Wipe clean OS and write 0's what is best?

By DzusFast ยท 7 replies
Feb 13, 2007
  1. I NEED to swipe clean EVERYTHING off my primary (IDE0) with no remnants left. I have used the XP PRO CD to reformat the HDD but each time after I reinstall it, I've still been able to find some old program or whatever left in it. Last time I thought I had it, but I found the 'Bit Torrent' logo from the previous Op SYS. (that was XPPRO).

    Strange thing is, I formatted new partitions in FAT32, then back to NTSF - still, there were images of the past.

    Currently, I have XP installed, and awaiting a better way... (Perhaps some proceedure using Hiren's?)

    Hardware: Dell 4400 desktp
    Advice is appreciated.


    Nomo Data
  2. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,415


    yes Hirens boot cd is full of tools to wipe your HD, cant ever say with all the reinstalls I have done that I have ever come across something remaining behind from a previous install though, still its possible I suppose, incidentally Hirens has a DOD wipe program, this writes 0's 7 or 8 times as specified by the DOD (dept of defense).

  3. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Download the Powermax ISO and burn it to cd as an image. Boot from the cd and run a lowlevel format. That will zero fill the hard drive and wipe everything that`s on it.

    Regards Howard :)
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    What do you mean you found stuff from the last OS? Was it just there visible in regular Windows? Or were you using a data recovery program to see what you could find. If its appearing without using data recovery software then something is screwed up with how you are reformatting (you aren't) or your something else is wierd.
  5. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    I find one of the best low-leval format/ data destruction tools is DBAN. it not only allows writeing zeros to a drive, but also allows overwrites useing the Department of Defense approved method (usefull whan you want to sell/ give away an old system and don't want any personal data left.) It runs off of one floppy (can also be run from CD or DVD) and will erase any HDD it can detect with a user selected method.

    It is avalible here:
  6. DzusFast

    DzusFast TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks guys you're awesome!

    I employed the DOD slow wipe from Hiren's (KillDisk), then Howards program below (Because I don't want to do it a 2nd time.) so now I'm sure I'm ok.

    I'm just not good enough to know whats going on in the background so now I'm 'Safe" than 'Sorry"...

    I guess I'm a little like that guy from the show 'Monk'; I like seeing it that clean and orderly!

  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Could you answer my question so I'll at least know what exactly you were talking about?
  8. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    there's lots of software out there that can wipe your drives.
    Norton systemworks has it as well as FREE spybot search and destroy. Look in the tools function. I think even crap cleaner has it as a tool, but I'm not 100% sure.
    A government wipe 000s and 1111s repeated 7 times is the most secure.
    But for the average joe/jane this is not necessary. Only if you're shredding classified information.
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