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Solved: DATA Still Accessible Even After Format??

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Wheely34, Jul 3, 2008.

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  1. Wheely34

    Wheely34 Thread Starter

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    Ok, I have three Dell Dimension 4400 Pentium 4 Desktops here with Windows 2000 Professional on them. I got them from a doctor's office that had upgraded their computers. I was going to do a bunch of hardware tests to make sure everything was ok, then format the HDDs and install XP Professional on them and sell them. My question is, I'm pretty sure there is some important information on these drives. I would hate for that information to get into the wrong hands. I have a feeling the only way to be absolutely sure that that does not happen is to physically destroy the drives, but I wanted to make sure first. So, if I format them and install a new OS, could someone still access the data that was previously on the drives? And if so, is there anything I can do, other than destroy them, to prevent that? Thanks.
     
  2. mcse72

    mcse72

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    Although some programs claim to recover data after a format AND an install of windows, I don't see how that would be possible since all the data will be overwritten when the new OS is installed. To be on the safe side though, the one thing I would advise is to get a DOD formating program which "zeroes" out all the data on every sector of the hard drive, then install windows. I work for a large corporation thats really strict on data security and the one we use is from White Canyon called "Wipe Drive".
    http://www.whitecanyon.com/wipedrive-wipe-hard-drive.php
     
  3. Squashman

    Squashman Trusted Advisor

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  4. Wheely34

    Wheely34 Thread Starter

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    ok, thanks guys
     
  5. brillser

    brillser

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  6. TechOutsider

    TechOutsider Banned

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    Overkill ppl! Please!

    Just reboot the system...

    hit F8 again and again at the DELL logo

    Select Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    Type in "format C:"

    Type in "Y"

    Sit back and relax.

    *Assuming the local disk is designated as C: and there is only 1*
     
  7. brillser

    brillser

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    Certainly, speaking for myself, I do tend to agree with you,TechOutsider. Still, the question begged options and options were offered:)
     
  8. Squashman

    Squashman Trusted Advisor

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    This information is incorrect. You cannot format a drive when the Operating System is in use. If the OS is loaded on C:, you cannot format it when you are booted to the OS loaded on C:.

    And it is not overkill. It doesn't take much time to make a Dban disk and wipe the drive. You also are not realizing that these computers are coming from a Doctors office. Have you ever heard of HIPAA. Would you want to risk your Patients information and then have to deal with the government when someone decides to recover that data because you didn't do a decent wipe of the drive.

    There is even a note about it on DBAN's website.
    It is my understanding with HIPAA compliance you need to do a DOD compliant wipe and keep track of the serial numbers of the Hard Drives.
     
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