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  #1  
Old 01-09-2010, 5:05 PM
cgseanp1 cgseanp1 is offline
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Default Wiping computer clean

I was talking to a guy at work, and he said that to wipe the computer hard drive clean, you just have to buy, or get, a copy of windows. Once you go to install the disk, it will search for a previous version on windows, and then it will ask if you want to uninstall. Does this sound right?

I have a virus that I cant get rid of and I think i may have to resort to wiping it clean and starting over.

thanks
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Old 01-09-2010, 5:11 PM
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Whatever OS you are going to install should format the drive. Just pay attention to the installation prompts as you progress through the install.
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  #3  
Old 01-20-2010, 11:51 AM
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Word...
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:56 AM
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No, that is not a "wipe", that is a reformatting. A complete wipe goes through every sector of the hard drive and overwrites with a random or programmatic set of bits. There are different methodologies depending on your requirements. A free one online that is good is DBAN's boot and nuke. Be warned: this destroys ALL data on the harddrive.

However your question actually is outside the requirements of a true wipe. If all you are trying to do is reinstall the OS, then yes, just reinstall windows and have the windows CD/DVD boot install "delete" the old install. This essentially will reformat the harddrives fat table and your new OS install will overwrite the old one. Again, this is not a true "wipe".
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Old 01-20-2010, 6:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NSR500 View Post
Whatever OS you are going to install should format the drive. Just pay attention to the installation prompts as you progress through the install.
+1

Always format if your going to reinitialize your system. Especially if you're dealing with a virus. Follow the prompts making sure to format.

Wiping overwrites the drive with pseudo-random data. It can take hours or days depending on how big the drive and how many passes. Not what you're looking for.
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  #6  
Old 01-20-2010, 6:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgseanp1 View Post
I was talking to a guy at work, and he said that to wipe the computer hard drive clean, you just have to buy, or get, a copy of windows. Once you go to install the disk, it will search for a previous version on windows, and then it will ask if you want to uninstall. Does this sound right?

I have a virus that I cant get rid of and I think i may have to resort to wiping it clean and starting over.

thanks
Use GPARTED, it will clear the HDD for a fresh install.

http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php
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  #7  
Old 01-21-2010, 11:43 AM
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what op wants to do is just format. there's no need to run a dvdo 5220.22-m navso, etc. data destruction routine. not unless you're giving away the drive and youhave sensitive information you want to protect.

insert install disk -> select delete partition -> create partition -> install windows "x" version and go thru the process.
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  #8  
Old 01-21-2010, 1:09 PM
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Or Just buy a new HD?

HD's do go bad over time/cycles. If it is an old HD then I'd just junk it.
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  #9  
Old 01-21-2010, 4:17 PM
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You can reformat your drives, which will wipe them clean. However, if you really want to clean it up from the prying eyes of the FBI or ATF, a .223 through the platter is the surefire way to do it.
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  #10  
Old 01-21-2010, 6:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odysseus View Post
No, that is not a "wipe", that is a reformatting. A complete wipe goes through every sector of the hard drive and overwrites with a random or programmatic set of bits. There are different methodologies depending on your requirements. A free one online that is good is DBAN's boot and nuke. Be warned: this destroys ALL data on the harddrive.

However your question actually is outside the requirements of a true wipe. If all you are trying to do is reinstall the OS, then yes, just reinstall windows and have the windows CD/DVD boot install "delete" the old install. This essentially will reformat the harddrives fat table and your new OS install will overwrite the old one. Again, this is not a true "wipe".
This suggestion IS a complete clearing of ANY info on your hard drive... However the other suggestions here are suitable also...

