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Wiping a hard drive help please

(7 Posts)
starving Mon 27-Mar-17 13:29:21

I want to dispose of an old pc and a laptop and while I don't have MI5 secrets on them I want to erase everything. I will admit to not being the most tech savy but can follow instructions. I would prefer to use free software.
I have tried something online but it keeps stopping saying the drive is in use (???), I tried another but from reading the instructions I need to create a disk and then boot the PC from the disk. But after downloading the software I can't find how to create the disk.
I am almost about to give up and allow another 5 years of dust to create on these obsolete items.
Can anyone help me with simple to follow instructions and a suggestion of what software to use. I will be so grateful. Thank you

Tomzski Mon 27-Mar-17 17:38:18

If you are running Windows 8,8.1 or 10 on the machines then there is a facility for this built in but I am going to assume they are older than this.

If you only have one drive in the PC or Laptop you cannot install programs to it and then wipe itself, as the program needs to be stored somewhere to run.

If there isnt anything important on the machines, just delete any files manually and then run a drive wiper (I would recommend CCleaner and the instructions here: www.piriform.com/docs/ccleaner/using-ccleaner/wiping-free-disk-space ) and it will make it very very very difficult to restore anything that has been deleted.

If you want to do a more thorough job and wipe the operating system at the same time to give peace of mind that not even a name of a user is hidden away somewhere, then you would be best to create a bootable USB drive to wipe the PC. You can find instructions here on how to do it: www.tomshardware.co.uk/faq/id-2524477/wipe-hard-drive-dban.html but there are many ways to go about it using burnt CDs or you can take the hard drives out of the PC and connect them to another to do the wiping.

If you let me know what model PCs you are trying to wipe I might be able to tailor the instructions to wiping those PCs for you.

starving Mon 27-Mar-17 21:22:31

Thanks Tomzski, I have a Fujitsu Siemens Scaleo P running Windows XP and a Acer Aspire 5735Z running Vista.

cdtaylornats Mon 27-Mar-17 21:24:49

Open the PC and apply a large hammer to the disk until you pierce the case.

GoodDayToYou Mon 27-Mar-17 21:28:59

I would take a drill to the hard drive.

cdtaylornats Mon 27-Mar-17 22:53:36

The most inventive way to destroy a disk came from the US Navy, they dropped it into the Marianas Trench.

olderthanyouthink Tue 28-Mar-17 20:20:51

My dad used to do something that "deleted" the content and then filled the drive with dummy data... OR he gave me a stack of HDDs and a hammer and let me go nuts in the garden. Or both.

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