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Windows XP and reformatting HDD


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#1
Webslinger64

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Have an older Pentium D with Windows XP installed. Father-in-law would like to use this PC for himself; typical usage - web browsing, email, etc. I would like to delete all information that is currently on the HDD, then load a backup of his PC to the Pentium D PC. Do I have to reformat the HDD and reinstall Windows XP in order to wipe the HDD completely/cleanly, or can I wipe HDD without an OS reinstall?
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#2
rshaffer61

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Lots of questions so I'm going to attempt to answer them in order for you.

I would like to delete all information that is currently on the HDD, then load a backup of his PC to the Pentium D PC.

It sounds like his system is not the same as the one you want to make his correct?
Secondly using his backup from a different system may be a problem since the drivers won't be the same and may cause the system not to boot.


Do I have to reformat the HDD and reinstall Windows XP in order to wipe the HDD completely/cleanly, or can I wipe HDD without an OS reinstall?



To do it right yes a complete format and fresh install is always the best way to do this. If you are unsure on how to do it you can use a program called Derricks Boot and Nuke which completely erases the HD and writes zero''s and ones to get rid of everything previously on the drive.
As far as method we use the most that would be Derricks Boot and Nuke or commonly called DBAN located HERE. It is the best at competely wiping a drive clean.
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#3
Webslinger64

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I would like to delete all information that is currently on the HDD, then load a backup of his PC to the Pentium D PC.

It sounds like his system is not the same as the one you want to make his correct?
Secondly using his backup from a different system may be a problem since the drivers won't be the same and may cause the system not to boot.

Do I have to reformat the HDD and reinstall Windows XP in order to wipe the HDD completely/cleanly, or can I wipe HDD without an OS reinstall?


To do it right yes a complete format and fresh install is always the best way to do this. If you are unsure on how to do it you can use a program called Derricks Boot and Nuke which completely erases the HD and writes zero''s and ones to get rid of everything previously on the drive.
As far as method we use the most that would be Derricks Boot and Nuke or commonly called DBAN located HERE. It is the best at completely wiping a drive clean.


Thank you for the reply!

His PC OS is also Windows XP and a very old P4 system. The Pentium D we want to replace it with is much faster.
Seems to me all I need to do to backup his information is copy/paste his My Documents folder, Desktop and Favorites to my external HDD, then transfer to the Pentium D. I didn't think drivers would be involved.

So the process should be...Pentium D PC - use DBAN to completely wipe the HDD and then do a reinstall of Windows XP. When I reinstall XP, will I still reformat the HDD?
Then, on the P4 PC - copy/paste My Docs, Desktop, and Favorites to external HDD so I can then transfer to Pentium D.
That should do it right?
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#4
rshaffer61

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Once you use DBAN the format will be done. The XP should only have to install at that point. Since you are only looking to transfer data you should have no problems. The programs themselves will have to be reinstalled that any of that data needs to work if it is not a Windows application by default. The browser settings and email stuff can be saved and transferred over also. Depending on which browser you use I can supply the instructions for that.
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#5
Webslinger64

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Once you use DBAN the format will be done. The XP should only have to install at that point. Since you are only looking to transfer data you should have no problems. The programs themselves will have to be reinstalled that any of that data needs to work if it is not a Windows application by default. The browser settings and email stuff can be saved and transferred over also. Depending on which browser you use I can supply the instructions for that.


That's what makes this so easy; he doesn't use any programs really and his e-mail is Yahoo Mail! We all use Firefox, and I think I have the settings down pretty good. However, if there is a resource you recommend to tweak Firefox, or if you have suggestions, please pass them along. Thank you.
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#6
rshaffer61

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The best way to tweak is to make sure you have the newest version. There are some tweaks available but IMHO I have tried them all and they do not make that big of a difference in speed. The one thing that does slow any browser down is multiple toolbars.
It does sound like you have a firm handle on how to do everything now that DBAN will be used. I really appreciate your professionalism and understanding on any steps I have posted for you.
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#7
Webslinger64

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The best way to tweak is to make sure you have the newest version. There are some tweaks available but IMHO I have tried them all and they do not make that big of a difference in speed. The one thing that does slow any browser down is multiple toolbars.
It does sound like you have a firm handle on how to do everything now that DBAN will be used. I really appreciate your professionalism and understanding on any steps I have posted for you.


