pc erased

Discussion in 'General Computing' started by Peterr, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. Peterr

    Peterr Honorable Member

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    Hello
    I have been reading about erasing my hard drive as I have to exchange my PC with a company.
    If it is not asking too much, could someone outline how to do this?
    All the tutorials seem to assume the program is ready to go.
    I think I am supposed to download to my desktop the particular program like eraser or dban -the easier the better.
    I then would "send to" this program to my usb drive .
    I then set boot order so when I reboot I see the program in the flashdrive from where I will erase the pc.
    I do not know if this is correct so far, as I am reaching.
    Depending upon the program would determine my steps, and I have no idea what they are. I am hoping there is a program that is straight forward and leads one to 'erase' C: or 'computer'.
    I am not concerned if it is one pass - that would be better than just formatting.
    This is not a program one wants to test/experiment with due to obvious consequences.
    If you have a few moments I would appreciate your kind reply.
    Thank you
    Peter
     
  2. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    You couldn't just copy the program to the pendrive - it would have to be made bootable to wipe the system drive else you would be trying to wipe the drive which you're running from. Easiest way would be to install the drive to another pc, install a program like file shredder, free from here:

    File Shredder
     
  3. Peterr

    Peterr Honorable Member

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    Hello Pat
    The flashdrive is recognized by my pc when I view boot options. It is listed as one of the options. If it is recognized after F8 can't I boot from it?
    Isn't the program in this flash drive after I download it to it as described below?
    I do not have another pc to install the drive to.
    My level of skill is not really too good - just ok for 71 years + self educating in forums- that is why I am asking for help and do not mean to be contrary; I am just asking what I do not understand:)
    I looked into file shredder, and it seems to be able to reside on the hard drive and shred files on that drive. That is why you suggest putting my C: on another pc to shred it there?
    Could you please comment on the flashdrive to clarify why I cannot use it if it is recognized after I tap F8?
    Thank you
    Peter
    P.s. sory to be confusing but I would like to do this carefully and corretly rather than send the pc back with information they can retrieve.
     
  4. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    I understand what you are saying about the pen drive being seen as bootable but there are two main aspects to booting from a pen drive. Firstly your hardware (USB interface and BIOS) must be capable of supporting the pen drive as a bootable device and your pc is telling you that it is. However, hardware capability is just one aspect of booting from a pen drive - the pendrive itself must be formatted and configured with an operating system installed to enable operation of your pc from a pendrive. Not a difficult task but neither is it easy. The basic problem you have is that the disk you need to wipe cannot be the one from which you are running the operating system and software which does the wiping. If you have no access to another disk another alternative is to boot from your cd drive. If you get a copy of a linux live cd then you can boot from that use that to wipe your drive. There is a very helpful article on doing that here:

    Linux.com :: Wiping your disk drive clean
     
  5. Peterr

    Peterr Honorable Member

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    Hi
    I guess what you are telling me is that the flash drive differs from a dvd in that the former is on the disk that is being erased and the latter is not.
    I read the article and sad to say it is beyond my level, but I really appreciate your sending it.
    I know I am reaching but, I saw disc deletion programs on both Revo and Ccleaner. Does the same thinking apply in that I cannot put these programs in the usb - but could in a dvd-rw, and run the programs from the dvd-rw?
    I notice Revos/Ccleaners dialogue box simpy says place the C: in and click delete.
    It seems quite easy but again I probably am not seeing the error in my ways.
    Is this possible>save Revo to dvd-rw,>set boot option to dvd,>run program like Revo's or Ccleaners drive deletion, OR am I still on the disc I am trying to remove?
    There must be a way to use those programs or they would not be there.
    I hate to send this back formatted, however if I am trying your patience, just click delete and I will understand.
    Thank you for your patience.
     
