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Good old DBAN works great also http://www.dban.org/

Darik's Boot and Nuke ("DBAN") is a self-contained boot disk that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers. DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction.
DBAN is a means of ensuring due diligence in computer recycling, a way of preventing identity theft if you want to sell a computer, and a good way to totally clean a Microsoft Windows installation of viruses and spyware. DBAN prevents or thoroughly hinders all known techniques of hard disk forensic analysis.
DBAN is a free software product that can be used at home or in a business at zero cost. The only official place to obtain DBAN is by download at this web site. We do not sell DBAN media.
 

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I would pick up a cheap HD to throw in it and keep the old one. No computer leaves my house with a used HD in it.
 

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Just use one of the above links for wiping software. They work by writing random stuff over and over and over well beyond the point of ever being able to recover the original data. All the other suggestions are paranoid.
 

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Since you are using Windows 2000 - use the FDISK routine and delete all active partitions. Then create a new partition and do a low level format. It will not have an operating system anymore and is clean.
Yes this, but:
Make a bootable floppy, and make sure you put the format utility on it. (one of the reasons I still put in floppy disk)
If it was newer, make a bootable thumb drive and then do the same thing you'd do wiht the floppy.
Boot from the floppy or thumb drive: repartition the hard drive, then full format the hard drive, Several Times. Each time you reformat and write zeros to the drive, you reduce residual magnetic variances

There are some places that can still pick up data from residual magnetic variances still on the drive, BUT, the cost is so prohibitive, nobody would do that to a 10 year old hard drive, that came from an unknown individual. This amount of recovery is reserved for defense department drives that quit unexpectedly, or by the Chinese on US defense department drives.
 

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Formerly1811guy2
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Since you are using Windows 2000 - use the FDISK routine and delete all active partitions. Then create a new partition and do a low level format. It will not have an operating system anymore and is clean.
This here.

Or, remove the hard drive and degauss it.
 

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Pin Member #4
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Good old DBAN works great also http://www.dban.org/

Darik's Boot and Nuke ("DBAN") is a self-contained boot disk that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers. DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction.
DBAN is a means of ensuring due diligence in computer recycling, a way of preventing identity theft if you want to sell a computer, and a good way to totally clean a Microsoft Windows installation of viruses and spyware. DBAN prevents or thoroughly hinders all known techniques of hard disk forensic analysis.
DBAN is a free software product that can be used at home or in a business at zero cost. The only official place to obtain DBAN is by download at this web site. We do not sell DBAN media.
That's a mighty fine utility right there - thanks for posting about it!

To the OP: See? I told you "Nuke it" was the only way to be sure! :tongueout:

kestrou
 

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The military takes the drives apart and burns the platters with a propane torch. That should tell you something.
 

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The military takes the drives apart and burns the platters with a propane torch. That should tell you something.
Yes it tells me that they have unlimited money to buy new hard drives at taxpayer's expense.

And that most of us do not have military grade level information to hide.

Also that you know very little about hard drive cleaning utilities.
 

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EMT-B
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15,908 Posts
Just use one of the above links for wiping software. They work by writing random stuff over and over and over well beyond the point of ever being able to recover the original data. All the other suggestions are paranoid.

+87


The suggestions of wiping the drive 100% and removing the OS kinda defeats the purpose of giving the computer to Goodwill. The computer needs an OS to run.

Just delete all the tranny porn and other stuff that he wants removed, with CCleaner set to 35 passes. Then, run it again, set to over write all "blank" sectors. That way the files get over written 70 times. The other "blank" areas get over written 35 times. I think that will keep the next buyer from finding tranny porn.
 

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Unless the OP knows where all user data are hidden, I would stay on the cautious side and wipe the disk clean with DBan.

There are flash cookies, user data within Windows registries, etc that most people don't know about, and most programs, including CC Cleaner do not clean perfectly.

Wipe it with DBan and forget it. If someone else gets the computer, let them put their own OS on it, something free like Linux or something.
 

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EMT-B
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Interestingly, more recent research has shown that the method Peter Gutman presented in his paper of 35 overwrites, etc... is way overkill. The latest data actually shows that in most cases a single over-write is sufficient.

Anyway, +1, ccleaner is a good utility.
I like overkill.
 

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Use Linux!
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15,639 Posts
+87


The suggestions of wiping the drive 100% and removing the OS kinda defeats the purpose of giving the computer to Goodwill. The computer needs an OS to run.

Just delete all the tranny porn and other stuff that he wants removed, with CCleaner set to 35 passes. Then, run it again, set to over write all "blank" sectors. That way the files get over written 70 times. The other "blank" areas get over written 35 times. I think that will keep the next buyer from finding tranny porn.
Since Win2K is out dated and no loner supported the option is to purchase (yes in order to be LEGAL you must purchase Windows XP) a new OS OR you can do what I and several other folks did and install Linux with all the trimmings for nothing more than the cost of a CD/DVD and a little time.

That not only will alleviate any potential licensing issues, but revitalize that old hardware for another few years. Or you can ship with DOS disks and let someone else break the law thereby causing Microsoft to implement further draconian methods of proving you are legally renting their OS.

Your choice...:dunno:
 

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EMT-B
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15,908 Posts
Since Win2K is out dated and no loner supported the option is to purchase (yes in order to be LEGAL you must purchase Windows XP) a new OS OR you can do what I and several other folks did and install Linux with all the trimmings for nothing more than the cost of a CD/DVD and a little time.

That not only will alleviate any potential licensing issues, but revitalize that old hardware for another few years. Or you can ship with DOS disks and let someone else break the law thereby causing Microsoft to implement further draconian methods of proving you are legally renting their OS.

Your choice...:dunno:
Yeah. I didn't think of that.

Linux is free. Maybe a note with the computer when he drops it off.

"Hard drive is blank. Linux can be downloaded at _________________________ and installed to get the computer going. If you can't get internet access through a friend, call 1-800-XXX-XXXX to get a free CD."


EDIT TO ADD: IF the OP wants to be a really good Samaritan, maybe he could download and burn a Linux CD and include it.
 
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