Author Topic: Wiping, formatting the harddrive....which is best?  (Read 3942 times)

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Offline 10rand

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Wiping, formatting the harddrive....which is best?
« on: April 04, 2006, 10:21:38 AM »
I have IE7 Beta 2 on my pc at the moment. Yesterday I ran CCleaner on the pc, and today I have read that I will not be able to uninstall this beta from my computer. Will I be able to install the final release of IE7 over the beta when it comes out? When I get home I will check and see if I have a restore point for before I installed the beta.

The suggestions I got from google(ing) is to use system restore or to format and reinstall XP. In the case of me having to do a reinstall of XP, I would like to start on a completely clean slate. So I would like to know, if I wipe my harddrive, will I need to format the harddrive. I have never done a formatting of the harddisk before. Can you guys please direct me to a simple tutorial/article on reinstalling Windows XP. I would like to wipe the drive clean and just install Windows, I am not sure about the steps and commands to follow.

Am I right in thinking that wiping means complete cleaning and removing of information on the harddrive and overwriting the drive with zeros so that the information cannot be recovered. (Which is what I would like to do when the time comes, so as to remove any virus/rootkit if it was there and I had not seen it) Am I also right in thinking that one can still recover information after a format of the harddrive? With the right knowledge and tools of course. Given the above scenario which one is best a wipe of the drive or just a format? Thanks  :shock:  :help:

Offline Herumutsu

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Re: Wiping, formatting the harddrive....which is best?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2006, 08:46:51 PM »
If you want to reformat a harddrive and re-install Windows XP on it, the Windows XP Installation-CD should enable you to do this rather easily in more or less one step. After putting it into the diskdrive and selecting "Install Windows XP", choosing "New Installation" should erase all of the saved data on the harddrive while processing a fresh installation of whatever version of Windows XP is on the CD.

Please note that, while it is not completely impossible to recover fragments of the erased data, any erased data that has already been written over can not be recovered in this way, so there really is no reliable way to tell which files will be recoverable at all and without any lost data within the file. Also, generally, with every minute of the computer running, it gets more unlikely that any deleted file can be recovered. Now, even under perfect circumstances, recovering lost data from a harddrive using only locally installed software is an unpleasant experience at best and it may take a while before any results or chances of success are evident.

In other words, it is best to avoid a situation in which you have to recover erased data in such a way. Burning back-ups to CD/DVD or transferring them to a back-up drive via other means is both easier and less time-consuming.


As for the actual scenario, this is what I found on the MSDN IEBlog:

Quote
How do I uninstall the preview?

To uninstall Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Preview and return to Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP

   1. Click “Start,” and then click “Control Panel.”
   2. Click “Add or Remove Programs.”
   3. Check “Show Updates” at the top of the dialog box.
   4. Scroll down the list to “Windows XP – Software Updates,” select “Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2Preview,” and then click "Change/Remove."

If "Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Preview" does not exist, run %windir%\$NtUninstallie7bet2p$\spuninst\spuninst.exe. You need to have "view hidden folders" enabled. %windir% is your Windows installation directory, which is normally 'C:\Windows' on most systems.

Maybe this could resolve the situation altogether?

Offline 10rand

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Re: Wiping, formatting the harddrive....which is best?
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2006, 10:39:06 AM »
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Maybe this could resolve the situation altogether?

It would work, but I have broken mine. I was not aware of the CClener problem with IE 7 Beta 2. You must uncheck the ' Hotfix unininstaller thingy' box before you run CCleaner. If you did not, it removes the uninstaller and it seems like there is no easy fix (easy enough for newbies) for this. I will back up my data and pictures and try a restore point before installing ie7. If that does not work, I am afraid I will have to reformat and reinstall Windows. I was able to uninstall it before I ran CCleaner, using add/remove. When I run the methods you quoted, it states that IE7 may have already been uninstalled. I guess I will have to do a new installation of Windows when the time comes.
Quote
If you want to reformat a harddrive and re-install Windows XP on it, the Windows XP Installation-CD should enable you to do this rather easily in more or less one step. After putting it into the diskdrive and selecting "Install Windows XP", choosing "New Installation" should erase all of the saved data on the harddrive while processing a fresh installation of whatever version of Windows XP is on the CD.
It seems as if, it is easier to use the Windows CD for this formatting stuff. Thanks for your reply.

Offline Herumutsu

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Re: Wiping, formatting the harddrive....which is best?
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2006, 11:26:04 AM »
Yes, the Windows XP install-disk makes it a very simple process - earlier versions of Windows did not have that feature, so it was a bit different a few years ago.

You're welcome. :)