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Windows 7: Easiest way to securely wipe hard drive and reformat laptop for resale

11 May 2011   #11
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

You can also use CCleaner which has an option to wipe all data from a HDD. From there you should be able to format and re-install your OS. It has options for 1 pass, 3 passes, 7, and 35 passes. Usually 1 pass is sufficient for all except someone who has a $4000 program to recover data.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 May 2011   #12
oreo27

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by win7user2010 View Post
@oreo27 , I think what you intended to write is missing?
Indeed. It seems that I have missed out on the link. Here's a simple guide.

How to Reformat with the ASUS Recovery CD | eHow.com

I had a better, more detailed one; but I can't find it anywhere.
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12 May 2011   #13
win7user2010

windows 7
 
 

Thank you everyone for your replies. Now I just have to wait until the new notebook comes in.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 May 2011   #14
oreo27

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by win7user2010 View Post
Thank you everyone for your replies. Now I just have to wait until the new notebook comes in.
You're welcome. How you enjoy the new notebook
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2011   #15
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709
 
 

Your not sure. That is a great reason to ask questions here. Formating leaves lot of things on your computer, it just allows that information to be wrote over when need be by the fresh install. Their for if some one wants to get that information and has the time and money it's still there. If your computer is a business or has government type information on it I would do 3 passes.
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12 May 2011   #16
FliGi7

XP / Win7 x64 Pro
 
 

1 pass of writing zero's to a drive eliminates any feasible chance of useful data recovery. There is no need for any more passes than that unless you just enjoy torturing yourself.

The System Restore CD provides a means of low-level formatting a disk prior to installing the OS. There's a tutorial for that on here.
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12 May 2011   #17
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709
 
 

I agree to disagree on how many passes. If one pass suited every need then programs wouldn't give you options of more passes. Some people have customer information, R and D information, government contract information and want to be sure of the wipe. As for the time it takes, go have a couple of beers and let it do it's thing. I don't really know what the O.P. has on that computer and don't want to know.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2011   #18
FliGi7

XP / Win7 x64 Pro
 
 

You might disagree but it's an actual fact. More passes were introduced (circa 1996) to the mix because of theories that data could still be retrieved after one, or three, or however many passes due to the less dense nature of hard disks at that time. That was many years ago and today such theories don't hold true. The option for more passes now is to provide the feeling of better security, not actual. The type of information on the drive doesn't change the fact that one pass renders any substantial amount of usable information defunct.
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12 May 2011   #19
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709
 
 

The felling of better security feels good.
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12 May 2011   #20
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Quote:
The delete function in most operating systems simply marks the space occupied by the file as reusable (removes the pointer to the file) without immediately removing any of its contents. At this point the file can be fairly easily recovered by numerous recovery applications. However, once the space is overwritten with other data, there is no known way to recover it. It cannot be done with software alone since the storage device only returns its current contents via its normal interface. Gutmann claims that intelligence agencies have sophisticated tools, including magnetic force microscopes, which together with image analysis, can detect the previous values of bits on the affected area of the media (for example hard disk).
Wikipedia Guttman method
Looking through different sources it wouls seem one overwrite will be enough with today's drives. BUT I have CCleaner to overwrite data 7 times and it has the option of the Guttman method of 35 overwrites.
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 Easiest way to securely wipe hard drive and reformat laptop for resale




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