Need to remove 100% of all data from HD then reinstall (FBI, CIA) :) Solved

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  1.    4 Weeks Ago #1

    Need to remove 100% of all data from HD then reinstall (FBI, CIA) :)


    So, I am kind of stuck. I need to give my ex a hard drive. I can't buy a new one. Besides, I have this one that works fine. They are not FBI or forensic experts. But, I have some old photos and some general information I want no one to have. I want it removed as good as humanly possible for a non-expert like me. I HAVE to give them this HD - please advise. :)

    I only have 1 hard drive im my machine at a time. I want to totally reformat and delete then reinstall. When I reinstall doesn't it save some information in a directory called "Old.Windows" or something? Are there other folders I want to remove? I was also going to use a program like "Bleach Bit" https://www.bleachbit.org/

    Can anyone please give me instructions on the safest way to do this? I realize nothing is 100%. But what would you do? TY! Can I easily use my windows account then switch it over to my ex? When I go to their home?
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  2.    4 Weeks Ago #2

    Tonys317 said: View Post
    So, I am kind of stuck. I need to give my ex a hard drive. I can't buy a new one. Besides, I have this one that works fine. They are not FBI or forensic experts. But, I have some old photos and some general information I want no one to have. I want it removed as good as humanly possible for a non-expert like me. I HAVE to give them this HD - please advise. :)

    I only have 1 hard drive im my machine at a time. I want to totally reformat and delete then reinstall. When I reinstall doesn't it save some information in a directory called "Old.Windows" or something? Are there other folders I want to remove? I was also going to use a program like "Bleach Bit" https://www.bleachbit.org/

    Can anyone please give me instructions on the safest way to do this? I realize nothing is 100%. But what would you do? TY! Can I easily use my windows account then switch it over to my ex? When I go to their home?
    Just connect the hard drive to your computer, go into disk management and delete all partitions on that drive. After you do that, it'll say "unallocated". Right click on it, select Format and follow directions. If your ex isn't tech-savy, then he/she won't be able to recover anything. Besides, once she starts installing stuff on it, it'll re-write over a lot of sectors. .
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  3.    4 Weeks Ago #3

    vgkfan83 said: View Post
    Just connect the hard drive to your computer, go into disk management and delete all partitions on that drive. After you do that, it'll say "unallocated". Right click on it, select Format and follow directions. If your ex isn't tech-savy, then he/she won't be able to recover anything. Besides, once she starts installing stuff on it, it'll re-write over a lot of sectors. .
    It has general personal data on it. Nothing awful, but it was my computer. If there is nothing else you feel I should do I will follow your advice - ty. Once I delete the partitions and reformat reinstalling windows is pretty easy? If you think of one more step aside from bleach bit. I am just trying to be safe.
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  4. AndreTen's Avatar
    Posts : 16,394
    Windows 10 (Pro and Insider Pro)
       4 Weeks Ago #4

    You said, there are some pictures and files you don't want other to see..

    Edit: Bleachbit is fine

    Get Eraser (CCleaner can do it too) or something similar and wipe that files off. It is actually easy to restore partitions and files from erased disks.

    One more note... if you ever want to use some files from old disk... make an Image of it to an external hard drive
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  5.    4 Weeks Ago #5

    I have used DBAN (Darik's Boot And Nuke ) to completely wipe several hard drives. If this is what you want to do then this is what I would recommend. It is FREE.
    Here is a link explaining exactly what it does and how to use it

    How to Erase a Hard Drive Using DBAN [Walkthrough]
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  6. bobkn's Avatar
    Posts : 2,024
    Win 10 X64 Pro 1809 17763.55
       4 Weeks Ago #6

    If you want to do a secure wipe of a hard drive, and it's the only hard drive in the system, you'll need to use a bootable tool like DBAN (post 4). Unless you ex has access to NSA (national security agency) tools or similar, over writing the data once should be more than adequate.

    I usually erase my old HDs with a sledge hammer, though. I can buy a new 1TB drive for about $35 (I'm in the US), so the work to hand down an old drive isn't worth it.
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  7.    4 Weeks Ago #7

    bobkn said: View Post
    If you want to do a secure wipe of a hard drive, and it's the only hard drive in the system, you'll need to use a bootable tool like DBAN (post 4). Unless you ex has access to NSA (national security agency) tools or similar, over writing the data once should be more than adequate.

    I usually erase my old HDs with a sledge hammer, though. I can buy a new 1TB drive for about $35 (I'm in the US), so the work to hand down an old drive isn't worth it.
    That IS a very good suggestion, buy a new one. as noted by bobkn, they are not expensive anymore, then you don't have to do the work of erasing and being hesitant that all your personal files are removed, though I have never used DBAN without the drive being thoroughly cleaned.

    NewEgg offers very reasonable prices, certainly under $50.

    1TB hard drive - Newegg.com
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  8.    4 Weeks Ago #8

    Diskwipe is time consuming and a single pass write is not sufficient for the purpose. The better option is to encrypt the drive with BitLocker, or any other freeware, and then format it with "diskpart". Recovering fractions of encrypted data from the formatted drive is useless in the case of encrypted drive...
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  9.    4 Weeks Ago #9

    For what the user want's, that is, to give the HD to his ex, would the native Windows Recovery not do what he's asking. That is delete all of his personal data and perform a clean install of Windows. Settings > Update and Security > Recovery and when requested "Keep Nothing"
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  10. AndreTen's Avatar
    Posts : 16,394
    Windows 10 (Pro and Insider Pro)
       4 Weeks Ago #10

    Stitch194 said: View Post
    For what the user want's, that is, to give the HD to his ex, would the native Windows Recovery not do what he's asking. That is delete all of his personal data and perform a clean install of Windows. Settings > Update and Security > Recovery and when requested "Keep Nothing"
    I would rather give my drive to perfect stranger than ex.... They are friends now, but you never know who will come to her/his life...

    One pass destroy would be enough.. Anybody who recover data from one pass, will get it other way too

    So, sticking with original plan: delete partitions, booting from USB stick and destroy data, install Windows over it (there are tutorial for clean install here)
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