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Windows 7: Need help on erasing hard drive

05 Dec 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Need help on erasing hard drive

Hello all. My computer has been having a lot of problems lately and I was thinking about using DBAN to start over again. I've used DBAN a lot of times, but for one pass takes about 5-6 hours. I was wondering if any of you have any suggestions on something other than DBAN. I know DBAN may not be the problem for it being slow, but I would just like to know if you think there are any better programs than DBAN. How many passes would you recommend me doing? I am not planning on selling it or doing anything with it, I just don't want files leftover. Thanks!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Dec 2011   #2
whs

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Here is a little selection of options. But why do you go thru so much trouble if you keep the system. Just reinstall and everything in C: will be gone - at least for the layman. And any other partitions you can just delete in Disk Management.

Eraser
Best Free Secure Erase Utility
CMRR - Secure Erase
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2011   #3
Microsoft MVP

 

There is no performance reason to wipe the HD with any more than the quick Diskpart Clean command, which zeroes the boot sector that sometimes can have corrupt code interfering with Windows 7 install or booting.

Any more than that - using Diskpart Clean All which writes zeroes to the entire drive, DBAN or the others - only serves to destroy data so that it is unrecoverable by normal methods but not forensics, nothing else. There are always going to be either ones or zeroes there, so forget the whole idea of "erasing" anything.

It took awhile for this to sink in for me: You gain ZERO performance advantage by zeroing the HD. Windows 7 doesn't know the overwritten code is there any more when it overwrites it itself during daily use, than if it has been already overwritten with zeroes.

So Diskpart Clean Command is sufficient: SSD - HDD Optimize for Windows Reinstallation

More important are the steps you follow to assure a perfect reinstall, not wiping or "formatting" the HD as though that describes something really extra special clean.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Dec 2011   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64 Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Tri-Boot
 
 

+1 to DISKPART - CLEAN ALL. One of the most under-rated tools in our arsenal.

Disk - Clean and Clean All with Diskpart Command
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2011   #5

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
You gain ZERO performance advantage by zeroing the HD. Windows 7 doesn't know the overwritten code is there any more when it overwrites it itself during daily use, than if it has been already overwritten with zeroes.

So Diskpart Clean Command is sufficient: SSD - HDD Optimize for Windows Reinstallation


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Golden View Post
+1 to DISKPART - CLEAN ALL. One of the most under-rated tools in our arsenal.

Disk - Clean and Clean All with Diskpart Command
again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2011   #6

MS Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1
 
 

To erase a hard disk securely CCleaner has a tool builtin called Drive wiper. Using this tool you could either clean the free space on a HDD or the entire contents also.

The options for cleaning you have are
1. Simple Overwrite (1 pass)
2. Advanced Overwrite (3 passes)
3. Complex Overwrite (7 passes)
4. Very Complex Overwrite (35 passess)

CCleaner is a free award winning cleaning tool available for free download on Piriform website.
It works for various versions of windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2011   #7

Windows 7 Professional 64bit.
 
 
Need help on erasing hard drive

My personal choice would be to use the MS formatting function provided through Control Panel. Consider the following:

How to: format your hard drive in windows vista or windows 7 - YouTube

Again, that's a personal preference over the use of a utility. Life is nothing but a series of decisions.

Best wishes,

Lairbear
Need help on erasing hard drive
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2011   #8

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

Using CCleaner or a plain format is all good and well, but Diskpart is the easiest way.

With the other methods, you're just wiping existing partitions clean, and you can only format/wipe those that aren't in use by the system anyway.

Running Diskpart from the Windows setup DVD circumvents all these issues and ensures a complete disk wipe, no ifs or buts.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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