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Old 11-04-2007, 05:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default number times I can re-install XP? And file deleter question.

Hi. I have an XP disk with a proper key and everything and its all kosher and legal. It passes WGA without a hitch.

Anyway, I have installed it twice so far. I wish to sell my computer, so I plan on giving it a fresh install of XP before I get rid. Anyway, I was just wondering how many times I can install it before I have got to get another Key? Because I dont want to have to install XP again and waste money before selling the comp.

As well, I have got passwords and things on my computer, so I am thinking of using a free one of those file deleters that properly shred files so they can never be restored. (well not NEVER but you know what I mean) Can you tell me the name of a good free one? Thanks.
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Old 11-04-2007, 05:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: number times I can re-install XP? And file deleter question.

You can install XP as many times you want, as long as its on the same computer. You might just have to call MS if the online activation goes through. In which you just tell them (if you get a person, cuz I just got an automated voice) you had hard drive problems, and that its only been installed on 1 machine, and you needed to reactivate.

And a few good programs to completely wipe your drive are: KillDisk and Boot 'N Nuke. Boot 'N Nuke I believe is military-grade.
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Old 11-04-2007, 05:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: number times I can re-install XP? And file deleter question.

Thanks alot.

Military grade sounds nice. So would they be able to find my details if i run the military grade thing or will it be basically impossible?
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Old 11-04-2007, 06:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: number times I can re-install XP? And file deleter question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaanish View Post
Thanks alot.

Military grade sounds nice. So would they be able to find my details if i run the military grade thing or will it be basically impossible?
I recommend Darik's Boot 'N Nuke (DBAN) as well.

In theory, if you were selling it to the FBI, they could analyze your drive with a microscope and based on magnetic patterns could tell what the bits were before they were 'wiped'.

Though, that would be quite a bit of work, even for the FBI. I would say there is a 99.99999% chance that you're safe from them recovering any data.
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Old 11-04-2007, 06:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: number times I can re-install XP? And file deleter question.

Okay thanks guys. So. I make bootable isos of killdisk AND DBAN. Load up XP disk. Delete all partitions so the disk is raw but quit installer before the next phase. clean the disk using the isos. Install windows XP and im set.

Does that sound right?
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Old 11-04-2007, 06:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: number times I can re-install XP? And file deleter question.

No need to use both. DBAN has several different algorythms you can use to wipe your drive.

Basically, what it will do is change all your data at the binary level. For instance, it would change 10101101101011011010101011010111 to 111111111111111111111111111111 instead (or different, depending on the algorythm you selected).

So what you'll do is make the bootable ISO of DBAN.

Load the disc of DBAN (during start up) and wipe the computer clean.

From there, you'll have a blank computer, and you'll just reinstall Windows XP as normal.
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Old 11-04-2007, 06:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: number times I can re-install XP? And file deleter question.

Thanks to both of you.

One last question, though. When you use DBAN, does it wipe the partition table aswell so that it will automatically have just one large partition like I want?
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Old 11-04-2007, 06:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: number times I can re-install XP? And file deleter question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaanish View Post
Thanks to both of you.

One last question, though. When you use DBAN, does it wipe the partition table aswell so that it will automatically have just one large partition like I want?
Yes it does.

The only thing it will not wipe is a HPA (Host Protected Area). It *can* wipe it, it just doesn't by default.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DBAN Site
Q: Does DBAN wipe the Host Protected Area ("HPA")?

A: No.

Most vendors that are using the HPA have a toggle for it in the BIOS setup program. Future releases of DBAN may override or dishonor the HPA.

Q: Why not now and why not by default?

A: Some vendors are using the HPA instead of providing rescue media.

Wiping the HPA would surprise and strand people that expect the HPA to have rescue materials. The HPA is a low risk because it is not accessible during normal operations.
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Old 11-04-2007, 08:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: number times I can re-install XP? And file deleter question.

No problem Vaanish. And like Aether said, you just need to boot the ISO, and pick which mode you would like to use with DBAN to wipe your drive.
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