How to wipe hd (off-line)

February 5, 2020 at 19:29:41
Specs: WINDOWS XP
I HAVE A COMPAQ W/XP PRO AND I WANT TO WIPE THE HD TO ZERO. I'VE TRIED CMD/REGISTRY/CHKDSK/QUICK FORMAT/COMPRESS DSK AND DOZENS OF OTHER SUGGESTIONS....ALSO, I CANNOT CONNECT TO THE INTERNET. I HAVE XFINITY/COMCAST ETHERNET WHICH WORKS USING MY LENOVO & EMACHINE....WHAT I'D LIKE TO KNOW IS HOW TO DO THIS OFF-LINE????? BEEN AT IT FOR DAYS AND I'M STUMPED. THE DISK IS ABT 95%+ FREE.

THX.....MV


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#1
February 5, 2020 at 20:08:31
You need to boot off some sort of disc to do it. How secure do you need the wipe? How about booting off your XP disc (assuming you have one), choosing "advanced", then delete ALL partitions so that there's nothing left but unallocated space, create a new partition out of the unallocated space, then format that partition & cancel out of the Windows installation.

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#2
February 6, 2020 at 07:57:11
If you have no more OS and no internet the best you can do is use "a" Windows installation disc to format the disk (or partitions), like riider says.
But, if you then install Windows, you have some more options. You can for example create a partition from ALL of the remaining space on your C: drive.

That drive (anything but C:) you can try to clean with whatever method available in standard Windows, which is the DISKMGMT tool, DISKPART, and FORMAT

Maybe more exist. I don't think any of those does a full clean, but you can surely do some things, like:

- When formatting, make sure to use the "slow" method (as opposed to a quick format). Obviously, that takes longer ...
- I've always wondered what is really cleaned, when you CHANGE your file system; format an NTFS as FAT32, or the other way round. It will surely destroy lots.
- When formatting, change your allocation unit, especially to small allocation units. Ex.

format D: /FS:FAT32 /A:512

- Convert your drive between MBR and GPT
( DISKPART and DISKMGMT can do that )


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#3
February 6, 2020 at 09:17:55
HI.....I HAVE XP PRO AS WELL AS HOME AND HAVE BOOTED FROM EACH DISC A FEW TIMES. DIDN'T SEE THE ADVANCED OPTION BUT I'LL GIVE ANOTHER LOOK.SECURITY IN THIS CASE IS NOT AN ISSUE SO ANYTHING GOES!

AND DISKMGMT IS CLICKABLE BUT NON-RESPONSIVE ('FORMAT' IS GRAY) /DISKPART ON CMD WENT NOWHERE AND THE ONLY OPTIONS WHEN I WENT TO 'MANAGE' ON 'MY COMPUTER' WERE QUICK FORMAT & COMPRESS (GOT A POP-UP STATING UNABLE TO PERFORM.....)

ONE THING I NEED TO MAKE CLEAR IS THAT I'M NOT COMPUTER SAVVY IN TERMS OF TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE SO PLEEEEZE KEEP IT EZ. (IE: BABY STEPS!!) CONSIDER ME A TECHNICAL DUMMY. I WILL TRY ALL THESE SUGGESTIONS AND WE'LL SEE BUT I'VE HIT SO MANY DEAD ENDS.

THANK YOU THANK YOU.....MIMI V

message edited by MIMIVEE


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Related Solutions

#4
February 6, 2020 at 11:05:56
Are you saying that you booted from a removeable CD or DVD disk,
and Windows XP started up from that disk OK (a longish process), but
you were then not able to find commands that would wipe the C: drive?

You are sure that the computer booted from the removeable disk, not
from the installed Windows on the hard drive?

The BIOS needs to be set to boot from the CD / DVD. I think that is
usually the default, but if you aren't sure, that is the first thing to check.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#5
February 6, 2020 at 15:39:54

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#6
February 6, 2020 at 20:10:14
"DIDN'T SEE THE ADVANCED OPTION"

Sorry, I haven't worked with XP in years. Johnw posted the screenshots you'll need. When you format, use Full rather than Quick.


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#7
February 7, 2020 at 08:04:11
THE XP HOME DISC READS 'GATEWAY OS' AND THE XP PRO IS A CD-R GIVEN TO ME BY THE PREVIOUS OWNER (YES A LONG-ISH PROCESS!)I'LL REDO THE INSTALLATION TO RE-CHECK /LOOK FOR THE COMMANDS TO WIPE THE C: DRIVE.....AND I'LL LOOK INTO THE BIOS. I KEEP WONDERING IF IT'S WORTH THE TROUBLE AND TIME.....IT WOULD BE SO MUCH EASIER TO JUST POP ANOTHER HD IN.....BUT I'LL TRY AGAIN OVER THE WEEKEND AND PS IT DID BOOT FROM THE DISKS

THX MIMI V.

message edited by MIMIVEE


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#8
February 7, 2020 at 08:18:13
I WOULD FORMAT USING FULL BUT THE ONLY(!) OPTION IS QUICK & COMPRESS. ONE QUESTION BEFORE I CLICK JOHNW'S LINKS: CAN I DO THAT FROM THIS COMPUTER WITHOUT CAUSING ANY PROBLEMS TO IT? I NEED TO ASK BECAUSE THE XP IS UNABLE TO CONNECT TO THE INT. OR WOULD IT BE POSSIBLE TO BURN THOSE LINKS TO DISC FROM HERE?

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#9
February 7, 2020 at 08:54:09
Johnw's links are just screenshots of what you'll see after booting off the XP disc.

