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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    I have an old laptop that I want to dispose of. It has Windows XP installed. I have wiped the data using a cleaning utility, but I want to leave the hard drive completely empty, with not even Windows on it. Can I use the installation CD just to boot Windows and format the drive without installing anything on it?

    PS: No reply needed - I found and used this, which worked well.
    http://www.dban.org/download

  2. #2
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    Why would one want to do this, now someone that may have a use for said machine, must go out and buy a copy of an OS to used this machine.

    The least one should do, is rebuild the machine back to factoring settings.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveA View Post
    Why would one want to do this, now someone that may have a use for said machine, must go out and buy a copy of an OS to used this machine.

    The least one should do, is rebuild the machine back to factoring settings.
    I agree, there are a lot of people that are using relics and would love to have this machine with a clean install of windows. Why blank the hd. As long as all your info is gone, then knowone could use it to acquire your stuff. Plus going this route just keeps one more PC out of a landfill.

    Additional thought: I agree with Dr Who. I had an old Dell Dimension 8250 PC with an operational XP, fully updated OS. I cleaned up all personal info, added wireless networking and gave the whole system to my teen age granddaughter. She was absolutely thrilled. This was the best gift she got for Christmas. Plus this gave us an excuse to travel the 1100 miles for a nice visit. What could have been better.

    I guess as a final thought, why waste a perfectly good resource. Even if you do not want it, someone, somewhere does.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  4. #4
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    This is a topic that's revisited almost daily on one forum or another.

    Being in the computer business I'm getting PC's all the time that people no longer want, but have a lot of good life left in them.

    I clean out all the personal information, remove any programs that were specific to the owner, like Quicken, Quick Books Pro, etc.
    I leave Works or Office and Adobe reader, etc.
    Then I tweak and tune the computer for optimum efficiency and sometimes even add some more ram.
    Then I change the owners name to something like "Joe" or "Al" and do a very thorough cleanup of the PC, removing all the junk
    files and then do a defrag.

    Now the PC is ready to be donated to a needy person, student, etc.

    Wiping a Hard drive clean, especially on a Laptop is akin to destroying it. Getting all the hardware drivers for an older laptop can be a real nightmare.

    So leave the OS and all the drivers, etc. alone and just take off the personal information and do a defrag which will overwrite that deleted info and the job of securing the PC is done.

    Just a thought!

    The Doctor
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger
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    This laptop is obsolete and unreliable and being recycled.

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