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Windows 7: Cleaning a virus laden hard drive - format vs diskpart/clean

06 Dec 2011   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Cleaning a virus laden hard drive - format vs diskpart/clean

I'd like to make sure all malware is off an old hard drive before I re-use it. I want to make sure that all areas, including the boot sector are clean. Will using "format" in disk manager do that, or is Diskpart/Clean a more thorough cleaning?

Thanks

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Dec 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

If you want a thorough format you can use the Clean All command, but be aware it will take several hours or so depending on the size of your hard drive.

Gregrocker is of the opinion that the Clean command is enough and knowing how knowledgeable he is I'd say that's good enough.

Disk - Clean and Clean All with Diskpart Command
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2011   #3

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

Definitely use the Diskpart method. Just formatting all existing partitions won't touch the MBR or any code stored in the first 63 sectors of the disk.

Diskpart's clean command wipes out the MBR and partition table completely, so for all intents and purposes the disk is returned to a virgin state. Everything else that still remains on it simply becomes inert, random data.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Dec 2011   #4

Desk1 8 Pro / Desk2 7 Home Prem / Laptop 8 Pro all 64bit
 
 

How about a factory default - if it is a "bought" machine. It will clean everything and leave your OS intact.

Trouble is you have to clean the bloat and do all the updating again.

Menat to ad what do the others think of a an already cloned "clean' drive (I keep a couple spare) and just clone the the main drive from it? Or perhaps CCleaner drive wipe but you need the install disk eh?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2011   #5

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Thanks Seavixen and Corazon. I used the Clean function and it worked very nicely. I was pleased to see that when it was done it had removed all the partitions and left the space unallocated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2011   #6

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ICit2lol View Post
How about a factory default?
This is a bare drive, no computer.

Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2011   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

Hi Vincenzo,

Can I offer a suggestion? Once you have your recently cleaned disk installed with everything you need, consider imaging your sytem using FREE Macrium Reflect - this way, if you run into trouble again, you could simple reinstall your entire system from the Macrium image. Its far quicker than doing a fresh install of everything.

This tutorial will be useful too :

Imaging with free Macrium

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2011   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Vincenzo View Post
Thanks Seavixen and Corazon. I used the Clean function and it worked very nicely. I was pleased to see that when it was done it had removed all the partitions and left the space unallocated.
You're very welcome.

Thanks for the feedback.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2011   #9

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Golden View Post
Hi Vincenzo,

Can I offer a suggestion? Once you have your recently cleaned disk installed with everything you need, consider imaging your sytem using FREE Macrium Reflect - this way, if you run into trouble again, you could simple reinstall your entire system from the Macrium image. Its far quicker than doing a fresh install of everything.

This tutorial will be useful too :

Imaging with free Macrium

Regards,
Golden

Thanks Golden. Yes, I agree. I am a big fan of imaging. I use Ghost and Acronis. This drive was given to me by a friend.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2011   #10

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

Very welcome, thanks for letting us know you succeeded. I agree with Golden as well, nothing says "fresh start" like a pristine image of a newly-installed OS with all updates, drivers and core apps already installed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Cleaning a virus laden hard drive - format vs diskpart/clean





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