Hard drive cleaning program - opinions?

Discussion in 'General Software Discussion' started by hohum, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. hohum

    hohum New Member

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    Hey :) Basically I'm after any opinions as to what the best software is for wiping a hard disk of all data completely, including whatever is in the boot sector too. This is after spending about an hour trying to install windows on a drive that previously had linux installed, and failing repeatedly because remnants of the old boot loader were causing problems (at least, that's what I think it was - it'd just say 'error loading operating system'). To get around it I had to create a partition that filled the whole drive, format it, then delete it and set up partitions how I wanted them in the first place. :rolleyes:

    So, any suggestions? Preferably software that isn't dangerous and can leave hard drives in an unusable state, so no low-level formatting tools please :p

    Thanks!
     
  2. e v o

    e v o New Member

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    norton partitionmagic is good...
     
  3. CDsDontBurn

    CDsDontBurn AMD & Petrol Heads Mod

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    partition magic is what i use. I believe the newest version available is 8.0.
     
  4. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    IMO, if you really want to make sure the drive is completely spick and span of anything... making it estially like new..... go to your manufactures website and use thier bootup disk to low level format the sucker.... but be warned, it might take hours on end to complete. And some drives MAY fail...

    what i do is boot from my XP pro cd and delete every partition.... then create my usual partitions..... wipes the MBR.....

    you could however try this, if you go to www.bootdisk.com/ you could load up a 98 or ME boot disk and type: format /mbr which completely clears it before proceeding with another install....
     
  5. PangingJr

    PangingJr Member

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    just want to make a correction there on your post, Judas.
    the correct command to format/rewrite the Master Boot Record (MBR) is "fdisk /mbr"
    (not format /mbr)...

    most Linux dists install LILO as a boot manager in the MBR,
    to remove the boot manager, read this article...
    How to Remove the Linux LILO Boot Manager.
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315224

    --

    if you want to do a clean install of Windows XP on a clean HDD, do as Judas advises, with the XP CD.
    before running the setup, you can run the fdisk /mbr command to format/re-write the mbr, and then XP setup program will re-write the XP version of the bootstrap program in the MBR again during the creating of the new partition. and you should not have the same problem as described above.

    --
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2005
  6. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    whoops... my mistake.. apparently it's been awhile since i've done a MBR with a old 98/me disk... hell, i haven't had a floppy A drive for nearly 2 years
     
  7. PangingJr

    PangingJr Member

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    i know, but, just couldn't let it go, on the posted i mean... hope you don't mad at me for doing that. :)
     
  8. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    lol... why would i get mad.... i'd be upset if you HAD let it go... because i would have told someone to try format /mbr when in fact it's completely wrong..

    no worries..... feel free to correct me whenever i make an obvious mistake.... :)
     
  9. PangingJr

    PangingJr Member

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    thanks to you JD for never mad at me. lol.

    anyway, about the fdisk/ mbr command, it has a bad reputation...
    but, i use it so many time in the past for removing all kind of the 3rd party boot manager that i've tried, i ran it anyway even the boot manager had included an uninstaller, also use it on all Windows, all Windows file system formats and on many brands of HDDs, not a single problem. but you never know, so use the command at your own risk.
     
  10. MiDKnYtE

    MiDKnYtE Caffeine Machine

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    just use zap:
    http://tinyurl.com/3wxdk

    it's an old IBM app. download the file, extract and read the readme. it only takes a couple of second. I use it all the time.
     
  11. PangingJr

    PangingJr Member

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    If you don't mind me asking, why you have to run zap.com all the time?
     
  12. hohum

    hohum New Member

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    Hmm... I have partitionmagic too, yet didn't see anything about clearing the boot sector. Anyway, thanks for all suggestions :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2005
  13. Koolaid

    Koolaid New Member

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    Gateway has a nice tool



    Gwscan



    You can usually find it in disk tools for download on their website. They keep it pretty well up to date. One of the options in gwscan is to write zero's to the drive. Cant get much more clean than that.
     
  14. MiDKnYtE

    MiDKnYtE Caffeine Machine

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    I work on a lot of customer computers. I don't keep zapping my own system. :p
     
  15. PangingJr

    PangingJr Member

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    ok, just checking, for a new tip. :)
     

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