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Erasing my computer hard drive?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by crazypilot, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. crazypilot

    crazypilot ERAU Alumni '05

    1,404
    0
    May 21, 2007
    Las Vegas, NV
    I have an old HP computer that I need to completely erase. I picked up the Vundo virus awhile back and I couldn't delete it but I was able to suppress all the pop-ups. Anyway, when I click on sytem restore, it tells me to restart the computer and try again. I did that and it just keeps giving me the same message. Is there another way to erase the hard drive completely?

    The system restore would erase everything and bring it back to it's factory settings but unfortunately it won't let me do it.
     
  2. handyman

    handyman

    1,360
    11
    Aug 3, 2008
    I think that just allows you to go back in time when stuff was installed. To wipe it I got a program on cd it wipes it totally, you will have to reload everything your OS ect.
     


  3. Pierre!

    Pierre! NRA Life Member

    3,966
    140
    Jun 20, 2003
    Lovin Sparks Nv!
    Handyman is right... You need a program that will wipe the drive.

    Hunt down Darik's Boot N Nuke or DBan - http://www.dban.org/download

    Or, for the *best bang* for your buck:
    The Ultimate Boot CD - http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

    The Ultimate Boot CD has a bunch of useful utilities on it if you feel you need such disk, and it also included DBan as well...

    Hope that helps!
     
  4. joemal

    joemal

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    0
    Jun 11, 2010
  5. hackinpeat

    hackinpeat

    1,014
    0
    May 21, 2010
    Washington
    I'd go oldschool, DOS on a disc, and format and repartition the drive. It may be a bit complex if you aren't very computer literate, but there is pretty much nothing to it if you don't have to worry about wiping your HDD. (since that is the goal I wouldn't worry!)

    Here's a bit of basic dos syntax for formatting a drive depending on what you want to install, or what dos prompt you do it from.

    (a recovery dos prompt for example)

    http://www.computerhope.com/formathl.htm#01

    A sample would be

    FORMAT C: /FS:NTFS (ntfs is best for windows OSes after 2000)
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010
  6. Pierre!

    Pierre! NRA Life Member

    3,966
    140
    Jun 20, 2003
    Lovin Sparks Nv!
    That's a good idea HackinPeat, but in this case it won't be enough.

    CrazyPilot says he got a virus, and it is preventing him from completing a reinstall. The only cure in this case is the "take off and Nuke it from space" method where we write zeros to each sector... got to *wipe* the virus off to allow the reinstall to work!

    Yah, them bugs can drop in some deep hooks that will halt the completion of an OS re-installation. I should know - my daughter got hijacked so bad I had to wipe the drive!

    Isn't it wonderful to have Hackers to help out our computing efforts!!!

    You behave out there now...

    L8ter!
     
  7. hackinpeat

    hackinpeat

    1,014
    0
    May 21, 2010
    Washington
    A full reformat in DOS does write all the bits as 0. A quick format does not.

    It would kill the boot and root sectors... I wasn't about to ask the guy to download a live linux CD and send him into a TCH or BASH prompt. lol

    There are also products called "DOD" wipers, which write all 1 then all 0 several times, and make it damn near impossible to recover data, but I think thats overkill for virus deletion.

    D.O.D. wipers are the dept of defense's standard for data deletion.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010

  8. Yup..."Format C:" at the DOS prompt and you're wiped clean and ready to install the OS.

    To get to the DOS prompt, click "start" then "run" and in the command line type "cmd". This will bring up the DOS prompt, then simply type "format C:". It'll give you a warning and such but do it and it'll kick off the format process wiping your hard drive squeaky clean.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  9. Pierre!

    Pierre! NRA Life Member

    3,966
    140
    Jun 20, 2003
    Lovin Sparks Nv!
    The old Format C: has it's place, but when a system has been seriously hijacked, you really DO need to burn the disk with Darik's Boot N Nuke or similar process.

    I am a believer - My daughter's system was jacked so hard that the reinstall of XP would get all the way through, and then BSOD at the last stage of finalizing the install.

    I used the Quick Format, the Long Format - and after the 3rd bailed installation (bout 6 to 7 hours of installing) I finally performed the Darik's Boot N Nuke overnight, and the system installed first shot the following day.

    After a fierce system hijack I would prefer to wait over night for the drive to be completely *whacked* than to waste alot of time, OR have the hijack happen again in record time because something was left over.

    YMMV, but there is only one way to be sure you got all traces...

    HTH
     
  10. Sgt. Schultz

    Sgt. Schultz Annoying Member

    You cannot format the hard drive from within windows, you will have to use a boot disk or the OS installation disk, get a boot disk here ...

    http://www.bootdisk.com/
     
  11. You're absolutely right Schultz. I actually used another pc and linked the suspect drive in as a slave and ran reformat. It's been so long that I've done it what with Vista and the subsequent fairly quick release of Win7 that all I've done is simply use the CD to do the reformat/install.