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Windows 7: How do I *completely* kill all files when re-installing

12 Jan 2010   #1
shiphen

Windows7 Pro x64
 
 
How do I *completely* kill all files when re-installing

Hi
How do I *completely* kill all files when re-installing Window7 Pro (64bit)?

BACKGROUND
The problem I have is that my previous installation of Windows7 picked up some trojans/viruses and I want to make double sure that there is nothing left on my disk.

I have tried booting from the Windows7 DVD, but it only does a very unconvincing format that appears to take about 3 seconds.

Cheers


Ship


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Jan 2010   #2
Pauly

Win7 Ultimate X64
 
 

Download a free program like killdisk and format the HDD with this and it will return the drive to all zeros or all ones totally blanking anything on there although it will take a little while especially if its a big disk ie 1TB, once downloaded it will give you the option to create a boot disk, make it, boot from it, then blank the HDD and your ready to install

Hope this helps
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2010   #3
shiphen

Windows7 Pro x64
 
 

Yes, I tried downloading an ISO file from killdisk.com, which I burnt to CD and then booted my Windows7PC from it. But I found it confusing. I did get it to delete some files (I think) but it didnt take more about 20 seconds... I was also slightly alarmed that it didnt talk about Windows7 anywhere but maybe that doesnt matter!

Roughly how long would you expect it to take to completely blank a 500GB disk?
Minutes? hours? days?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Jan 2010   #4
Pauly

Win7 Ultimate X64
 
 

It depends on the settings you choose but normal full format maybe 1-2 hours but that is a guess theres lots of things that can affect it, system type/speed, HDD type, program settings etc
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2010   #5
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Who made your hard drive?

The drive utilities at the manufacturer's web site nearly always include a method to write zeros to the entire drive, as you might do before disposing of it. I used it recently on a Western Digital drive.

You don't need to burn a disc.

I am guessing these apps will work when you have a one drive system. It may be that you have to connect the drive to another working system, but I doubt it. I've always had an OS drive available.

Pauly is correct about required time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2010   #6
shiphen

Windows7 Pro x64
 
 

Thanks - but no one has answered my question about can viruses get through a re-installation of Windows7?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2010   #7
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

You can find conflicting info on this on the web.

Most of the sources I looked at say "writing zeroes" gets all sectors including boot sector, MBR, etc.

Many sources even say deleting all partitions and a full format is enough.

But if you are in full paranoia mode, and many are, you should probably drill holes in the drive, beat it with a sledgehammer, and discard it. You can always find someone to tell you that you didn't do enough.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2010   #8
Shinobi73

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by shiphen View Post
Thanks - but no one has answered my question about can viruses get through a re-installation of Windows7?
I'd have to go with just clearing partitions and the full format... it's always worked for me
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2010   #9
shiphen

Windows7 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Shinobi73 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by shiphen View Post
Thanks - but no one has answered my question about can viruses get through a re-installation of Windows7?
I'd have to go with just clearing partitions and the full format... it's always worked for me

When you guys talk about "full format", what do you mean?

I tried running KillDisk but couldnt really understand it - I ran something that took suspiciously little time (about 20 seconds) on my 0.5TB disk. Probably not a "FULL format"??

Either way I ran out of time and reinstalled Window7. During the process I asked it to delete all the partitions, and I resized them. For some reason there is now a partition (100GB) that I cant even SEE - that Windows seemed to want to create for its own internal use. I am worried that because Windows7 came with the hard disk that it has been lazy and has NOT deleted everything on the disk - even though I can't actually see any of my previous files on the new installation. But remember I cant see that 100GB partition either!

My gut feel is that I have NOT done a full format, and that I could still be vulnerable to lurking viruses.

- Any further thoughts?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2010   #10
theog

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

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 How do I *completely* kill all files when re-installing




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