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XP Help

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by angela1986, Apr 8, 2010.

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  1. angela1986

    angela1986 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2010
    Messages:
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    hi
    I need to wipe the computers in my office because they are closing down.
    how would I just delete all the work and everything that has been done on them since they were bought.

    I want to keep XP on there along with all the programs that came with it.
    I do not have the discs that came with them
     
  2. Mumbodog

    Mumbodog

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Messages:
    7,889
    That is going to be tough to do, it is best to reinstall the OS clean, then after that is done, overwrite the freespace on the disk with a utility.

    Some PC's have a factory restore option in the bios, you can restore the PC to like it was when it was shipped from the manufacturer, but you will still need to overwrite the freespace on the hard drive when done.

    It is almost impossible to clean a PC that has been used very much of all the personal data, XP just stores it in too many places.

    How many PC's?

    Make and model numbers?

    .
     
  3. phyrtech

    phyrtech

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Messages:
    39
    I strongly agree. In order to ensure proper destruction of important data, you will need to do a destructive re-install of the OS.

    Your first step is to locate or purchase the system restore CD's. If these are not available, you will need to find the exact version of Windows CD that came installed on your system. This may prove difficult as there are many many version of Windows. An IT professional that has access to the Microsoft Action Pack (MAPS) will be able to access these install CDs.

    Your second step should be to download and install Belarc Advisor on all the target machines. Once you run Belarc, you can acquire the CD key that was used to install Windows. Write these down as you will need them later to re-install Windows. You should also take the time to locate and download all the non-standard drivers for these systems that you will need during the re-install. You should be able to locate these on the manufacturer website.

    Your third step should be to use something like DBAN. You download and burn the ISO to a CD. You then boot the target machine and DBAN will overwrite all data on the drive making it (more or less) unrecoverable. Unless you did something to bring the NSA down on you, a one or two pass wipe will suffice. Once done, the computer will not be able to boot from the hard drive.

    Lastly, use the appropriate Windows CD and CD key to re-install the OS.

    As you can see, doing a complete destructive wipe of a computer can be somewhat complicated and time consuming. If you have the money, I would suggest taking them to a professional who specializes in this sort of thing.

    Sincerely,
    Nate
     
  4. angela1986

    angela1986 Thread Starter

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    Apr 8, 2010
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    Hi Mumbodog

    i have 4 PCs to clean today and maybe another 6 in a month. i dont know what make they all are because im at home right now. im not bothered if they are not really clean i just need them to look new as there shouldnt be any sensitive data on them
     
  5. phyrtech

    phyrtech

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Messages:
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    angela1986,

    Again, getting rid of sensitive data is very difficult unless you know exactly what programs have been used and where these program store their data. Even Windows itself can keep a surprisingly large amount of sensitive information that is difficult to locate and eliminate.

    A OS re-install ensures that A.) all sensitive data is removed and B.) no malware or undesirable software remains.

    Sincerely,
    Nate
     
  6. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

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    Messages:
    24,388
    You don't need to keep the programs and data on the computers if the company is going out of business. Depending on the reason (such as bankruptcy), they may be considered assets that can be seized by creditors.

    If the computers contain "sensitive data", then they need to be thoroughly wiped. If the owners of the company don't care about their customers, regulators, or potential lawsuits, then there's no point in doing anything with them.
     
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