How to securely and cheaply wipe PC's data?
September 26, 2009 9:53 AM   Subscribe

What is the best free way to securely wipe the hard drive of a PC (XP, I think) before re-selling it? Free means no purchase of software or hardware, if at all possible. If it helps, there are two laptops that need to be wiped, so one could wipe the other if there's some nifty way to do that. Any ideas would be much-appreciated.
posted by Dasein to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: DBAN
posted by Partial Law at 9:58 AM on September 26, 2009 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Ditto. DBAN is the way to go.
posted by sharkfu at 10:02 AM on September 26, 2009

Note that after using DBAN, you'll have to re-install Windows. Hopefully you have the restore discs or a Windows install disc.
posted by zsazsa at 10:07 AM on September 26, 2009

Yes, DBAN. And seconding zsazsa - after wiping, your computer won't have an operating system, and won't boot.

You should re-install Windows from the discs that came with the computer.
posted by Mwongozi at 10:20 AM on September 26, 2009

Response by poster: Perfect, thanks.

Thanks zsazsa, I did know that. And I was planning on making sure the person doing the wiping knows that, too.
posted by Dasein at 10:22 AM on September 26, 2009

Response by poster: Funny thing about marking a Best Answer - Partial Law got to it first, but what really made me say, okay, that's the right answer, is sharkfu seconding it so quickly. So please just take the best answer as being generally applicable. Thanks to everyone.
posted by Dasein at 10:24 AM on September 26, 2009

Dasein - you can mark more than one best answer, I believe.
posted by muddgirl at 10:54 AM on September 26, 2009

Response by poster: muddgirl, I know, I'm just resisting the trend to go around marking everything best answer. But just for you, I will give sharkfu the credit s/he deserves.
posted by Dasein at 2:43 PM on September 26, 2009

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