevent data from being recovered, you should use data wiping software to completely erase the information to Department of Defense (DOD) standards. I recommend the following free tools to sanitize or wipe a hard drive of information:

Darik's Boot and Nuke - a program that can be booted from floppy or CD to completely erase a hard drive
Eraser by Heidi Computers Limited
Active@ KillDisk
If you plan on giving your computer away, selling it, or otherwise disposing of it, please destroy the data on it by using one of the above wiping utilities. 

Degaussing a Hard Drive

An extra step is to degauss the hard drive. Degaussing is a process whereby the magnetic media is erased using a reverse magnetic field to scramble the electronic data and make it unreadable. Unfortunately degaussing machines are rather expensive ($2000.00 or more) and are not realistic purchases for the average consumer. However, you can send your hard drive to a degaussing company like Garner Products or SEM and for a few dollars can have your hard drive completely degaussed and/or destroyed. If your data security is important enough, this is a wise step.

Physically Destroying a Hard Drive

Physically destroying a hard drive is by far the most effective method for the average person to ensure the safety of their data. However, please wear protective glasses and other gear if you decide to physically destroy a drive yourself. It can be a dangerous activity that I don't recommend to everyone. Also, as a precaution, wrap the hard drive in a towel so the parts don't fly off and do more damage.

Whether its smashing the hard drive with a sledgehammer, drilling holes into the drive, tearing the drive apart and destroying the platters, shredding the drive, or other methods your sensitive data will be safe. 

For the most security, I recommend doing as many of the above procedures (wiping the drive, degaussing it, and destroying it) as you can. If a drive is wiped, degaussed, and destroyed the chances of recovering the data is almost nil.

Conclusion

If a computer store, consultant, or other qualified computer tech tells you your hard drive is crashed and the data is unrecoverable, ask for them to return the original drive to you. This way you can physically destroy and dispose of the drive to your satisfaction and avoid situations like Mr. Bowen's where your data suddenly appears on someone else's computer screen.

Oct 18, 2008 | PC Desktops

2 Answers

Erase a hard drive


IF you have the XP installation CD you can easily do that, Just set your BIOS to boot from the CDrom then put the XP CD on your CD drive then restart the computer , so your computer will automatically boot from the XP installation CD then on that process you will have an option to format the entire hard drive that you have using the XP CD installation, then just let the installation finish...

Oct 16, 2008 | PC Desktops

1 Answer

Need to now how to wipe out hard drive and start over


if it is your main hard drive you need the operating system disk and drivers put in the drive and follow instructions if you just want to wipe a drive go on my computer right click on the drive and then click format this is only to be used for a secondry drive

Aug 25, 2008 | Gateway PC Desktops

2 Answers

Wipe Hard drive without operating disks


Get in touch with your PCs manufacturer to get fresh set of disks (you can also download them from your mfg website), or check if it has a Utility Partition (usually press F10, F11 or F12 while booting up).

Jun 18, 2008 | PC Desktops

3 Answers

Wiping a hard drive


Hi,

The following are the instructions to wipe out the hard drive.

Turn off the system.

Then turn on the system and immediately when you see the Dell logo, press & hold the control key & f11(function key 11).

It will initiate the pc restore option in the Dell system.

PC Restore will restore the system to the factory installed conditions(OS,Drivers & applicatiopn came with the computer).

If no pc restoe available try the softwares

http://killdisk.com/

http://www.heidi.ie/eraser/

Good Luck.

Live, Love, Laugh.

May 05, 2008 | Dell Dimension 3000 PC Desktop

1 Answer

I have an etower 500 and want to format the hard drive but am having trouble i cant remember how


The best way to format a hard drive is to completly wipe it first, a secure wipe is always the best thing to do before formating it.

Here is list of free disk wipes you can download and prepare on a bootable cd rom: http://www.freedownloadscenter.com/Best/disk-erase-free.html

Then, you use your Operating System disk (of the operating system you are installing) format the drive for you using that bootable disk (the Windows cd)

Apr 05, 2008 | PC Desktops

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