I have an old laptop running XP that I'm not using anymore. I've decided I'm likely going to try to sell or donate it. However, I want to install a zubuntu and play around with it a bit just to see how well it works before getting rid of it. Before that, however, I want to wipe the hard drive with DBAN. My question is, after wiping the hard drive, will the computer still boot, say from a CD or USB and allow me to install zubuntu on the blank hard drive, or is there something I need to do before wiping it to make sure I can install zubuntu? I've never wiped a hard drive before nor have I installed an OS by myself, so help and a little guidance/reassurance would be greatly appreciated.
Yes, you can install an OS onto a bare or wiped drive. This is not an issue. As long as the OS has the necessary chipset drivers for the motherboard, all should go smooth.
Also, if you plan on insatlling ubuntu, there is no need to wipe the drive with DBAN. The new OS will overwrite the old data anyhow. You may want to remove all partitions from the drive before installing ubuntu just so you don't accidently end up with both OS's on the drive (dual boot).
Thanks. I just want to wipe the drive to make sure I get rid of any sensitive data. Would installing ubuntu really overwrite all of the data on the drive?
No, the OS will only overwrite a portion of the drive, but as you install new software and create data files they will overwrite portions of the drive that previously had files on it. Anyhow, a simple format should suffice. If I were throwing the drive in the trash or giving it to a friend, then I'd wipe it with DBAN or some other utility.