  6. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    All the programs you have mentioned are ok for deleting individual files or folders - but to run such a program you need to have it running under the operating system - windows. In your case you need to wipe the entire disk - including the operating system and this is a like a snake swallowing its own tail trying to eat itself - it won't let you because program is trying to delete the system which s running the program. You need to be running under a system which is not booted from the hard drive - this can be the usb drive but you have to go thru quite a process to make the usb drive bootable. It's easier to boot a system from the optical drive - suggested a Linux system but this, although easier then setting up a USB boot is still a bit involved. The easiest way is for you to find someone with another pc into which you can plug the hard drive and wipe it from there. Only other option I can think of is if you want to send your hard drive to me and I will completely wipe it for you.
     
  7. Peterr

    Peterr Honorable Member

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    Hello Pat
    Below is a reply I received when I asked a question in the Eraser forum as part of my investigation.
    I am keeping your information until I can sort this out. I am not trying to waste other's time but am trying to reslolve this so i can return the machine with peace of mind. I do not know these people and defer to you;what do you think of this person's answer?
    I hope to work this out with you . I certainly appreciate your kind offers but I need to exchange sooner than later. Do you have an opinion about DBAN from what this person reports? I will gladly burn an iso disc if that is what it takes to erase the drive.
    This involves DBAN and Eraser but your referral was Wipe if I am not mistaken.
    Peter
    >>
    Eraser works natively with 64 and 32 bit Windows. The relevant version is automatically installed from the common install file.
    I recommend that you install the current stable release (6.0.8 ), and that you read the FAQ topic "Getting to know Eraser 6", which answers most of the basic questions. But please don't do that until you have answered my questions below.
    As Eraser works with Windows, it cannot fully erase the hard drive on which Windows is installed. For that, you would need a utility such as DBAN (for which there is a companion forum), but I hesitate to recommend that in your case, because DBAN has nor been updated for some years and does not work on some systems.
    If you can give me an idea of what kind of machine you are part-exchanging (laptop? desktop? how old?), I can offer advice as to the easiest way of making it safe to part with.>>
     
  8. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    Just been looking at dban which you've found and looks like they do a bootable version which would meet your needs. You need to download the iso file from this link:

    DBAN Download | Darik's Boot And Nuke

    Click on the download on that page with this label:

    DBAN 2.2.6 Beta for CD-R and DVD-R media

    Then burn the iso using an image burning package like imgburn, free from here:

    Download ImgBurn 2.5.5.0 - FileHippo.com

    (Click "download latest version" in the right hand column.

    When you've burned the cd, boot from it and you should have the means to wipe you're entire drive.
     
  9. Peterr

    Peterr Honorable Member

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    Pat- I think I hit the wrong key as I lost my original note to you. It was to see the information inluded below and to thank you so muh for the work you have done for me. I am truly grateful for the patience and help.I hopw we have the chance to chat in a more rational manner in the future. Is erasing free space besides a factory format and reinstall worth doing. I plan on modifying my data also. Thank you once again.
    Peter
    >>Yes, DBAN would be the correct tool, but that would require some tweaking and hacking on your part, as it doesn't work too well with newer computers.

    Alternatively, you can format and reinstall Windows, and run a Free Space erase on the new-clean Windows drive. That is not a perfect solution, but it should be sufficiently clean for most (the necessary "cleanliness" would be determined by yourself)
    Be sure to read the FAQ before posting. If you found this [COLOR=blue !important][COLOR=blue !important]application[/COLOR][/COLOR] useful, please contribute to Eraser's development.

    I develop Eraser but I am not an employee of Heidi Computers Ltd. My views do not represent those of Heidi Computers Ltd.
    Don't PM or Email me questions: they won't be answered any faster than on the forum and knowledge won't be accessible by all.
    [​IMG]

    Joel Eraser DevTeam Posts: 2779 Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 6:16 pm Location: Singapore
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    Re: support questions

    [​IMG]by DavidHB ยป Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:34 am
    As it is a branded machine, there may well be a utility to restore it to factory condition. If there is, you could use that (it will format the drive), then (as Joel says) use the Eraser free space erase to make your machine safe. I agree with Joel that this is not 100% solution, but it comes pretty close, and I recall that people have reported issues with DBAN on Dell machines.

    David
    I am not an Eraser programmer, but a long-time user. I have no connection with Heidi Computers Ltd, and my views are not necessarily the same as those of the Eraser programming team.
     
    #9 Peterr, Apr 18, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011

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