Well, I thought I had a good handle on things until I tried to use DBAN. I went to the DBAN website and burned an ISO onto a DVD using Windows 7. Popped the DVD into the intended PC and restarted. Nothing happened. Screen remained blank/black, yet DVD drive LED light was solid green. I was sure there would be a DBAN menu that popped up giving me the option to 'autonuke', but nada. It's probably something simple I overlooked, but I can't put my finger on it. Any ideas? :confused:
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#8
rshaffer61

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Did you use a ISO burner program or did you burn the disk as a bootable disk?
Imgburn is a great program to use to make the disk and it makes the disk bootable itself. If you burn it as a bootable disk it won't work.
Second possibility is if the system in the bios is setup to boot to the cdrom drive first and then the hard drive.
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#9
Webslinger64

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Did you use a ISO burner program or did you burn the disk as a bootable disk?
Imgburn is a great program to use to make the disk and it makes the disk bootable itself. If you burn it as a bootable disk it won't work.
Second possibility is if the system in the bios is setup to boot to the cdrom drive first and then the hard drive.


The boot order is correct. Not sure what program burned the disc as it just popped up in Windows 7 and I "burned" it. I'll install Imgburn and try that then let you know.
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#10
Webslinger64

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Well, made a second attempt at burning the DBAN program onto a DVD and no success. I used ImgBurn this time, but the result is the same. ODD is spinning, green LED on and solid, but nothing on monitor. The monitor LED green light goes off, then on, then off, then on, etc. Screen itself is black. I've not burned CD/DVDs much. It's been years actually. Are there specific settings and/or selections I should be making with the ImgBurn program in order to get this right? Should I be using CD's rather than DVD's to burn this program? I've been using DVD+RW discs.

Edit: Ok success!!!!! ImgBurn was set to burn at max speed. I slowed it way down and it worked. :thumbsup:

Edited by Webslinger64, 25 October 2013 - 03:20 PM.

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#11
rshaffer61

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Great I was going to ask if it was trying to burn at max speed. Did DBAN format the drive for you? Have you started the reinstall of XP now?
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#12
Webslinger64

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Great I was going to ask if it was trying to burn at max speed. Did DBAN format the drive for you? Have you started the reinstall of XP now?


Well, unfortunately, the problems continue. Here's the deal. The DBAN DVD I burned worked once. What I mean by that is the DBAN menu appeared only one time when I booted the PC from it. After using DBAN the one time, I booted up the PC to see if it had worked. The HDD was not erased, everything remained the same. So, I tried to boot with DBAN again and ran into the same problem as before. Screen just goes black and that's it. I then tried to boot the PC using my Windows XP installation CD just to see if the XP menu came up. That didn't work either. After taking longer than usual, the PC booted into Windows XP
I thought the ODD was having some issues, so I replaced with one I know worked, but the results were the same. BIOS is set to boot from the ODD first, but for some reason it's not. It just seems like the PC is not recognizing the need to boot from the DBAN or Windows XP disc.
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#13
rshaffer61

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If it isn't even booting to the XP disc then you may have a read problem with your optical drive.
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#14
Webslinger64

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If it isn't even booting to the XP disc then you may have a read problem with your optical drive.


Sounds like it. Any idea if it's worth fixing or might this MB be on it's last leg? BTW, thank you for your help. Even if this turns out to be a lost cause, it was great learning about programs like DBAN and ImgBurn.

Edited by Webslinger64, 25 October 2013 - 09:41 PM.

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#15
rshaffer61

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May just be the cdrom drive that needs to be replaced. Did the drive work before?
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