What exactly are you trying to do? XP is long past its prime & is no longer safe for internet usage. If you never plan to go online again, XP is OK to use, but if your intention is to use it for the internet, choose a different OS. When installing a new OS, the HDD will get wiped in the process. You don't have to pre-wipe & format. You're just making more work for yourself.

If you'll post the make/model of the computer you're working with & the specs, one of us should be able to point you in the right direction. If it's an old XP-era Gateway, your best bet will probably be Linux. But we would need to know your system specs, especially the RAM amount. There aren't many operating systems that will run decently with less than 2GB RAM.

BTW, please turn off the CAPS. It's considered SHOUTING!


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#10
February 7, 2020 at 17:34:15
ALL I WANTED TO DO FROM THE GET-GO WAS TO TOTALLY WIPE THE HD AS I SAID TO Z-E-R-O!....I'VE BEEN SAYING ALL ALONG THAT I WANT TO DITCH XP; THE COMPUTER IS A REALLY GOOD COMPAQ AND ALL I WANT IS TO INSTALL EITHER WIN 7 OR WIN 8 (OR 8.1) ON THE EXISTING HD BUT IT LOOKS LIKE I'LL JUST GET ANOTHER ONE.

THANX FOR HANGING IN THERE. I APPRECIATED All YOUr INPUT/PATIENCE.

MIMI V.

message edited by MIMIVEE


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#11
February 7, 2020 at 17:38:06
HI......I JUST NOW CHECKED THE LINKS YOU POSTED AND THE ONE STEP I NEGLECTED WAS TO PRESS 'D'....LIKE I SAID I'M SO NOT TECH SAVVY. ANYWAY I'LL TRY THE 'D' KEY OVER THE WEEKEND AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS

THANK YOU
MIMI V


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#12
February 7, 2020 at 17:43:33
"ALL I WANT IS TO INSTALL EITHER WIN 7 OR WIN 8 (OR 8.1) ON THE EXISTING HD"
Go for it then.

Use your bootable ISO, then boot the from that ISO.

During the install, delete all the partitions, keep hitting Delete until you have a clean HD ( You cant delete any more )
Continue with the install.


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#13
February 7, 2020 at 17:46:23
"I'LL TRY THE 'D' KEY OVER THE WEEKEND AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS"
Our posts crossed.
Yep, that is the main step to clean/wipe the drive.

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#14
February 7, 2020 at 17:52:20
Please post the make/model of the computer & the system specs liked I asked in my other response. If you don't have enough RAM, Win7 (or newer) will not run well, or at all. And Win7 is no longer supported either so eventually it will become a security risk. Win8/8.1 isn't far behind.
https://www.zdnet.com/article/sayin...

I've been experimenting with Linux Lite 4.8 on an old XP-era HP Pavilion. It would be an excellent choice if you have enough RAM.
https://distrowatch.com/table.php?d...
https://www.linuxliteos.com/

message edited by riider


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#15
February 8, 2020 at 07:25:13
JOHNW.....YES THEY DID. I PLAN ON TRYING THE D KEY EITHER THIS AFT OR TOMORROW (FINGERS CROSSED) ......WILL LET YOU KNOW

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#16
February 8, 2020 at 07:58:17
Are you deliberately ignoring my questions or is the problem that I don't respond in all CAPS?

Please post the make/model of your computer & the system specs (CPU, RAM, graphics, memory). If your system doesn't meet the minimum hardware requirements, it's pointless to try to install Windows 7 or 8. The memory amount is extremely important. You should double the minimum recommendation if you want reasonably good performance. That means 2GB for Win7 32-bit; 4GB for Win7 64-bit. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us...

I still don't know why you insist on wiping the HDD in advance? It gets wiped as part of the Windows installation. If you really want to "zero" the drive, you generally need to use special software plus it takes several hours.
https://gizmodo.com/leave-no-trace-...

message edited by riider


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#17
February 9, 2020 at 16:31:31
JOHNW....THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT THIS IS MY LAST POST RE THE XP ISSUE (MY NEIGHBOR'S BRO-IN-LAW HAS A COUSIN WHO CAN WIPE IT). BUT TO LET YOU KNOW 3 THINGS: A) I DID TRY THE D KEY BUT THE OPTIONS/COMMANDS THAT FOLLOWED WERE WAY WAY OVER MY SCOPE OF TECH KNOWLEDGE B) I FOUND TWO OTHER REALLY EASY METHODS 1....GO TO CMD TYPE: FORMAT C: /FS:NTFS OR 2....CMD TYPE: OSUNINST.EXE; THE LAST DIDN'T WORK BECAUSE IT COULDN'T LOCATE THE REGISTRATION NUMBER AND THE FIRST ONE AGAIN WAS OVER MY HEAD BUT FOR SOMEONE WHO'S SAVVY IT'S EZPZ!!!!

I APPRECIATE ALL YOUR TIME BUT MAYBE THE FACT THAT IT WAS OFF-LINE MIGHT HAVE PRESENTED A PROBLEM (?)

MIMI V.


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#18
February 9, 2020 at 16:40:35
Thanks for the feedback MIMI V, certainly easy if you have the skill, always handy to have someone who can help.

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#19
February 10, 2020 at 05:04:11
You don't need to be online to wipe a HDD, but you can't wipe a HDD with Windows on it from within Windows. It's like asking it to self-destruct. That's why the wiping has be done by booting off a disc.

It's unfortunate that you chose not to answer a few simple questions because we would have arrived at a solution much quicker. I expect there will be additional post about how to install Windows, where to find drivers, etc. Then again, if your system doesn't have enough RAM, all your efforts will have been in vain.


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