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  1. #1
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    Question Completely erase a hard drive

    I have been trying to follow your instructions to erase a hard drive on my old PC before despatching it to a charity organisation. I have tried to download DBAN, as suggested, but can only manage to get an ISO file called 'dban-2.2.7-i586' which I cannot run on my old PC. There are lots of distracting options displayed on the DBAN site (usually requiring payment) but non recognisable with what you suggest. In particular, I can find no obvious zipped file to use.

    Please clarify how I can obtain this file and whether your intructions for Completely Erase and Hard Drive with DBAN are still valid.

    My old PC is now disconnect from any Internet connection so I am having to download any necessary file on my current PC and transfer via memory stick.

    Regards

    Peter Haver

  2. #2
    Member Digerati's Avatar
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    Hi Peter and welcome.

    First, good for you for being concerned about what may be left behind on donated hardware. While chances are, the recipient will never bother to look for any residual stored data, it is better to be safe than sorry.

    I recommend you check out either Eraser which uses DBAN or CCleaner, which has a Drive Wiper for this purpose. The advantage of these is they run under Windows - no need to bother with ISO images, burning disks, etc.

    The only thing is, the drive being wiped must be a "secondary" drive. That is, not the boot drive of the computer it is running on. So you will need to install the drive into another computer as a secondary drive, or install it into an enclosure attached to another computer.

    The exception is CCleaner. Its Drive Wiper feature allows you to Wipe free space. So that can be run on the boot drive of this computer, without wiping out Windows or any other legitimate file safe to leave in place. Some may scoff at the recommendation for CCleaner because it contains a Registry cleaning feature - in spite of the fact CCleaner has years good history of not breaking things. So for the purpose of THIS THREAD, shy away from using the Registry cleaning feature.

    With either program, make sure you choose the "Custom" (or similar name) install option so you can opt-out of any added toolbar or features they might want to add on your machine.

    Finally - just to ensure understanding - please understand that deleting or erasing files does NOT delete or erase anything. The space where those files are saved are simply marked as available (free) in the file tables and ready to be over-written (save new data there). And "wiping" does NOT delete or erase either. All a "wipe" does is save (write) a bunch of random 1s and 0s into those storage locations, ensuring any previously saved data is overwritten, and no longer retrievable.
    Last edited by Digerati; 01-18-2013 at 09:57 AM. Reason: fixed typo
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
    Freedom is NOT Free!
    Heat is the bane of all electronics!
    MS MVP, 2007 - 2018
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  4. #3
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    Problem now solved

    Thank you

  5. #4
    Member Digerati's Avatar
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    Problem now solved

    Thank you
    Thats greats! However, forums like Help2Go work by sharing information so others can learn too. So please share with us how you solved your problem.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
    Freedom is NOT Free!
    Heat is the bane of all electronics!
    MS MVP, 2007 - 2018
    ─────────────────────

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