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Can I wipe all personal info without losing the os?

This is a discussion on Can I wipe all personal info without losing the os? within the Win 98 & ME Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi all, I have a computer that I got from a friend, I did some fixing on it and it's

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Old 09-14-2007, 04:27 PM   #1
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Hi all,

I have a computer that I got from a friend, I did some fixing on it and it's a good computer that I'd like to pass on to another user now. I want to wipe the hard drive to protect my friend's personal info but I don't have a win98 disk to reformat the drive with. The computer is too slow and old to run XP.

Can I somehow wipe the drive without having to reload the os?

Also I don't have a startup disk so I don't have the drivers...

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Old 09-15-2007, 02:15 AM   #2
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You could create a new admin account, change the old one to a normal account, then delete it using the newly created admin account. Don't know if this'll work, only a suggestion.
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Old 09-15-2007, 02:30 AM   #3
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Hi Jesse

There are secure-shredders that will completely erase files or folders that you select --- but most of the recommended tools for this aren't free. [If any techs out there know a good free tool for this, jump in]. Not having any installation CD will hamper whoever inherits the PC, too - (though you might check if the installation ".cab files" are in C:\Windows\Options\Cabs [there would be quite a few - I don't remember how many at the moment - around fifty?] and if they are there, you could make a backup copy on CD.

If you have CDs for the other programs you'd like to include in the future donation, and you have the full-set Windows .cabs copied onto a CD, you could
1) completely erase the hard drive with a "zero-write" [this would securely erase any personal info] - you could use either the diagnostic utility from the hard drive's manufacturer, or a program like killdisk or Boot & Nuke --- http://www.download.com/Darik-s-Boot...ml?tag=lst-0-1
2) repartition & format the drive with a Win98se bootdisk from bootdisk.com --- http://www.bootdisk.com
3) copy the Windows 98 .cab files onto the hard drive
4) install Windows by double-clicking on the "setup.exe" in the Windows 98 installation files.
5) install a free antivirus (like AVG 7.5), and Windows Security patches up to mid-2006 (when support ended) -- they are still available at Windows Update.
6) install any other programs you wish to donate along with the old PC.

Best of luck with your project
. . . Gary

[P.S. --- Ahoy there, Mr Sparrow: by old Davy Jones bones, Win9x doesn't have Administrator accounts (or you might say everyone is an Adminstrator) -- Permissions and user rights arrived for the NT kernel Windows: WinNT/2000/XP/Vista]
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Old 09-15-2007, 09:22 AM   #4
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If Darik's Boot and Nuke doesn't work (for some it does not load properly), Active@ KillDisk will work (the free unregistered version only supports one-pass zeroing, which is basically what you want anyways).
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Old 09-15-2007, 07:01 PM   #5
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Ok great! Thanks for the replies. I'm saving the cab files now and I'm going to try active@ killdisk when I'm done with that.

I'll let you know...
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