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Someone please help me - how to format Windows

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Café Supporter
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13,272
As it has been about 15 years since I used a Windows PC computer, I need some help please!

My elderly neighbour wants to donate her old obsolete PC to Jamies computers (she now has an iPad instead)

So I am helping her as she isn't very mobile, but she wants to format it first as she is concerned about someone getting her stuff (ie nicking all the money from her bank account)

I am vaguely aware that the normal way would be to insert the original Windows CD and format the drive from that, but she has no CD.

So in this case how do we format the drive?
 
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Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
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1,731
Do you have a CD/DVD writer?


This has everything you'll need.

You should be aware, though, that merely formatting the drive isn't enough to fully erase the data.
Fortunately, the UBCD contains a number of utilities that can securely wipe a drive.

With a bit of extra faff you can load it onto a USB drive and boot from there...assuming the computer supports it.
 

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
Subscriber
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3,542
This article appears to give some options...

It's easier to do it on a phone, init?
 

Vetinari

Senior Member
Messages
1,088
Windows 7 up is totally different to win 2000 and earlier

This may work on later versions
Click Start, “Control Panel” and then “System and Maintenance.” Click “Create a system repair disc” on the left. Insert a writable CD into your CD/DVD drive and click “Create disc.” Reboot your computer, and tap the appropriate key to bring up your boot menu.
 
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Vetinari

Senior Member
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1,088
This option is one that I have used myself, however, it took 2 attemps so I recommend using the heavyest hammer available.
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,659
Many thanks to all those with suggestions

After a chat with David Roach Digital Security Services, I have decided on the following strategy

  • Remove drive from computer
  • Hit with sledge hammer.
Physical destruction of the hard drive is indeed the best option, and at work I get a company to come in with a massive shredder thing. At home I clamp the drive in a vice and run an angle grinder through it.
 
OP
Pete Thomas

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Café Supporter
Messages
13,272
Physical destruction of the hard drive is indeed the best option, and at work I get a company to come in with a massive shredder thing. At home I clamp the drive in a vice and run an angle grinder through it.
A bit like the assassination of Rasputin: poisoned, shot and finally drowned.
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,555
If you are really paranoid, instead of a hammer, throw it into a working high temp furnace, or firebox of an old steam engine
 
Saxholder Pro

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