U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Science and Technology > Computers
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Old 03-29-2009, 10:12 AM
Location: FL/TX Coasts
1,464 posts, read 3,788,536 times
Reputation: 432


Hello Every one,
How can I restore my PC to its original software state?
-I am thinking to donating it, but would like to ensure that all my personal files, data, etc...is deleted.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 03-29-2009, 11:21 AM
16,308 posts, read 25,267,295 times
Reputation: 8302
It takes a bit more to 'clean' your drive, as things are never truely deleted from the disk, just marked as deleted, and with a little free software can be retrieved.

Here is some advise from M$ http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/resources/technology/security/clean-the-hard-drive-before-dumping-your-pc.aspx#CleantheharddrivebeforedumpingyourPC (broken link)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-29-2009, 11:54 AM
11,715 posts, read 36,341,277 times
Reputation: 7514
Download a free programs called dban. Google it. It makes a CD that you boot your computer from and it securely erases you data. Simply reformatting or running your computer's restore CDs does NOT securely erase you data.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-29-2009, 12:21 PM
40,221 posts, read 41,815,454 times
Reputation: 16772
The reformat procedure varies by computer, some have a recovery partition and using dban may wipe that partition. I'd first find out what that procedure is for your computer. You'll need a installation/recovery cd/dvd with a full copy of windows on it to be able to restore windows after using dban.

When you delete a file or reformat a drive the space where it existed is simply freed up for other data. It's not deleted until something overwrites it. That's what dban does but that wipes everything.

If you don't have a recovery cd/dvd there's another utility called bcwipe that works within windows and will only wipe free space. If you were to use that you would first reformat. Then when you run it any of the free space left will be wiped clean.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Science and Technology > Computers
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top