How to wipe a windows 98 computer

January 21, 2018 at 04:03:35
Specs: Windows 98

So I am going to recyle an old windows 98 computer. Thing is when i try to start it up it is not working.

When I start it up I see B: drive error

I have a boot disk in the floppy drive but it only gets as far as this:

Windows 98 has detected that drive C does not contain a valid FAT or FAT32 partition.

I then get the A:\ promt

I try to run FDISK but it says no fixed disks present.

I just want to wipe the computer not bothered about starting it. Is there any way to do this?Thanks!

message edited by jr777

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January 21, 2018 at 06:34:01
"no fixed disks present"

Either the hard drive is bad or there is none. Open the case & have a look.

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January 21, 2018 at 07:05:44
thanks for the reply! yes it looks like there is one in there?

Would it be secure enough to just take that out and destroy it? all i want to do is make sure there's no personal data left....

message edited by jr777

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January 21, 2018 at 13:13:05
You can certainly destroy the hard disk physically if you
feel it isn't worth re-using. Of course, if it doesn't work, it
isn't worth re-using! I've seen a hard drive destroyed at a
computer recycling shop when the customer didn't want
to hang around for the time it would take to wipe the whole
drive. I think a cold chisel and smallish sledgehammer
were used to put a hole through it.

How long ago did you last use the hard disk? Do you
remember if it was working okay? Would you like to try
to recover data from it or at least look to be sure you
don't want to before you get rid of it?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

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Related Solutions

January 21, 2018 at 17:02:20
"Would it be secure enough to just take that out and destroy it?"

Yes, but realize that if by "recycling it" you mean trying to sell it to another party, then it won't be worth as much without a hard drive. If you somehow find that it does work, my suggestion would be to use DBAN to wipe it clean:

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

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January 22, 2018 at 01:03:52
Thanks Jeff,

It's probably been 4/5 yrs since I last used it. Yes it was working back then but I think maybe just sitting idle for so long it has just died.

It really doesn't bother me about retrieving data, I just want prepare it for recycling. Just need to get the computer out of the house - it is ancient and we have no use for it now :)

So I took out the hard drive and will be getting the sledge hammer to it as advised ;). As for the remaining computer case - is there anything inside that would contain infromation - like the motherboard or anything - or am I safe after just removing the hard drive?

Thanks again :)

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January 22, 2018 at 01:07:26

No it is actually being recycled - not sold :) It is over 20 yrs old..I just wanted to make sure there was nothing personal on it in destroying the hard drive is enough you think or is there other things in the case that should be destroyed also?


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January 22, 2018 at 06:03:18
"so destroying the hard drive is enough"

Yes. Nothing personal would reside anywhere else.

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

message edited by T-R-A

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January 26, 2018 at 14:59:46
As an alternative, take the screws out of the HDD and remove the case. You can then do plenty of damage to the disc itself with a much smaller hammer.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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