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Reformat a Donated Computer's Hardrive

By techdiva1 ·

Would anyone have any suggestions on reformating a hardrive that has had security software installed. I currently have 20 that were donated for class use and FORMAT, FDISK, and reinstallation of Windows does not work. Everytime the computers either give an alert, an error message, or other non progressive responses. Some even are set to stay at a certain drive and will not go back to the root. Any suggestions other than throwing them in a dumpster would be greatly appreciated.

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by Jaqui In reply to Reformat a Donated Comput ...

simple and effective means.
download and burn to cd the first installation disk
for either red hat's fedora core or mandrake linux.

boot the cd with the hard drive installed.
go to expert mode [F1] and expert at command prompt
no to scsi interface modules
custom disk partitioning.
delete partition.
make one ext2 partition, forced to be primary.
bare bones basic install at package selection
( no package groups selected [ mandrake has this, not sure about fedora ] select truly minimal install when prompted.
click on install
when done, put windows cd into drive, when reboot go through install.

linux will remove ALL windows data during the install. windows won't touch some data.
minimal install like that is about 15 minutes for linux, including everything. ( about 100 megs )

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by Sue T In reply to Reformat a Donated Comput ...

Can you put the hard drive in another computer you own that does not have the security software and make it the slave drive. Boot the computer and you should then be able to reformat the hard drive. Easiest solution is to call the person who donated and ask them how to disable it or you can edit the registry and autoexec if you are able to to get rid of it. Do you know the name of the security software, because someone may know how to disable it on boot.

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by willcomp In reply to Reformat a Donated Comput ...

Give Darik's Boot and Nuke a try. Available at link below.


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by willcomp In reply to

More info.

Available image files will create either a bootable floppy disk or bootable CD. After booting with floppy/CD, software will perform a DOD wipe of hard disk.

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by ericb8276 In reply to Reformat a Donated Comput ...

Although this is not a free solution, you can use Ontrack's software for the particular hard drive that will low level format the hard disk. This is usually not recommended unless you use such software.

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by saihib In reply to Reformat a Donated Comput ...

Get the free download delpart. Put it on a bootable disk and whack those pesky partitions.

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by technogal In reply to Reformat a Donated Comput ...

I have always had good luck with this program:

After you run it 2-3 times, you should be able to format and reinstall your OS of choice.

Let us know what worked for you1


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by 1959 In reply to Reformat a Donated Comput ...

Download another program called MAXBLAST. Try it out its not bad.

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by diskaus In reply to Reformat a Donated Comput ...

In reading all posts to this question I aggree with answers 5,6 & 7, Low Level format might be te best and easiest way around your problem just crack open the systems in question and locate the manufacturer of the Hard drives and then go to thier web site an download thier utilities software folow the instructions that come with and your done , then just reinstall operating system of your choice, "Kill disk" I believe does all hard drives.

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Reformat a Donated Comput ...

Probably the easiest way out of your problem is to download a Utility from one of the HDD makers that writes 0's to every section of the drive this will disable any security measures that where in place and at the same time make it very hard to recover any data on the drive. IBM used to call this program WIPE, Maxtor has a similar thing but it takes longer to run but it does have the ability to chose the number of times that it writes 0's to each section I think that there is a max of 16 writes but it does take a long time.


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