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Wipe hard drive but keep Windows XP Professional 2002 OS

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I have an IBM ThinkPad with Windows XP Professional 2002. I want to wipe the hard drive but keep the operating system. I do not have the original disc. 

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Hi sanantoniobluesman and welcome to our forums.


"Wiping" the hard drive, means to clear all files from the hard drive, so if you wipe the drive, then you will lose your Win XP installation.(as well as anything else that is present of your hard drive.)


If you want to keep your Win XP installation but delete ( remove) your data files, for example, documents, photos emails etc then you could use a utility like for example CCleaner.

This is available free from here:



Its usually possible to set CCleaner to overwrite the deleted data space and to clear "free space" and this may be what you require.


I do not recommend that you use the Registry tools on CCleaner.


If you do not have a Win XP installation disc and your Win XP system works well then it would be wise to take a disc image ( or several) of your operating system drive, keep them ( the disc images) on external USB drives and then in the event of  software or operating system troubles in the future, you could reimage and be back up and running again in less time than it takes to walk the dog!

A good free disc imaging application is available from Macrium Reflect Free:



A final thought for you.

Many Thinkpad machines that came with Win XP pre-installed also had a hidden partition on the hard drive that once activated would reset the computer back to its "out of the box" factory condition ( another good reason for not trying to "wipe" the hard drive!)


This hidden partition was often activated by a button on the thinkpad labelled "Thinkvantage" or "AcessIBM" or similar and may well achieve what you need.

Post back if you require further information.



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