Hard drive wiping problems REFRASED

 Hi, I posted another question on the same topic, but I don't think I got my point across. I'll lay down the basics - Is there any way to erase a hard drive WITHOUT having to boot from a cd (like dban or the windows xp install cd) and WITHOUT having to access the accounts. My computer is so corrupt, I can't do either. Don't tell me what I could check to make it work, just answer the question. No, I don't want to take the hard drive out and use another computer to erase it. I do know that I would need the XP disk to reinstall it, but I would need that if I weren't going to install Ubuntu instead. Yes, I tried booting from the ubuntu disk, it didn't work. Also, don't say "well, you're out of luck, take it into a repair shop." That's NOT answering the question. Thanks in advance.

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MacroPower6 years ago
You can, and it is very easy. Run the UltimateBootCD on a flash drive.
orksecurity7 years ago
A machine has to boot from something. Either the hard disk (which you don't want to boot from), or the CD (which you don't want to boot from).

The right answer *is* to boot from CD. That can be done even when the disk drive is completely dead. Just bring up the BIOS configuration screen and set the machine to try the CD before it tries the hard drive.

If you can't open the BIOS configuration, why not? If it's password protected and you don't have the password, then (a) you probably have no business doing any of this, but (b) if it really is your machine, a service center may be able to reset that.

Note: If this is an IBM Thinkpad and the hard-disk password has been set to something you don't know... trash the disk and buy a new one. That mechanism is intended to protect business data, and so is moderately serious security. I don't believe there's any way to reset it without knowing the existing password, and I *think* it may have some tamper-resistance as well.
guitarmonk15 (author)  orksecurity7 years ago
 I never said I can't open the bios, I just said I can't get into the accounts (administrator, etc.).
If you can get to the bios config, you can boot from CD.

If you need to erase the passwords on the accounts, that's a different question.
guitarmonk15 (author)  orksecurity7 years ago
 I've tried booting from a cd, but it when booting it says something like "error, cannot boot from disk, insert system disk and press enter"
Sounds like you either don't have a bootable CD, or don't have a working CD player, or don't have the BIOS configured to boot from CD. Can't tell you which without having my hands on the machine, but that gives you directions to explore.
> If you can't open the BIOS config ... a service center may be able to reset that.
.  You can reset the BIOS on most computers with a jumper on the mobo or by removing the battery for a while.
guitarmonk15 (author)  NachoMahma7 years ago
 read above comment

lemonie7 years ago
What use is wiping it if you can't do anything with it afterwards?
I suggested you fit it to another machine - did you try that?
You could download a free disc-partition app', but if your CD doesn't work that's no better than any other CD.
Stick with the original question, asking the same thing a second time isn't going to get you a better answer.

guitarmonk15 (author)  lemonie7 years ago
Read the question,and you'll see your answer.
My question, phrased differently is "what's the point?" or "what would you do with it if you could wipe it?".

Your need is to boot the machine from something other than the drive you want cleaned, and run e.g. a disk-partition application off the other boot device.
If you're not going to take it out of that machine, what can you boot it off?

guitarmonk15 (author)  lemonie7 years ago
 Maybe I want to use the computer without it having to take 20 minutes to boot (for the love of god, DON'T tell me how to make the boot time faster).
Yes I know it's screwy, but how will you install a new operating system on it if you can't boot from a CD?
What can you boot it from?

guitarmonk15 (author)  lemonie7 years ago
 I would suspect that when I erase the hard drive, it would also (for lack of better words) erase the coruptness that's preventing me from booting from a cd

If your BIOS is configured with the CD as the primary boot device it shouldn't look at the HDD beyond checking it's there and such. If you think the HDD is causing the problem disconnect it, try the CD boot. OK you won't be able to Format it, but it'll tell us whether that is the problem.
Can you boot from a floppy, because you could fairly easily get a DOS disk made up I should think.

If you can't boot to a CD the issue is not a corrupt version of Windows on the hard drive.  It's either a problem with your BIOS settings or an issue with the drive itself.

The problem is that if you want to format the hard drive without using another computer, you must boot your computer into something.  It's either boot to a CD, flash drive, or floppy, or remove the hard drive and use another computer - there's no third direction.

Since you specifically demanded no instruction on what to check, I won't go any further than stating that if your BIOS is set to boot from CD as your first device, your drive shows up as operational in BIOS, and the drive doesn't have a dirty/malfunctioning transport, then you should have zero problems booting to an XP or Ubuntu disc.  Furthermore, neither disc will care what is on the drive - corrupt or not - so a corrupt installation of XP will not prevent you from booting to the CD, nor will it prevent the computer from reformatting the drive.

From your previous comments, it sounds as if though either the installation discs are damaged and unreadable, or the CD drive optics are malfunctioning.

Finally, I can understand your frustration.  I'm a repair technician myself, and my day is nothing but frustration when machines adopt personalities and do things that defy logic.  However, you just need to maintain.  Inhale deeply through the diaphragm and exhale slowly.  Eat a peach.  Then ask your question, knowing that people who answer are genuinely trying to help you, not run you around in circles.

When you get answers that are strikingly similar and are not what you expected nor wanted to hear, you must accept that either you didn't phrase the question properly, or that so many answers couldn't agree if they weren't true (I can tell you from experience that tech nerds will quibble over some of the most trivial things, so when they all answer in unison you pretty much have to accept it).

Here's some positive and constructive feedback for you: "just answer the question" and a list of ways not to answer the question is not the best way to inspire people to want to help you solve your problem for free and on their own time.

guitarmonk15 (author)  RavingMadStudios7 years ago
 well, people like YOU just say something that's pretty much random, and also, it makes it so people don't tell me to do things I already know and tried.

No need to get your shorts in a bunch. Take the advice, or don't. Doesn't matter to me at all.
No, you can't erase it. How could you ?  You have excluded all the possibilities, except try Knoppix, another Linux, designed to run off CD and be as compatible as possible.
guitarmonk15 (author)  steveastrouk7 years ago
 If I brought it into a computer repair store, would they be able to wipe it?

Well yes, but you excluded that as a solution !!
Yes, they'd take it out your computer, plug it into another computer, wipe it and then give it back to you telling you to reinstall your OS. But you said that wasn't an option in your list of demands. That or they'd reinstall from a CD, which you said you wouldn't consider too.
gmxx7 years ago
 Try Ubuntu rescue remix, or knoppix.

The computer store will either do the same thing, or take the hard drive and use it inside of one of thier computers to do it.
Burf7 years ago
Load Ubuntu on a USB flash drive and when you install, select the "Use the entire disk" option.