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How to wipe a computer?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by SeekerOfTheWay, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. SeekerOfTheWay

    SeekerOfTheWay Android Enthusiast
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    I have an old computer that was given to me. When I got it it was all cleared out. I used it with my Blackberry and the Tether app to get online to load caches onto my GPS.

    I think there might be a virus on it, and it's also very slow. I stopped using it when I got my Android.

    Is there a way I can wipe the comouter completely and start new, while getting rid of any virus or key logging things?

    Thanks. If not, I am going to get rid of it.
     

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  2. vr6dubbin

    vr6dubbin Well-Known Member
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    Easiest way would be to buy a brand new Hard Drive for it and installing Windows or w/e Operating system you are familiar with. Or you can use a Windows CD to Wipe the partitions before you install it onto the HDD.

    If you still want to use the computer.. I would say just buy a new hard drive. If it really is old and possibly has viruses, it may already be a dying hard drive.
     
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  3. Isthmus

    Isthmus Android Expert
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    No need to buy a new hard drive. Just reinstall an operating system over the entire hard drive (not in a separate partition of the existing one), and that will give you a virus free operating system (note that i said reinstall, not recover). That said, if this is an old computer and you are running windows, that could very well explain why it is running slow. Can you give us some info on the hardware specs and the OS you are running on it? That will help us give you more accurate advice on what the best approach might be to get that computer running fast.
     
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  4. _mw_

    _mw_ Android Enthusiast
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    Old is relative. Old to me doesn't even run Windows 3.1. Old to my nephew is single core. :) How old is it?
     
  5. SeekerOfTheWay

    SeekerOfTheWay Android Enthusiast
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    I have no idea. It makes grinding noises when it runs. I think it is running a newer version of Windows.
     
  6. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    Grinding noises can be either a failing hard disk or a cooling fan with a lot of gunk in it (like baseball cards in the spokes of a bicycle, if you're old enough to remember doing that ;) ).

    If it's the hard disk, you might be better off just replacing it than risk failure and loss of important data.

    If you know the make and model of the PC, we can look up what the most likely method would be to restore the OS to factory conditions.
     
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  7. SeekerOfTheWay

    SeekerOfTheWay Android Enthusiast
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    On The tower It says, Dell Dimension V350. I'm leaning towards getting rid of it. All I used it for was getting music onto my Blackberry and .gpx files onto my GPS. But I'm really concerned about viruses on it because it startee acting strangely.

    I don't have any data saved on it. Just some files that I have on my SD card. The thing about restoring is I don't have internet access to it. I don't have any CDs for it.

    I could buy Tether again to use my Bolt for internet.

    All I'd like to do with it now is get movies onto my Bolt.
     
  8. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    You can read the spec's here.

    Processor is a 333 MHz or 400 MHz Celeron or Pentium II, and max RAM is 384 MB. I doubt you'd be able to rip your DVD's on this dinosaur ;)
     
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  9. SeekerOfTheWay

    SeekerOfTheWay Android Enthusiast
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    LOL! Well, that saves me some time. Thanks.
     
  10. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    I wouldn't throw it away ... there still may be other uses for it ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  11. SeekerOfTheWay

    SeekerOfTheWay Android Enthusiast
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    I think I have to pay to get rid of It too.
     
  12. MarunaZ

    MarunaZ Newbie
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    ctrl F11 at boot up should re install it, most Dells are set up that way...

    A "write over" not a recover
     
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  13. _mw_

    _mw_ Android Enthusiast
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    There's still a lot of uses for a box like that. Depends on what you use your computing power for around the house though.

    Speaking of older, I remember when I got a similar setup. Pentium II 450 with 256mb ram, hoo boy the people on IRC were so jealous of me that day. Back then we used to speculate on the kind of massive liquid cooling setups you would need to run over 1ghz. /nostalgic
     
  14. Isthmus

    Isthmus Android Expert
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    You could always load puppy linux on that bad boy and get some use out of it.
     
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  15. BillH2

    BillH2 Newbie
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    I used to work for a computer service company; one of our clients was the local U.S. Attorneys Office. They had a standing order that no replaced hard drives were ever to leave the building. They had a guy who showed up about once every few months, took the drives out by the dumpster, put them on the ground and took a large hammer to them. I have a debug routine I run to wipe systems. I have been using it for years, it destroys the master boot record so the hard drive appears to have never been formatted. Only things it, I was testing a program on a recently wiped system and recovered everything on the drive.
    If there is any chance that there is information on your drive that you don't want someone to get, physically destroy the drive.
     
  16. SeekerOfTheWay

    SeekerOfTheWay Android Enthusiast
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    I never considered doing that. A good suggestion. Is there any material that is hazardous to me? Could I burn it? Seems extreme, but I think you're right, the data would still be there.
     
  17. NightAngel79

    NightAngel79 Bounty Hunter Administrator
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    A powerful magnet would work, lol
     
  18. ooberops

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    DFW, Tx

    I was gonna say linux. Ubuntu is pretty friendly and free and has lots of support for drivers and stuff.... Good luck finding an ide drive...... i have one next to my vcr. LOL..... no. I dual boot W7U64 and Ubuntu 64 and love them both. Make sure u dload the correct version of Ubuntu though. One for intel and one for amd chipsets.

    Lol... Ya @ NightAngel or just take them apart..... the magnets inside the drive are incredibly powerful and are worth hanging on to......
     
  19. karandpr

    karandpr Android Expert
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    Use mini tool partition wizard or any HDD tool to Wipe partition.
    Basically all the sectors are filled with zeroes or ones or alternate 1's and 0's.
    Data cant be recovered from wiped partitions.
    Ofcourse the secret agents will know that you have wiped the partition clean.And the threat condition will be escalated to level 4.
    Even battered and Magnetized HDD could reveal some data .
    Wiped partitions.No chance at all !!!
     
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  20. SUroot

    SUroot Android Expert
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    On the contrary, it can. A format of a HDD is only formating and creating a new file system. All this removes are the links in NTFS (or FAT) on a windows PC to the file locations on the disk. Only when new links to new files are generated are these original files truely gone. Any decent disk recovery application could retrieve at least some of the data and files on there.

    When a single file is deleted from the file system, only the database entry is removed but the file remains until it is actually overwritten with a new file. Formatting is the same, all be it on a larger scale.
     
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  21. karandpr

    karandpr Android Expert
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    Yeah But I am not talking about formatting.I am talking about a Wipe !!

    dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda
    dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sda bs=1M in terminal

    Total Wipe.Give it a shot and tell me if could recover the data after that :).
    If you do I really want your recovery software !!
    All you will recover is a bunch of 0's :D
     
  22. SUroot

    SUroot Android Expert
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    hahah fair enough, but you're going to have to mount the drive in a linux / unix environment to be able to do that. Although we may find it easy enough to do ourselves, its not an easy solution for a noob ;)
     
  23. karandpr

    karandpr Android Expert
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    Actually mini tool partition wizard has a wipe option ,just below surface test .
    5 types of wipes available !!!.vanilla 0/1 to Super secret Agent DoD(Department of Defense standard).Never tested it though :).Will give it a shot since my 2GB SD card is free for experimentation .:D
     
  24. SeekerOfTheWay

    SeekerOfTheWay Android Enthusiast
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    Interesting reads, guys! I think I'll stick to the smashing method. Lol.
     
  25. SUroot

    SUroot Android Expert
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    Mini tool partition wizard is the devil IMHPO
     

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