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Old 03-21-2008, 07:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Looking for a way to wipe the data from winxp

Hey its me again,

I'm just trying to find the easiest way to wipe all the personal files and data from a windows xp machine but keep the OS in place. Is that possible?
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Old 03-21-2008, 07:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a way to wipe the data from winxp

It would be far less time consuming to simply delete the current primary and see a clean install of everything if you can reinstall the OS and softwares. That will take care of all of the clutter and personal files and settings including user accounts.

For manual deletion of individual files you would have to spend the time going through all sub folders under your user name in the DocumentsandSettings folder(XP), the users folder(Vista), or the MyDocuments in older versions.

For folders created outside of the ones created originally by Windows namely the folder by the same name, Program Files, etc. there you simply right click on the folder itself to say "good bye" right to the recycle bin which will need emptying as you go along.

It could get tedious not knowing if all were removed since softwares can bury them in different places. Nuking the drive and seeing a clean install allows for a new administrator name there if you are selling or giving the system away.
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Old 03-21-2008, 08:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a way to wipe the data from winxp

Not sure. But the fastest way is to do a full format and reinstall.
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Old 03-21-2008, 08:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a way to wipe the data from winxp

Is it possible? Yes. Would doing that be time consuming? Very much so.

Just wipe the drive. It will take much less time, and you can also be sure you didn't miss anything.
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Old 03-21-2008, 08:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a way to wipe the data from winxp

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Originally Posted by MetalOwns View Post
Is it possible? Yes. Would doing that be time consuming? Very much so.

Just wipe the drive. It will take much less time, and you can also be sure you didn't miss anything.
And it will be faster after.
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Old 03-21-2008, 08:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a way to wipe the data from winxp

Like the others said, just wipe the entire drive and reinstall. If you're worried about the data possibly being recovered after formatting, use DBAN or Killdisk on it, and then reinstall XP onto it.
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a way to wipe the data from winxp

Here I use CopyWipe Hard Drive Copy and Secure Wipe Software - CopyWipe when someone asks for a drive to be wiped followed by a full format of a fresh partition. At one time you booted up with a floppy and ran a zero fill utility that took all day on a 13gb size drive.

Never again is the golden rule here! You'll find a few freewares these days that will repeatedly write binary zeros for security purposes of removing all personal data once and for all. Then you top that off with a full format for a little extra there.
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a way to wipe the data from winxp

Eraser - Free secure data erase tool to wipe files on your hard drive

Eraser. It deletes the files and then writes and erases data from the same section of the drive that the file was located on on average of 200 times. Which is more than enough to deter any recovery application from every getting that info back. It would do what you want without the format.
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Old 03-21-2008, 11:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a way to wipe the data from winxp

create new account. delete old account. run evidence eliminator. files gone forever unless you are a terrorist or you are a kiddie porn lover. only companies like ontrack can recover this data, but they can recover anything

if you don't want to lose your account and just delete certain deleted file, run it without creating the new account

Evidence Eliminator the most popular Internet Washer & Windows Washer
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Old 03-22-2008, 12:22 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a way to wipe the data from winxp

I've heard of Eraser before. That's an open source utility seen at sorceforge as well as the link posted there. SourceForge.net: Files

You will likely find some others as well if you look for them under security tools.
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