Step 3: Nuking Your Drive

First thing you will need to do is remember when you bought your computer. If you bought it before 2001 then skip to Step 6. If after 2001, then continue reading... If you aren't sure you can try either method, but make sure you have 2 cds incase one doesn't work (then you can try the other)

There are several tools you can use to 'nuke' your drive, but the best is called 'HDD Erase'. It is best because it is simple software, that triggers a feature built into the firmware of your hard drive (if built around 2001 and later) that destroys everything. You can read about it here http://cmrr.ucsd.edu/people/Hughes/SecureErase.shtml. I have tried to use the file they supply to make a cd, but it didn't work, so I'll show you another way.
Use <a href="http://www.goodlucksoft.com" rel="nofollow">WBD(Wipe Bad Disk) to erase data permanently on disks with fast speed, especially efficient for disks with bad sectors.</a>
The best way to destroy data from your harrdrive is to burn it
Your BIOS is not set to boot from cd. You can follow this guide:<br/><br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.hiren.info/pages/bios-boot-cdrom">http://www.hiren.info/pages/bios-boot-cdrom</a> and it should be similar on your pc<br/>
This is not working - I made the CD but when I turn my computer on it boots windows. Please help! Thanks
It may be worth noting that while all of these methods will work for the average Joe user, police and law enforcement officials may (or may not) be able to recover data after these or other techniques. (I'm not saying they can for sure, just that they might be able to.)
Shredding files and shredding free space doesn't always work 100%, but nuking a drive (even just doing a quick erase) makes it physically impossible
I was hoping your idea of nuking would include the literal definition - I know a few incredibly paranoid people who when it came time to upgrade to a new computer would take the old motherboard, hard drives, RAM (and any components with memory), and an old cruddy microwave. I'm sure you can imagine what that entails. Totaling an HDD is actually a rather reasonable idea if you want to upgrade to a higher capacity drive. Simply clone the old onto the new (or perform a file transfer if there are no system files on it), and take apart the old drive. The disks are great Instructables materials...Tesla turbines spring to mind immediately :-P
Heh I should have mentioned to only do either if you don't want to install the older drive into an enclosure...I brilliantly bought a nice SATA enclosure, installed a new HDD, and after a few distractions absentmindedly found myself opening the old drive while on the phone - I apparently had just grabbed the closest thing to me and decided to open it up after a service put me on hold. Needless to say, I was very, very glad I'd transferred the files to the new drive instead of my original plan of just installing the old into the enclosure first....
have you heard of wipe disk i dont think its free but people tell me its the best it rewrites the whole disk to 1's or 0's
Repartitioning is pretty effective. But I guess it depends upon how paranoid you are about people making a lot of effort to recover your data. L

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