My friend has this really old computer he found filled with viruses and he and I both were wondering if replacing the hard drive would be the easiest and most time efficient solution. There isn't really any data we need to keep and will probably use linux if getting windows back on it would be a problem.
Replacing the drive would certainly get rid of the viruses, but all you really need to do is to repartition and format it using a tool that will overwrite the Master Boot Record. Booting from a Windows installation disk and using it to delete and recreate the partitions should do the trick.
Thanks for the reply. We were thinking about replacing the hard drive as a whole also due to it being only about 100gb, something I forgot to mention. Also it is a computer that was just left behind so I rather not get into all of the personal information of the original owners that may be sensitive.
If it's only 100g chances are it is a PATA drive and not SATA. Might want to check on that before buying a new drive. Also reformating is in my opinion the easiest way. If it still has a windows sticker on it, even better.