It sounds like like your just trying to lose a virus which a format and re-install will accomplish.
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  #11  
Old 01-21-2010, 6:54 PM
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Yes, I was just trying to get rid of a virus. Now, I think I got rid of the virus and the damn computer won't turn on. Just keeps rebooting itself. Everyone now and then it will turn all the way on, but pretty much just restarts itself shortly after. I can't start it in safe mode or anything. And unfortunately, I don't have a recovery disk since this isn't my computer. I guess I need to locate a copy of Windows XP and try to boot from the disk? If this computer has XP media center edition 2005, do I need to get that same XP, or will any version of XP work like home or professional?
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  #12  
Old 01-21-2010, 7:07 PM
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There are many versions available, but it will likely be a bootleg, which I have, one I've used for years, but it is not without circumstance. I would like to suggest Linux as a FREE alternative to Windows. Otherwise, if your limited in your computer skills, I will have to suggest buying a retail version of Windows. I primarily use XP Pro for work, and Linux at home. I didn't care much for Vista, but have also been testing Windows 7, and it seems to be the next best "Windows OS" I will never leave Linux, and for the needs of the majority, it is 100% complete.
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  #13  
Old 01-21-2010, 7:10 PM
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This is my roomates computer so I am going to have to put XP back on it for her. I have seen some copies of XP on ebay for fairly cheap that have COA and what not. This computer is older and wouldnt even be able to support windows 7 or id just get that.
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  #14  
Old 01-21-2010, 7:37 PM
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Yeah just get a xp cd , go into BIOS , set 1st boot device CD drive , or if its a dell f12 will let you choose what you want to boot off of first , choose cd. it loads the cd , gives some choses , forgot what it is , but delete partition , create partition , format (not quick style) , and then it should start installing. use a cd key , if it doesnt work , it will have you call them , tell them you had to format / dog ate your old HDD , whatever just make it sound reasonable. say its only been installed on this computer etc.install virus protection (i use AVG cuz im a cheap bastard) install drivers , chipset , video , usb , sound etc. then update windows fully. if its all still good then activate windows last. g2g
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Are we talking taking the tip off every time or just hitting it somewhere along the shaft? The latter is not that impressive. Not saying it's easy, but I'm sure many people could do it. I could probably do it myself at least 50% of the time.
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Old 01-21-2010, 9:40 PM
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Originally Posted by SLYoteBoy View Post
Yeah just get a xp cd , go into BIOS , set 1st boot device CD drive , or if its a dell f12 will let you choose what you want to boot off of first , choose cd. it loads the cd , gives some choses , forgot what it is , but delete partition , create partition , format (not quick style) , and then it should start installing. use a cd key , if it doesnt work , it will have you call them , tell them you had to format / dog ate your old HDD , whatever just make it sound reasonable. say its only been installed on this computer etc.install virus protection (i use AVG cuz im a cheap bastard) install drivers , chipset , video , usb , sound etc. then update windows fully. if its all still good then activate windows last. g2g
As He said... DON'T use AVG, it doesn't have the features that Avast4Home does, just a strong recommendation. Avast is also COMPLETELY FREE for home use.
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  #16  
Old 01-22-2010, 6:11 AM
cgseanp1 cgseanp1 is offline
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Can I use the same windows key that originally came with my computer?
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  #17  
Old 01-22-2010, 7:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgseanp1 View Post
Can I use the same windows key that originally came with my computer?
Assuming you are installing the same version of Windows, yes.
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  #18  
Old 01-22-2010, 4:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgseanp1 View Post
Can I use the same windows key that originally came with my computer?
Its irrelevant after you call them. you could use a cd key from one of your friends. it doesnt matter , all that matters is if the cd key matches the type of OS your installing , IE: Home , Upgrade , Pro , Pro x64 etc.
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Originally Posted by jumbopanda View Post
Are we talking taking the tip off every time or just hitting it somewhere along the shaft? The latter is not that impressive. Not saying it's easy, but I'm sure many people could do it. I could probably do it myself at least 50% of the time.
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  #19  
Old 01-22-2010, 4:32 PM
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Originally Posted by badandy View Post
This suggestion IS a complete clearing of ANY info on your hard drive... However the other suggestions here are suitable also....
That's what I said.

...what needed to be defined better for the OP is what a wipe is, and what a reformat does. "Wiping computer clean" which is what this thread was titled, is as we all know essentially different that reinstalling an OS. It helps to just cover that to make sure the person understands the difference and can make a more knowledgeable choice.
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Old 01-22-2010, 7:08 PM
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Won't a really strong magnet erase a hard drive?
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  #21  
Old 01-22-2010, 8:06 PM
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Won't a really strong magnet erase a hard drive?
You would need a very powerful magnet system like a degausser. They typically destroy the drive too. Not usually in the arsenal of your typical person; usually used for mass erasure of many systems before the HD is allowed off the site.
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Old 01-23-2010, 8:30 AM
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Originally Posted by high_revs View Post
what op wants to do is just format. there's no need to run a dvdo 5220.22-m navso, etc. data destruction routine. not unless you're giving away the drive and youhave sensitive information you want to protect.

insert install disk -> select delete partition -> create partition -> install windows "x" version and go thru the process.
+1! If you are dealing with a virus there is no need to run through every single sector of the drive. The virus is dependant on the OS & file struction. Once you delete partition and reformat its a done deal. if you have never done this before, the windows XP CD makes it a very smooth process, the only thing you will need are the hardware drivers for the component in your system ie- Network adapter for the internet, audio, video, modem and chipset. if you need more help, PM me.
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