How do I wipe out info.

Question

Selling computer. How do I wipe out info. Is there a program to download or do you need to buy one.......thanks

Answer

This question was answered on February 18, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Warning: By reformatting your hard drive, you lose all information that is still on it This includes, games, personal files, Office Suites, and anything else you have added

Before formatting your systems hard drive, there are few items you should have ready Please read over the checklist below:

Backup any information that you feel is important

Gather all of your original CDs and disks if you have them, and any documentation that came with your computer

Gather any additional software that you may want to reinstall

Go to "Device Manager" on your system, copy down and make a list of the devices and/or the drivers that are being used

If you have Win98, ME or XP, create a Startup disk These disks will load CD-ROM drivers at the boot If you are using Windows 95, you will need to create a bootable disk and add the CD-ROM drivers for your CD-ROM

Before you install your operating system, you must first create a primary partition on the hard disk (disk 1) on your computer, and then format a file system on that partition

1 Insert the Startup disk in the floppy disk drive, restart your computer, and then use one of the following methods, depending on your operating system

For a Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, or Windows Me Startup disk:

a When the Microsoft Windows 98 Startup menu is displayed, select the Start computer without CD-ROM support menu option, and then press ENTER

b At a command prompt, type fdisk, and then press ENTER

2 If your hard disk is larger than 512 MB, you will receive the following message:

Your computer has a disk larger than 512 MB This version of Windows includes improved support for large disks, resulting in more efficient use of disk space on large drives, and allowing disks over 2 GB to be formatted as a single drive Do you wish to enable large disk support?

NOTE: If you want to use the FAT32 file system, press Y and then press ENTER If you want to use the FAT16 file system, press N, and then press ENTER

3 After you press ENTER, the following Fdisk Options menu is displayed:

1 Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive

2 Set active partition

3 Delete partition or Logical DOS Drive

4 Display partition information

5 Change current fixed disk drive

Note: Option 5 is available only if you have two physical hard disks in the computer

4 Press 1 to select the Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive menu option, and then press ENTER

5 Press 1 to select the Create Primary DOS Partition menu option, and then press ENTER

6 After you press ENTER, you will receive the following message:

Do you wish to use the maximum available size for primary DOS partition?

Note: After you receive this message, use one of the following methods, depending on the file system that you selected

For a FAT32 File System

If you press Y for the FAT32 file system (in step 2) and you want all of the space on the hard disk to be assigned to drive C, press Y, and then press ENTER

a Press ESC, and then press ESC to quit the Fdisk tool and return to a command prompt

b View the following "How to Format a Hard Disk" section in part 3 of this article

For a FAT16 File System

If you press N for the FAT16 file system (in step 2), you can accept the default 2 GB size for the partition size, or you can customize the size of the partition

To accept the default partition size:

a If you want the first 2 GB on the hard disk to be assigned to drive C, press Y, and then press ENTER

b Press ESC to return to the Options menu, and then continue on with the following "To customize the partition size" section

To customize the partition size:

a If you want to customize the size of the partitions (drive letters) on the hard disk, press N, and then press ENTER

b A dialog box is displayed in which you can type the size that you want for the primary partition in MB or percent of disk space

Note: For computers that are running either Windows 98 or Windows Me, Microsoft recommends that you make the primary partition at least 500 MB in size

c Type the size of the partition that you want to create, and then press ENTER

d Press ESC to return to the Options menu

e To assign drive letters to the additional space on the hard disk, press 1, and then press ENTER

f Press 2 to select the Create Extended DOS Partition menu option, and then press ENTER

g You will receive a dialog box that displays the maximum space that is available for the extended partition You can adjust the size of the partition or use the default size Note that the default maximum space is recommended, but you can divide the space between multiple drive letters Type the amount of space that you want, press ENTER, and then press ESC

h The Create Logical DOS Drive(s) in the Extended DOS Partition menu is displayed This is the menu that you can use to assign the remaining hard disk space to the additional drive letters Type the amount of space that you want to assign to the next drive letter in the Enter logical drive size in Mbytes or percent of disk space (%) ox, and then press ENTER

i A table that lists the drive letter that you created and the amount of space on that drive is displayed If there is free space on the hard disk, it is displayed near the bottom of the table Repeat steps a through i until you receive the following message:

All available space in the Extended DOS Partition is assigned to local drives

j After you receive this message, press ESC to return to the Options menu

k To activate the partition from which you plan to boot (usually drive C), press 2 to select the Set active partition menu option, and then press ENTER

l When you receive the following message, press 1, and then press ENTER:

Enter the number of the partition you want to make active

m Press ESC, and then press ESC to quit the Fdisk tool and return to a command prompt

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Posted by Felix of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on February 18, 2003