I'm switching computers and need to wipe my old computer hard drive so that I don't have any banking files or whatnot left on it.... If I completely format my hard drive, do I then just run my Dell reinstallation CD to put XP back on the system?
If you want to be sure to get rid of personal data, you should overwrite it using a program like Window Washer. If your just installing a new hdd, the reinstallation disk should work but it you're trying to use it on a new machne, you likely won't be able to.
I can recover data that has been through widow washer, there is no real way of getting your data to be unrecoverable unless you defrag the hell out of drive every other day.
True but you can make it a lot more expensive and time consuming to recover if you overwrite it. It's like locking your car, if someone really wants to steal it, they will but for most thieves it's not worth the time or effort
If the cd is less than 5years old, it'll install on anything.
He'll have to call to get activated, though.
I thought recovery CDs were images of the hard drive after the mfg installed all the software and so would read the hardware wrong in a new computer, though I may be wrong about this
February 4, 2007 1:29:39 PM
Up until a year ago, Dell's came with a Dell Windows XP CD as well as a Driver CD(s) and program installtion CDs. They changed to a hidden Recovery partition now that accessed by holding the CTRL F11 keys when you see the BIOS splash.
There are utilities available to write zeroes to the entire drive. (Some will even do multiple passes). If you are that concerned about personal data being recovered, I suggest using this method... and if you're really paranoid, perform multiple passes.
Once you have done this, you will need to repartition the hard drive, format and reinstall Windows. This should make it virtually impossible to recover anything from the drive.