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Best way to completely wipe a hard drive to factory state?

Hello,

I would like to completely wipe the hard drive of my Lenovo Thinkpad as the Best Buy geek squad really messed things up. I need to back up all of my data first and was wondering if there was any free options online? I have a 4GB jump drive I can use as well.

As for wiping the laptops hard drive, what is the best way? Keep in mind that I want to have it completely restored to factory state. I don't want to do a simple reformat through a Windows 7 install.

What is the best way to achieve all of this?

Thank you
25 answers Last reply
More about best completely wipe hard drive factory state
  1. I have tried using this in the past and it gave me some error since I can't disconnect everything in my laptop ie the usb drives, sdcard reader, etc. I read the help forums and still wasn't able to fix the problem.

    Which option within DBAN do you use? Quick DOD?
  2. Quick DOD
  3. Low Level format if you looking for total erase.

    After Low Level format it will delete every thing i mean total delete.

    You have reset all detail info on HDD.

    If you make a mistake on any number on HDD info there are no way to turn back to normal HDD.

    However http://hddguru.com/software/HDD-LLF-Low-Level-Format-Tool/

    here this is one of the good software you can have.


    option 2 after clean install windows 7

    Please download CCleaner and check wipe free space.

    this process will take long long long.... so do this process when your sleep.

    this will delete all shadow data on your HDD.
  4. andywork78 said:
    Low Level format if you looking for total erase.

    After Low Level format it will delete every thing i mean total delete.

    You have reset all detail info on HDD.

    If you make a mistake on any number on HDD info there are no way to turn back to normal HDD.

    However http://hddguru.com/software/HDD-LLF-Low-Level-Format-Tool/

    here this is one of the good software you can have.


    option 2 after clean install windows 7

    Please download CCleaner and check wipe free space.

    this process will take long long long.... so do this process when your sleep.

    this will delete all shadow data on your HDD.


    I beg to differ, a low level format does not erase the information that is on the platters. You can still pull it off if you have some skill.

    The only way to clear the disk is to at least write 7 passes of different data. Then most people couldn't pull anything off even with an unlimited budget and tools.
  5. I would defintely use Kill Disk.

    http://www.killdisk.com/
  6. http://www.killdisk.com/

    Like i stated above this will do a great job ^
  7. diskpart - clean all
  8. it dosnt matter what you choose, unless you do 7wipes or more (nsa setting i believe in programs like dban)

    download dban burn onto disk, then select gutman if you really dont want it to be recoverable, it will overwrite everything 20 times

    so if its a 500GB hdd and 100MB write speed then it would take 27 hours

    nsa (7) wipes is good enough for most senarios and would only take 9.7hours


    so 9.7 hours or 27 hours.

    it would probably go quicker this is just a rough estimate


    when a hard drive/ssd deletes data it does not actually do that. think about it and it will make sence, if it deletes it how come you get the space back?

    all it does is flag it as availible space, thats why you overwrite it with these programs that overwrites it with useless data so that it cant be recoverd
  9. Both killdisk and DBAN give me errors.

    Killdisk says invalid code and DBAN gives me an error sda or something.
  10. if you use one wipe on KD it's free if you want several passes. Then you have to pay for the full program. It's worth it. great program.
  11. KD sounds like a useless program then if you have to pay to use more than one pass

    there are many free tools, dban

    or derriks boot and nuke has been going strong for many years because of how useful it is


    many people have actually included it in there bootcd tool disk's and many professionals have used it over the years


    download it here

    https://sourceforge.net/projects/dban/files/dban/dban-2.2.6/dban-2.2.6_i586.iso/download

    burn it to dvd/cd then boot from it on pc


    (on windows vista/7) you can right-click on file then burn

    here is a guide that shows how easy it is to use

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwCCim2V_Jw


    alvgee - dont get people to buy programs like that, there is no point buying programs like that for how little you use the programs. the only reason you would have to use it often is if you owned/ worked for a company

    and then you would have to have a business license
  12. jhoffy2255 said:
    Both killdisk and DBAN give me errors.

    Killdisk says invalid code and DBAN gives me an error sda or something.



    here is guide to fix your problem with dban (odd ive never had any issues with it)

    http://bmaupin.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/dban-error-devsda-process-crash/
  13. Darik's Boot and Nuke - DBAN is one trusted tool!


    http://sourceforge.net/projects/dban/

  14. Here is an alternative method to destroy all data on a drive.

    Download True Crypt.

