Donating and Want to Erase

Discussion in 'Computer Memory and Hard Drives' started by Freerunner, May 14, 2018.

  1. Freerunner

    Freerunner Member

    I have 2 older computers (one running Win7 and the other Win 10), that I plan on donating to local school. Is there a way to erase all of the data except the OS on these? If I have to delete the OS as well, I'm looking for the best way to do it. Thanks
  2. Laquer Head

    Laquer Head Well-Known Member

  3. beers

    beers Moderator Staff Member

    There are tools like DBAN which will overwrite all of the drive contents for a few passes.

    Simply installing Windows might dump the partition table but it doesn't overwrite the entire contents of the drive.

    You could also throw the hard drive in another PC temporarily and do a non-quick-format which will zero out all bits, but keep in mind it will take a while as the drive rewrites its entire capacity. Then you can reinstall Windows and not have any residual data on the platter.
  4. Laquer Head

    Laquer Head Well-Known Member

    Nobody at a school is gonna give a shit about trying to recover data on a used PC..
  5. Darren

    Darren Moderator Staff Member

    You underestimate the ingenuity of bored programming students.

    I had a friend that hacked our entire school network, made himself an admin to everything, access to everything, including grades and attendance. He got away with it too undetected until he posted it to a hacking forum and got tracked down. He was... 16 I think.
    aldan and Laquer Head like this.
  6. Agent Smith

    Agent Smith Well-Known Member

    If the hard drives are platters, meaning they spin and are mechanical, use DBAN. If the hard drives are SSDs then you need to purchase Parted Magic. Parted Magic is a bootable CD. You would burn Parted Magic to CD with something like Imgburn portable and then boot the CD like you would a Windows install. Then in Parted Magic find the option for a secure erase. The reason why you need to use Parted Magic for a SSD is because erasure programs like DBAN make hundreds if not thousands of writes to the disk. With SSDs that would wear out the drive exponentially. So you do NOT want to run something like DBAN on a SSD. Also note, DBAN is also a live CD and you boot it as well.

    Keep in mind that once you erase the drives you'll have to reinstall the OS. Unless of course you just give the computers to the school with no OS and let their IT department install Windows themselves.


    Depending on how large the HDDs are, it could be an all night affair just erasing the drives. So keep that in mind. Small price to pay to keep your Info. from being recovered.
  7. JaredDM

    JaredDM Member


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