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Old 07-06-2010, 09:44 AM   #1
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How to wipe hard drive without boot floppy/cd?

Hi

I'm throwing / giving away a computer and I'd like to fully wipe the hard drive.

From what I've looked at so far I cannot see how to do it with out a floppy / cd to boot from to run what ever wiping program.

The reason I want to do it without bootable floppy / cd is that I do not currently have a floppy or cd, and I'd like to do it now.

So if anyone knows how to do it I'd much appreciate it.

And to be clear, I'm looking for a simplish method. If it involves putting the hard drive in another computer or things like that then I'm not too interest since that will probably be more effort than picking up a floppy next time I go to the shops.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:52 AM   #2
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Re: How to wipe hard drive without boot floppy/cd?

Do you have a USB flash drive?
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:59 AM   #3
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Re: How to wipe hard drive without boot floppy/cd?

I don't appear to, but it will probably be easier for me to get one than a floppy/cd. Are they a suitable replacement?
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:48 AM   #4
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Re: How to wipe hard drive without boot floppy/cd?

If you owned a USB stick, we could have given it a shot. But you don't have one so I recommend you buy a CD-ROM drive. A USB stick is cheaper than a CD-ROM drive but you said you wanted things to be simple... and CD-ROM is the easiest route imo.
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:00 AM   #5
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Re: How to wipe hard drive without boot floppy/cd?

Are you saying that you don't have a CD to boot from? Or that you don't even have a CD drive?

If you have a CD drive, getting a CD that will do this is easy. Gparted is a free program that you can download and burn onto a CD that will let you reformat your hard drive.

Not sure if that's what you're looking for or not, but if you're going to buy a disc to use anyway this could save you a few bucks.

Edit: Also, if you're wiping the hard drive you're going to have to install Windows or some OS onto it before it becomes usable again. Why not just format the drive that way?
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:20 AM   #6
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Re: How to wipe hard drive without boot floppy/cd?

Sorry I wasn't clear.

The computer has a floppy drive and cd drive. I do not have a floppy disk or writeable CD available. I can buy one next time I get my self to the shops. I was just wondering if there was a way to do it without so that I could do it now.

I will not be installing any OS after I've formatted since I'm giving the computer away, I just want it to be 'securely' wiped before I do so.

Maybe this isn't clear because it seems so incredibly lazy that I want to do it without floppy/cd, but that's just something I have to deal with in my lazy life.
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:34 AM   #7
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Re: How to wipe hard drive without boot floppy/cd?

obv, buy CD-R media then. btw, i don't recommend being lazy about wiping the drive. if you give the computer to someone else, you should overwrite the complete drive with zeros or random numbers. if you're throwing it away, it's a different story. You may simply use a hammer to destroy the drive.
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:32 PM   #8
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Re: How to wipe hard drive without boot floppy/cd?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3after909 View Post
if you give the computer to someone else, you should overwrite the complete drive with zeros or random numbers.
This.

I've used a program called Darik's Boot And Nuke (DBAN) to accomplish this. It's a free program that can be burned onto a CD like I suggested before. It can take a fair amount of time to run, but it's worth it.
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:08 PM   #9
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Re: How to wipe hard drive without boot floppy/cd?

Can you at least boot from lan? You can execute that from any pc in the network.
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:17 PM   #10
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Re: How to wipe hard drive without boot floppy/cd?

http://eraser.heidi.ie/
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Old 07-06-2010, 07:24 PM   #11
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Re: How to wipe hard drive without boot floppy/cd?

Quote:
Originally Posted by digshake View Post
Darik's Boot And Nuke (DBAN)
I'm a fan of this program, create a bootable CD (or USB stick) with it and have it wipe your drive as securely as you want. That wipes the drive out though of course.

If you want to leave a running Windows install and wipe the free space something like eraser isn't a bad choice.
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Old 07-07-2010, 05:42 AM   #12
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Re: How to wipe hard drive without boot floppy/cd?

use DOS with the relevant format command ?
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