Complete disk wipe Noob: This stuff is scary!


New Member
Hi all,

I've recently decided to sell my laptop. Got an offer today, in fact. The problem is that I have never tried to completely wipe the hard drive for any computer, and I'm having difficulty understanding just how Eraser or DBAN work.

First question: When I use DBAN, will I need to re-install my OS or any programs? My biggest fear is that after doing the DBAN thing, I'll be staring at a blank screen with no OS to speak of. I don't have a system restore disk, though I have backed up my HD to an external HD using Acronis. Ideally, I'd like to be able to run DBAN and have an operable, clean laptop with little or no work to do afterward.

Second question: Does a noob have any business doing something like this? I consider myself somewhat intelligent, and have worked in fairly complex applications like Flash and Photoshop for a while now. Is this something I can do without completely screwing myself?

I really, really appreciate any input. Mainly, I guess, I'm just looking for a vote of confidence and some reassurance that my laptop will not be rendered useless by my novice meddling.

Yep, it'll leave your computer inoperable -- but that's the point so that no one can get your data back. All you need to do afterward is to reinstall your operating system. Get your buyer to do it himself, if that's the case. Unless the price you're negotiating for includes the OS then it's a different story...