DBAN operation successful, but.....

How do I completely erase my PC?

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DBAN operation successful, but.....

Postby billymit » Sun Nov 12, 2006 12:17 am

DBAN was run successfully on a 160Gb WD drive, but after I turned the computer off, I then turned it back on, and was able to access the setup. This of course has the machine identification data on it. Is it normal to still have this data left, after wiping the drive? I had the impression that nothing would be left on the drive.
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Postby Robbie » Sun Nov 12, 2006 3:58 pm

as far as I am aware, all data on the hard drive will be wiped completely.

Are you referring to the BIOS? This is the information you can access when first starting up and pressing something like Delete or F10 on the keyboard (it varies from computer to computer). If so you need to see that information in order for the computer itself to function properly. The information isn't accessed from the hard drive but from the BIOS / CMOS on the motherboard.

see

http://www.computorcompanion.com/LPMArticle.asp?ID=76

for more information.

basically, if you removed the hard drive the BIOS setup would still work, but would recognise there was no harddrive. If you replaced the hard drive, it would work and should recognise the new hard drive.

If this isn't what you mean, let me know.
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DBAN operation successful, but.....

Postby billymit » Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:27 pm

Robbie, Thanks for pointing that out. That's exactly what I was looking at, the BIOS. That completely solves my problem. I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question. I'm returning this drive that was replaced by Dell, and now feel confident that the drive is clean. Again, thanks a lot.
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Postby Robbie » Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:17 pm

I'm glad that answered your query! For a moment I'd thought you'd meant you'd been able to boot into the hard disk, which is where Windows normally resides.

A successful wipe of the hard disk drive partitions should display an error message when you boot up the computer (assuming there is no disk in the CD-ROM drive, or a floppy disk in the FDD), basically along the lines that there was a system error, a disk error, a disk couldn't be found or something like that (I forget the exact message, and perhaps that varies from computer to computer). Without anything on the hard disk there is no operating system, no partitions to boot into. The BIOS / CMOS runs its boot up procedure and finds nothing, therefore the computer will display an error. But after running DBAN successfully you can be assured that the hard disk is completely clean even though the rest of the functions of the computer are still operational.
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DBAN operation successful, but.....

Postby billymit » Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:27 pm

I've got my new hard drive up and running, which is obvious, and used Symantec's Ghost 9 product as a backup, and was able to fully restore my drive in about an hour with 27 Gb's of information on it. A terrific product, never thought I'd need to use it for real, but glad I did.

With the old drive, after the DBAN ran, and said it was successful, I pulled the DBAN disk out of the CD drive, and tried to boot the hard drive, but, as I recall, got only a black screen, directing me to use F12, which of course took me to the blue screen with the BIOS, etc. I never tried to boot it with the hard drive completely out of the computer, so I didn't make that test, but I'm satisfied with what I saw, coupled with your expert advice, to feel confident that the drive is clean. I called, and emailed Dell, and they tell me that they clean all the return drives, and then physically destroy them. However, when it comes to private information, you can only trust yourself.

As an aside, I couldn't produce the DBAN disk from the Eraser product. I had to go to the DBAN site direct, where it was done with no problem. FYI, it took about 3 1/2 hours to clean a 160 Gb drive, using the default program, the suggested program.

Anyway, I really appreciate all your help. You provide a very important service, especially with these types of products, where they are a bit more technical than usual, and, done wrong, can not only leave a disk with private information still on it, but also destroy one in error.

Again, thanks for your help, Regards, Bill
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