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What's the best way to wipe HD clean without losing operating system (win xp) [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum


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11-14-08, 04:59 PM
Have an old computer going to sell tomorrow at garage sale. Has Win XP on it. Need to wipe the thing absolutely clean so I can sell it without fear there is personal stuff still on there. Any free progs out there to do this? Don't think I still have the disc for Win XP so needs to be something that doesn't require it. Thanks.

11-14-08, 05:01 PM

11-14-08, 05:11 PM
that looks like it'll work for registry/files but i'm essentially looking for a prog that'll do a HD wipe, but keep the OS. Something out there has to exist.

11-14-08, 05:40 PM
The only ways I can think of is if the computer manufacturer has a restore partition to bring it back to factory defaults, or if you have a really old system restore point. Or possibly just bite the bullet and request the Windows CD from the computer manufacturer. If the system happens to have a CD-Key label on it, you might be able to just see if you can borrow a CD from someone.

11-14-08, 05:50 PM
selling tomorrow, going to take too long to do all that. found some program called Eraser on SourceForge.net that another person recommended. We'll see if it works.

Dr Mabuse
11-14-08, 06:27 PM
Go download a free file shredder that will do a Gutmann wipe.

You're good.

This one will work. Use Gutmann.


11-14-08, 07:53 PM
Eraser is good. It will do a nice Guttmann (Default), Pseudorandom Data and US DoD 5220-22.M methods wipe of the empty space on a Hard Drive.


Jay G.
11-14-08, 08:00 PM
Go download a free file shredder that will do a Gutmann wipe.

The previously mentioned Eraser also uses Guttmann by default.

There is no software that does a full hard disc "wipe" but leaves the OS. A full wipe, by definition, leaves nothing. The closest you're going to get are the file shredding tools like Eraser that are designed to shred files so they're unrecoverable.

A combination of CCleaner and Eraser may work well.

Another method you could try is to create a new user in Control Panel, log off your current user account and log into the new account. Then, go back into Control Panel and delete your old user account, being sure to delete files associated with that account. Then run Eraser to shred all the deleted files.

Note that if you had saved personal files somewhere other than the Desktop or "My Documents," you'll have to manually remove those files as well. Also, if there's any particular programs you don't want to leave on the PC for the next owner, you'll have to be sure to uninstall those and then run CCleaner + Eraser again.

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