Re: How Do I delete Everything from my harddrive

Re: How Do I delete Everything from my harddrive

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Posted by Henry on November 14, 2001 at 13:33:07:

In Reply to: How Do I delete Everything from my harddrive posted by little_green_man on November 14, 2001 at 06:04:40:

: How Do I delete everything. Also if after I delete everything can I use a boot disk to boot up and install windows.

If you just want to "delete" all of the files and start over, you can use a bootable floppy or a startup floppy and delete and rebuild all of the partitions then format the drive. You can initiate windows installation from scratch using your startup floppy or a product recovery CD or ... NOTE: This DOES NOT delete or erase your files, it just destroys access to them and allows new files to write over the old ones. All of your files can be recovered (by knowledgeable techs).

If you want to ERASE your files and everything else on the HDD, including boot block then you will need a program that writes zeroes to every sector on the disk (can take a several hours for a large HDD). Go to the HDD maker's web site and look for a "low level format" utility (MAY be included in a diagnostic package); it is REALLY a pseudo low level formatter, it DOES NOT affect the true low level format of the drive, it just writes zeroes to every user accessible sector on the drive. This DOES NOT affect useful life of the drive any more than writing zeroes or ones or... to some sectors would. Common names for "LLF" programs are "wipe", "clear", "zerofill" and others.

After you have erased the drive there is nothing whatever written on the user accessible sectors. This is a good place to stop if you want to donate or sell your HDD, but experts can recover your files (takes time, costs $) no matter what you do short of incinerating the platters.

No matter which file or disk obliterate method you use, you should qualify the drive for service by partitioning (fdisk), formatting (format c:/s/u) and checking surface quality (scandisk, THOROUGH R/W surface scan). After you have done this the bad sectors (if any) will be marked in use so that windows won't try to use known bad spots.

Generally, you should have ZERO bad spots on your HDD; bad spots indicate physical damage (head crash) to the drive surface. A few bad spots can be tolerated, especially if the number of bad spots does not increase (rapidly) with time. Monitor surface quality from time to time - frequently if bad spots begin to appear.

Hope this helps,

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