wiping hard drive

ramike

Member
Apr 20, 2000
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does anyone know of anyway besides format and low level format to wipe a hard drive of all the information? The reason I want to do this is because I tried to installwindows xp home edition and had problems with the install so I tried to fdisk and format the c:/s and it wouldn't format it again. It had something to do with Windows XP. I just want to get the drive operational again.

TIA
Mike
 

Daovonnaex

Golden Member
Dec 16, 2001
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<< does anyone know of anyway besides format and low level format to wipe a hard drive of all the information?

TIA
Mike
>>

If you don't need to keep the drive, I recommend a blow torch. If you need to keep it, shredder programs would get rid of everything but the logical partition.
 

evergreen96

Senior member
Sep 2, 2000
609
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Depending on the maker of the hard drive, you can go the the manufacture and they usually have a program that can
perform low level format.


or you can go herehttp://download.cnet.com/downloads/0-10105-100-7304215.html?tag=st.dl.10001-103-1.lst-7-2.7304215




 

Yossarian

Lifer
Dec 26, 2000
18,010
1
81
Norton Systemworks comes with a utility that does a "Department of Defense" style format. It writes 0's then 1's in every bit on the drive, then repeats as many times as you like. It takes forever.
 

Lalakai

Golden Member
Nov 30, 1999
1,634
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76
you could try format x: /mbr (where x is the hd); this should force a format including the boot sector.

also, when working in NT4 there is another forced format command that will wipe out everything (format x: /n ) I think, but not certain.

good luck

ps - if the format x: /mbr works, you'll have to credit another anand techer who gave me that tip :D
 

AluminumStudios

Senior member
Sep 7, 2001
628
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I've brought data back from reformatted and repartitioned drives. Also, from what I've read, I think that drives are only ever "low level formatted" once at the factory. I've read that when they are issued the command they only predend to do it for your benefit, that only manufacturers can truely low level format the drives.

If you search for security and privacy software you will find stuff that will overwrite the drive with 0's and 1's - truely the best way of getting rid of data. Norton Speed Disk has an option to "wipe free space." If you delete your files, then do a full defrag with this option all that will be left is the stuff you want and zeros.

The government has some standard that top secret info. has to be overwritten by 1's and 0's 7 times or something like that. I've heard it's possible to bring back data that was overwritten once or twice by using magnetic traces left at the periphery of the data track.
 

Nocturnal

Lifer
Jan 8, 2002
18,927
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Him, do you have something illegal or something? I'm sure even though you wipe your disk as many times as you like, if the FBI/NSA wanted to retreive data from your HDD, I'm sure they still could.

They probably have some kind of super duper retrieval thingy lol.

Break it open, take the disc out then blow torch it until there is nothing left but ashes.
 

bozo1

Diamond Member
May 21, 2001
6,364
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<< if the format x: /mbr works >>


No such animal. You are thinking about fdisk /mbr which just rewrites the master boot record - it doesn't remove anything.

Ramike - when you boot off the XP CD, you can do partitioning and formatting from the install program. You should be able to wipe out whatever partitions you have and recreate them from there and go. If not, your drive manufacturer should have a wipe utility on their website.
 

ramike

Member
Apr 20, 2000
55
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Thanks for the help. I was told that you can only do one install of windows XP. is this true?
 

AluminumStudios

Senior member
Sep 7, 2001
628
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0
Repartitioning, reformatting, and blowing away the boot record with things like format /mbr DO NOT clear the drive of files. As a systems analyst I have recovered files from drives that have had all of these things done to them by accident, by virus, and by hardware failure.

Just this last week I brought back more than 2,000 files from a corrupt partition on a RAID that was completely unreadable by Windows.

You need to overwrite the data with a security utility or by defragging your drive with the "clear unused space" option.

 

Jhhnn

IN MEMORIAM
Nov 11, 1999
62,365
14,681
136
If you just want to wipe the drive clean, then go to the manufacturer's web site and download their free bootable drive utility. unzip it to a floppy, boot, follow the instructions, & write the drive to zeroes or ones. total piece of cake, zaps everything.

Seagate claims their utility will work on any drive, haven't tried it. other manufacturers' utilities are specific to their drives.

There are other kinds of utilities available for security-type erasure, but from your question that's apparently not what you want at all....