    Encrypt the entire device.

    Type a really long random password (you wont need to remember it)

    Copy it to both password fields when required.

    Encrypt Drive

    When you load Win 7 on the drive the install will destroy the true crypt encryption.

    Nothing on the drive can be recovered.

    You have an unbreakable algorithm with an unbreakable password that cant be identified as being encrypted in the first place. that has now been corrupted by the Win 7 install. True Crypt is free and it encrypts much faster than shredders can shred.
  15. The fact that some of you are that concerned about your data is somewhat scary. Whatever happened to good old format c: /s or deltree /y c:*.* ? I don't think the OP ever stated that he had data so sensitive that it required nsa level scrubbing.
  16. CopyWipe™ is a utility for copying or securely overwriting (wiping/erasing) entire hard drives. CopyWipe can ease and expedite the transition to a new hard drive by copying the entire contents of one drive to another. CopyWipe can also help prevent confidential or private data from being recovered, by securely wiping the contents of a drive. A number of options are provided for wiping, most of which exceed governmental standards (such as DoD 5220.22-M, NAVSO P-5239-26, etc.); this allows the user to choose an optimal balance between security and duration of the wiping operation.

    A USB 2.0-to-IDE adapter, along with CopyWipe, provides a convenient method to create and maintain a complete hard drive mirrored backup. Click here for an example of a USB 2.0-to-IDE adapter and here for another.

    Best of all, CopyWipe is now FREE!
  17. He also didn't mention if he had recovery disks.

    If all he has is a recovery partition, an inexperienced user could end up trashing this when he is attempting to clean his hdd of data adn end up paying for a recovery disk set from Lenovo.

    I have never found the need to wipe a disk just to reinstall Windows.
  18. actually now ive read his post


    all he needs to do is just use windows built in format tool when you install windows


    it wont make any difference if you just reformat partition through windows recovery disk/partition


    there should be an option on laptop to make a recovery disk to use the built in recovery partition


    you might even be able to use one from there website.
  19. das_stig said:
    He also didn't mention if he had recovery disks.

    If all he has is a recovery partition, an inexperienced user could end up trashing this when he is attempting to clean his hdd of data adn end up paying for a recovery disk set from Lenovo.

    I have never found the need to wipe a disk just to reinstall Windows.


    I've got two discs that Best Buy's geek squad provided me that say to use if my computer ever fails. I called and these are in fact the recover discs. They didn't include discs for the drivers or OS so I'm a little concerned that this disc may not include the Lenovo D recovery drive. I would prefer to wipe the entire drive as I'm confident that it is mucked up from an undetectable virus.
  20. jhoffy2255 said:
    I've got two discs that Best Buy's geek squad provided me that say to use if my computer ever fails. I called and these are in fact the recover discs. They didn't include discs for the drivers or OS so I'm a little concerned that this disc may not include the Lenovo D recovery drive. I would prefer to wipe the entire drive as I'm confident that it is mucked up from an undetectable virus.



    there is a portable program (you dont install just double-click the exe file)


    its caleld doubledriver

    ive used it many time's in the past, it will backup installed drivers to a folder then when you re-install you just run it off a memory stick (with program and drivers)

    and it will install them all for you


    here is download link

    http://majorgeeks.com/Double_Driver_d4802.html
  21. Hi....
    You can easily delete all the data from your computer hard drive. There is nothing to think about it. There is a software which can wipe data easily. Wipe disk tool should be used to shred the data from hard drive in order to wipe disk free space.To know more about the software use this link...
    http://www.wipedisk.net/free-space.html
    Also you can download the demo version of software here....
    http://www.wipedisk.net/download/wipedisk-shredder.exe
  22. Hi :)

    Lets get this straight....one of my friends works for a rather specialised Data recovery company....that recovers stuff for the Police and Security services....

    ALL of the above advice is totally wrong....

    You could do ALL of the above , and he could still TOTALLY RECREATE the whole drive...

    So...just format with Windows 7....or buy a brand new hard drive and take a hammer to yours (even that is recoverable by the way)

    All the best Brett :)
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