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Erasing Hard Drive


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#1
showme69

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My parents recently bought a new computer. Their old Dell has Windows 98. Before getting rid of the old computer, I want to make sure there is no personal/financial info left on it. What do I need to do to completely erase things to the point they are not recoverable. Thanks.
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#2
Kevin2k

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I'm pretty sure you can just reformat your computer. That pretty much wips out your entire hard drive.
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#3
Guest_1069_*

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Depends what you mean by "getting rid" - If you are throwing it away you can simply take the harddrive out and smash it ( bit drastic but effective ).

If you want to pass it on then re-formatting the drive is the way to go.

See this link: http://www.webtree.c...ean_install.htm

Edited by 1069, 22 October 2005 - 04:04 AM.

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#4
Tyger

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If you just want to wipe the drive clean and not leave any operating system, restart the computer in ms-dos mode, type in

format C: /s

and hit Enter. It will format the drive and put a few md-dos files on it, enough that the disk will boot but not have any real OS or files on it. If you really want to scrub it you can do a low level format.
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#5
showme69

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Thanks for the info so far but the reason I was asking is I've also read that formatting your hard drive DOES NOT erase hard drive data. I want to insure the information is not retrievable. My mom prepares tax returns for about 60 people and I wouldn't want that info getting into the wrong hands. So I'm trying to find out what needs to be done beyond just reformatting the hard drive to make sure no one can retrieve the info later on. They probably aren't just going to throw it away, so smashing the drive isn't an option.
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#6
Tyger

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Then you need to write the drive to zeros, aka do a low level format. If it uses a Maxtor drive, a lot of Dells used them, go to www.maxtor.com and install Power Max to a floppy, boot the machine with the floppy and do the low level format. Other makers also have their own software.
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#7
showme69

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Thanks Tyger.
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