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Windows 7: How to completely wipe a drive for re-installation? Mixed partitions..


24 Oct 2011   #1

Windows 7 Panasonic CF F9 (used to have CF F8)
 
 
How to completely wipe a drive for re-installation? Mixed partitions..

Hi I have a dual boot with different types of partitions, NTFS and ext4 and linux SWAP.

Id like to completely wipe everything and make the drive NTFS and then run virtual box inside.

So, my question! How would you safely make the drive as much "out of the box" as possible?

Thanks!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Oct 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Lister,

You could run a clean or clean all command at boot using diskpart to completely wipe the drive back as unallocated space to then be able to format as NTFS afterwards. The tutorial below can help show you more on how to.

Disk - Clean and Clean All with Diskpart Command

Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2011   #3

Windows 7 Panasonic CF F9 (used to have CF F8)
 
 

thanks for that link.

Does the "clean all" clean ALL partitions? I am hoping it aggressively goes into every partition (even the ext4 and the SWAP) and simply cleans them as well...

Is that the case? Thanks again
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Oct 2011   #4
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Yep, a "clean all" command at boot will completely delete everything (data, partitions, swap, etc....) off the drive, and leave you with a empty unallocated HDD afterwards.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2011   #5

Windows 7 Panasonic CF F9 (used to have CF F8)
 
 

cool thanks. I see that in your excellent tutorial (link in your previous post) you warn about SSD's

I have an SSD and will be doing this to it - good to know that its best now to overdo it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

You're most welcome.

Yeah, for a SSD, I would recommend the "Clean" command instead of "Clean all" to avoid the extra writes to the SSD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2011   #7

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server
 
 

Hi all
this might be "more than required" but if you really want to be sure of erasing all the data on the disk you should write x'00' or random hex digits on every sector at least twice.

This ensures that even the most sophisticated "Disk unerase" or data recovery type of program will fail.

Not sure if the OP wanted to go to this level of security or whether he just wanted to re-install the OS on a "newly formatted" drive.


http://www.diskwipe.org/

This sort of FREE software will do the trick too.

It uses these sorts of algorithms to securely erase data ;

Dod 5220-22.M, US Army etc.

I always use this before chucking an old HDD in the "Bin" or if I'm giving someone / a charity / or whatever an old computer.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2011   #8

Windows 7 Panasonic CF F9 (used to have CF F8)
 
 

thanks - is that overkill for me though? All I want to do is make the disk "new" again so that I can install a fresh completely new copy of windows for the entire disk. (I had several partitions that now I just want to get rid of and run several OS's in virtual box)

So, the zero's is overkill for me right, or would you advise to do it? Would it make the disk more error-free?

Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2011   #9

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server
 
 

Hi there
For your situation this is overkill

I only do this sort of stuff if I'm tossing out an old HDD or giving away a Computer.

Identity theft / fraud is big big business -- even if you think you have ZERO assets and even LESS money personal data is big big business so that's why I do a secure erase before tossing this stuff out.

It won't improve performance -- Brink's method is just fine for cleaning and re-creating partitions on your HDD.

BTW I'd always recommend to have a smaller partition just for the OS and applications and have your data / music / photos etc on different partition(s) so if you have to restore the OS you don't have to re-create all your data again.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2011   #10

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
Hi all
this might be "more than required" but if you really want to be sure of erasing all the data on the disk you should write x'00' or random hex digits on every sector at least twice.
A clean all command in DiskPart does exactly that - wipe the entire HD by zeroing it out. No need to do it twice.

EDIT: I just realized you were talking about secure wiping. But this is kinda overkill too if you're immediately going to reuse the disk anyway.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How to completely wipe a drive for re-installation? Mixed partitions..




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