I'm trying to wipe/secure erase my computer hard drive and put it back to factory settings--the computer is getting sold. From reading the forums, I realize I can use clean all or other programs to write over the "deleted" data with ones or zeros.
However, my plan of action was to:
1. Use system recovery to put the computer back to factory settings
2. Create a system image
3. Use clean all from the command prompt to wipe the drive
4. Reinstall Windows 7 via installation CD
5. Restore via system image
The one problem is that I don't know if a system image saves absolutely everything, including data that had been "deleted" and is still present on the hard drive but is designated by the computer to be written over. I'm worried that if I do this, I'll just be undoing my attempt at securely erasing my hard drive and the "deleted" data will still be available for people to find if they tried.
Does anyone know? If this is true, I'll just do all of this and just reinstall the HP drivers
and software that came with it manually and the hard drive won't have a recovery partition for the next person.