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Wiping an HDD

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April 18, 2012 8:55:55 PM

Hi all,

I ripped out my old HDD from an old pc and want to use it in my new custom build to save some money. The old PC is no longer in working condition so I was wondering if there was any way I could wipe my INTERNAL hdd in an EXTERNAL way. It is an old Seagate Barracuda 250GB drive that will do for now. I want to wipe it so I can install Win 7. Any help is appreciated! Thanks.

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a b G Storage
April 18, 2012 9:02:01 PM

There are numerous programs out there that can wipe a drive. You could set the drive on a static bag, hook it up and run the wiping program on it. BEWARE if you do a lot of passes to wipe the drive it can take a very long time to wipe.
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April 18, 2012 9:29:42 PM

But how could I connect it to my laptop?
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a b G Storage
April 18, 2012 9:31:46 PM

As part of the install process for Win 7 you will be given the option to format the drive. If the goal is just to install Windows 7 that should work fine.
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April 18, 2012 9:42:45 PM

so if i just put it in win 7 will automatically wipe it?
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a c 99 G Storage
April 18, 2012 10:21:30 PM

There is an option when selecting which drive to install Windows 7 to, to format the drive. This should be enough for you.

Any of the disk wiping tools I've used can't do it via USB, which is how you would do it externally, with an USB enclosure, which you have to buy.

But there is a way to wipe it if you feel you really need to. Upon installing the OS, choose "Recover" instead of install, and get to a command prompt. Run DISKPART, it has a "clean all" function that will wipe the drive.

If this is the route you'd like to take, let me know. I draw up instructions for you, if I can. May take me a couple of days.
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a b G Storage
April 18, 2012 10:49:02 PM

Your use of the word "wipe" makes me wonder what you think that means. When installing an OS you will be given an option to format the drive. Formatting will clear all data formerly on the drive. This is commonly referred to as a "clean install'. If I were you, I'd be more worried about using an old drive in a new computer.
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Best solution

April 18, 2012 11:19:35 PM

darkbubble said:
Hi all,

I ripped out my old HDD from an old pc and want to use it in my new custom build to save some money. The old PC is no longer in working condition so I was wondering if there was any way I could wipe my INTERNAL hdd in an EXTERNAL way. It is an old Seagate Barracuda 250GB drive that will do for now. I want to wipe it so I can install Win 7. Any help is appreciated! Thanks.


To "wipe" a hard drive means to completely erase the drive such that somebody who is trying to recover data from it cannot do so. This requires multiple rewrites of the entire drive with random data. You do NOT need to do that unless you are disposing of the drive. There are several ways to do this:

1. Boot a live Linux CD or DVD and use the "shred" command with at least three random passes ("shred /dev/$device -n3".)

2. Hold a really strong electromagnet next to the HDD and cycle it on and off a few times. It takes a really strong one to do this- think closer to an MRI machine's electromagnet than a doorbell's electromagnet.

3. Take a decent sized high speed steel drill bit (I recommend 1/4" or better) and drill a few holes all the way through the drive.

4. Hit the drive with a sledgehammer until the cover breaks off and the platters turn into a bunch of little glass slivers.

5. My favorite- take your favorite rifle, high-velocity handgun, or slug-shooting shotgun out and pop a few rounds into the drive. I'd pick a typical deer rifle as a .270 or .30-06 will certainly poke a hole through even the toughest drive, but something little like a .22 may not go all the way through a 3.5" drive. If you have a bunch of drives, get a .50 BMG and line them up like dominoes. Then shoot through all of them with one shot (look for the YouTube video, it's a hoot.)

However, you just want to *reformat* the hard drive. Just put in the Windows 7 disk and do a "new install." That will automatically reformat your drive and allow for a brand-new copy of Windows to be installed and get rid of the old one.
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April 19, 2012 2:35:59 AM

Best answer selected by DarkBubble.
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April 19, 2012 2:36:39 AM

.....BEST ANSWER EVER <3 made my day sir xD thanks you.
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April 20, 2012 1:33:54 AM

darkbubble said:
.....BEST ANSWER EVER <3 made my day sir xD thanks you.


You're welcome :D 
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April 20, 2012 1:34:07 AM

This topic has been closed by MU_Engineer
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