View Full Version : Wiping Windows ME Computer (Completely!)
I know someone on this board will know how to do this.
My wife wants to give away one of our old computers to some poor kid at the school she works at. I used to keep all of my confidential client files on that computer and also did a lot of web browsing to places like Glock Talk and to sniper sites, etc. Discovery of that kind of thing would not go down well at the school my wife works at.
The computer had bc wipe installed and I did the 7 pass DOD standard wipe.
Then I reinstalleed the Operating System with the recover disks supplied by HP. The reinstallation asks if you want to reformat the hard drive and lose all info and data. I said yes.
The reinstallation completed, the registration screen comes up. Imagine my surprise when most of the initial fields are already filled out - with the name Richard Milhous Nixon and the address as San Clemente, California. This is how I register almost all my computers for the simple reason that I don't trust Microsoft or anyone else.
Same thing happened with the registration screen for the MusicMatch jukebox software.
The computer was not hooked up to the internet when this happened.
Anyway, it is apparent to me that not all the data on the hard drive was removed completely.
How do I complete wipe the hard drive but get it to work enough to spin the cd drive to reinstall the Operating Software from scratch?
boot with a diskette (cd)
in the command prompt do "fdisk" (from the said boot diskette)
1) repartition the drive
2) do format c: format d: thingie
3) done (unless the kid will use a hardware restoring device used by various security agencies)
if you want to be extra sure, after you install the new operating system
3.1415)use voptxp (a little shareware prog) and make it "x cross space" or something to that kind, it will essentialy rewrite random pattern on the free space of the hard drive. but thats just paranoid (not that i wouldnt do it myself)
This is for copying disks but it has many tools and instructions.It's free software called XXCOPY.Not Microsoft's version XCOPY.It will reformat and clean a disk.I think the free version only works in Windows 95,98,98SE and ME. http://www.xxcopy.com
Debug kills bugs (and hard drives) dead.
Thanks, I really appreciate it!
I knew someone here would know how to solve this pesky problem.
Tennessee Slim: thanks for your suggestion but when I went to the link I couldn't understand what the various instructions meant.
fatlander: just for information purposes I used BC wipe to wipe the drive before the reinstallation. The problem was that BC wipe and other shredder programs just do the free space. These files were written in the operating system files and hidden away somewhere I couldn't reach. That way when I reinstalled the operating system it just incorporated the information from the previous installation.
I'll let you know how it goes. First I've got to figure out how to set up a boot cd or disk for Windows ME. It's been a while. :)
Yeah, it is kinda confusing. Debug is a command-line tool. Open a DOS window and type in “debug” (minus the quotes, natch) and [Enter]. The prompt should change to a single dash ('-'). That tells you that debug is loaded and ready to receive your next command. Then enter the command that’s in the second column (the one labeled ‘Enter Debug Commands’) of that same line. The prompt should change to what’s in the fist column on the next line. For each line, enter the command (the part in the second column), then look for the prompt to change to the first column in the next line. Repeat. If you complete the instructions and still have the '-' prompt, enter a ‘q’ [Enter] to quit debug.
If you make a mistake, no biggie, since your purpose was to blow away the HDD anyway.
For the price of a disk drive, I usually keep my drive. Then I don't have the problem.
Free hard disk wiping utilities AutoClave 0.3
Active@ KillDisk Free Edition 3.1
Darik's Boot and Nuke 1.0.3
PC INSPECTOR e-maxx 0.95 Build 775
Well I various utilities including fdisk and got nowhere.
Then I tried killdisk which overwrites everything on the whole disk with zeros.
Now when I boot the computer it says Operating System Not Found.
When I put the restore disk into the cd drive it spins and then nothing happens.
So, do I need to do something like install DOS again? And where would I get DOS which included support for a cd drive?
I am out of my depth here.
XXCOPY has a good boot disk and instructions.It's meant to copy another hard drive but the boot disk can be used for installing a new system.You can use a boot disk from startdisk too.
Windows ME boot disk with CD support http://www.answersthatwork.com/Downright_pages/downrights_bootdisks.htm
Thanks Washington, D.C. I'll let you know how worked out in a few days!
Alright, I downloaded one of the DOS 6.22 programs for creating a boot disk and transferred it to a floppy.
Then I inserted it into the A drive.
The screen says remove the disk and hit any key to continue.
I do so and it says No Operating System Found.
So how do I get it to load DOS from the disk and let me run the CD drive.
The version I ended up using was XXCOPY and I have used it a few times.That other one is a demo and requires paying to upgrade.Instructions here http://www.computerhope.com/boot.htm are minimal.I use XXCOPY and just follow instructions there.
1) Boot to a Smart_Boot_Manager_36 CD (burned from the iso referenced below)
2) In the Menu "down arrow" to CD-ROM without hitting the ENTER key
3) Replace the CD with whatever CD you wish to boot
4) Let it spin up and then hit the ENTER key
5) the CD should hopefully have booted properly
Smart_Boot_Manager_36.iso is available at:
Alright. I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to reply. I've been working.
I copied the smartboot program to a cd and stuck it in the cd drive and turned it on again and got the following message:
Operating System Not Found.
So, what do I do now?
OK. How do I get a copy of xx copy and get my computer to run it so that I can install the operating system from the cd?
;a Take it to your nearest hospital, go to radiology and wander into the MRI room with the hard drive in hand. It will be wiped out. ;)
Double check in the BIOS when starting to boot in the boot options to make sure that CD Rom is listed before it hits the hard drive. Alot of time you will need to hit a key at the prompt when booting a bootable CD to tell it to actually use the bootable cd.
ME boot disk with cd support here http://www.shaneo.com/bootdisks/
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