Using DBAN on Dell PC's


New Member
Hi Guys
I have a Dell Dimension 8200 running on Windows XP Home Edition. Just upgraded to a new PC and transferred all relevant files etc. Now want to sanitize the hard disk on the old PC so that it can be re-sold and/or re-used by someone else.
If I use DBAN to clean up the hard disk will I be able to re-install the XP Home from the recovery disk supplied by Dell? The Drive has currently two partitions and I believe the OS is contained on one partition with the files on the other.

I have read somewhere that a total sanitizing of the hard disk will erase some indexing system that will render the XP reinstallation disk useless. Is that likely to be the case and, if so, is there a way round this problem without having to buy a new full version of XP?

Would appreciate any comments and assistance.
So long as the recovery disk is bootable and has the necessary factory shipped files then I can't see why not. I have a computer that has a recovery partition and have the recovery / restoration DVD. I have used DBAN to completely wipe the hard drive and then used the disk to reinstall everything. The procedure is that the disk first installs a recovery partition (as this has been destroyed) and then creates the user (C drive) partition. After all this is done then computer then starts as if it were a newly bought computer (ie you have to enter a computer name / create users etc). My computer is manufactured by Iqon Philips in Ireland but these computers with recovery partitions / disks tend to all work much the same way.

Have a look at this:

as it discusses the Dell recovery disks.

Additionally, do you have a program on your computer that allows you to make a one time back up of the operating system and all factory shipped programs? This is how I created my recovery / restoration disk (else I would have had to buy one from Iqon). This feature is on some Dell products, the manufacturer of the feature is normally something like Soft Thinks (PC Angel Recovery being the usual program). It is a one time only backup you can do, due to Microsoft imposing a limit (it's to compensate for OEM suppliers who don't provide physical backup eg CDs or DVD).

the alternative is to phone Dell and ask them. You don't have to say you are sanitizing the hard drive - tell them you want to install a new hard drive before you sell on the computer and want to know if the recovery disk will reinstall everything (i.e recovery partition / user partition).

As a last resort, the final alternative is to use the last stable release of DBAN (v1.07). On my computer this version shows both the recovery partition and user partitions as well as the hard drive, unlike the current Beta version which shows just the actual hard drive drive and no partitions. You then just choose the partition you want to wipe, and not the whole disk. Unfortunately, the partitions aren't identified by names that let you know that partition 1 is Recovery Partition and partition 2 is User partition (or vice-versa). I guessed at partition 2 being the user partition when I first tried DBAN - and was correct. The effect was I had a recovery partition intact and was able to restore this to a sanitised - former C: drive - partition. The next time I used DBAN I bit the bullet, so to speak, and just wiped the whole drive, but I had checked with Iqon that the recovery disk would create both partitions again for me. And everything was fine.

Good luck!
Dell recovery

Hi Robbie
Ta much for your helpful comments. I do have the Dell reinstallation CD and I know it works since I had to do a full reinstall early last year after my system became corrupted. It was a pain however since my XP version was about 5 years old and it took a couple of days to download and install all the necessary updates.

As you suggest I'll contact Dell anyway and pose the question. Link to the genner sales site much appreciated - seems from what they say that my recovery disc should work on a completely clean hard drive.

Cheers :D
I didn't realise it was for a five year old version of XP! That means probably XP SP1? If so, perhaps you could obtain the SP2 update disk (SP2 was released in August 2004). You'll still have many updates after that though - this computer I'm using was manufactured in March 2006, when I first used it in April 2006 there were about 15 updates - at my last reinstall a couple of months ago there were 108!

Also, SP1 is (I believe) no longer supported by Microsoft, so there would be a need to update to SP2 (and then to hope that the drivers are compatible - on an old computer I had back in 2004 I had to revert back to SP1 as I couldn't get the computer to work with SP2).
Dell recovery

Had to install SP2 when I did my recovery last year. Was not a problem as all drivers seemed to work OK or Windows searched for and installed the required updated drivers.

Hopefully the same will apply this time around.

My only problem :( is that I have AOL as my ISP and the old Dell machine uses a BT Voyager 100 (USB) modem for my broadband connection. The drivers for this come bundled with the AOL installation software and I don't really want to reinstall AOL on this machine just to get my modem up and running. Will have to look around for the Voyager driver or buy a network card so that I can use the modem/router currently servicing my new machine. Alternative might be to but one of these USB to Ethernet adapters and hook up the new router this way.

It all seems a bit of a pain but Hey Ho, what are we here for if not to subsidise the IT industry when playing catch-up with old but still serviceable technology!!!