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How to wipe out hard drive so you can sell it?

post #1 of 15
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So I got a new PC, along with a new SSD/HDD combo. I don't need this old one, it came with a prebuilt Gateway. So I was thinking about selling the old parts of the PC.

How do I completely remove everything off of the hard drive so that I can be able to sell it? Its a WD Caviar Blue 640gb with Vista Home 64 on it with **** tons of games/music/movies. I already transfered everything to my new HDD so is there a way to easily wipe out EVERYTHING on this old beast? And still be able to work fine so I can sell?
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post #2 of 15
I use DBAN (Darik's Boot and Nuke) - It works perfectly. Just burn that ISO to a disc, boot with it, and read the directions and make sure you only have that drive selected. I've used it quite a few times without issues.

Edit: If you have used this drive for things that you wouldn't want other people to be able to recover, I recommend using this program, it basically formats your hard drive a lot of times, and makes it very hard to recover anything you've previously had. On the other hand if you've had nothing on the drive, or anything of any importance then you can just right click on the drive within windows, and click format. Do as another has said below and DON'T do "quick format"
Edited by sivarthcaz - 1/29/11 at 5:27pm
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post #3 of 15
You can probably just use CCleaner's Drive Wiper function.

Edit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by sivarthcaz View Post
I use DBAN (Darik's Boot and Nuke) - It works perfectly. Just burn that ISO to a disc, boot with it, and read the directions and make sure you only have that drive selected. I've used it quite a few times without issues.
^This is the best way to make sure there's nothing left on the disk.
Edited by thisischuck01 - 1/29/11 at 5:23pm
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post #4 of 15
just do a fresh format/install of the os and don't just the back up option.
    
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post #5 of 15
Do some type of full format on the drive (not quick).
This will actually go in and reset all the bits to 0's.

If you only do a quick format, it's just the file index table that's removed and the data is unaffected.
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post #6 of 15
Format it using the OS install disk, then Defrag it and then format it again!

Recovery software can go about 8-10 Formats deep in data recovery... UNLESS you defrag it! The Defrag seals the deal.

So:

1.) Full Format with OS install disk
2.) Reinstall OS
3.) Defrag (even though it won't need it.)
4.) Format (Quick Fromat is fine at this point)

Results: Fresh HDD with no recoverable data except the OS files.
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post #7 of 15
hook it up to another pc, go to computer, right click, and select "format"
post #8 of 15
+1 for DBAN. We use the autonuke feature with customer PC's that are decommissioned.
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post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by XXDraconisWisherXX View Post
just do a fresh format/install of the os and don't just the back up option.
I don't know how well that would work. I did the same thing (albeit the "Quick Format" option), and then I realized I didn't back up some important vacation photos. So I used some recovery program and managed to get most, if not all, of the images back.

I think in this case, it's probably best to use a program that is solely dedicated to wiping out data, rather than relying on a format or two.
    
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post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mastiffman View Post
Recovery software can go about 8-10 Formats deep in data recovery...

Specifically, which?

I've only heard theoretical dribble about recovery after a full actual format but have never seen it actually been done..
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