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Computer hard drive wiping problems Answered

 Hi, I have a  custom made computer that has gotten very corrupt (viruses, useless crap, etc.) over the years, and I would like to erase the hard drive. I've tried stuff like Dban (Darik's boot and nuke), only for some reason, when I try to boot from the cd, it just gives me an error like "ERROR CANNOT BOOT FROM CD".  No, I don't have the Windows XP install disk, or any other installation disks. I haven't used it in years, so I don't remember the password. What I'm asking is, is there any way to erase the hard drive without having to get into the account. By the way, yes, I know I would need the XP disk if I were to install XP after, but instead I'm going to install Ubuntu. I can't even boot from the Ubuntu disk, I've tried it. Thanks in advance.


What says "ERROR CANNOT BOOT FROM CD"? Is the BIOS correctly configured and does the drive work, what CD are you trying to boot from?
You could take the drive out, and connect it to another machine, but you'll need the CD to work in the end - I'd try to fix that first.


 what should the bios be configured like (I DO know how to get into it). I'm trying to boot from a DBAN cd i made.

go into your bios and choose settings (not advanced) you have a primary boot 1 2 and 3, put yout CD as boot 1 and your HDD as 2.

Does DBAN make a bootable Disk?

If not you can access the disk via DOS

C:/ (type your drive number I.e. E: )

E:/  type "DIR" (if your file is in the E:/ without any folders you can be more specific and type "dir *exe")

Depending which files come up you will be looking for a executable file (i.e .EXE, .COM or .BAT)

If your file is in a folder rather than in the root directory you can access the folder by typing "CD" meaning Change Directory infront of the foldername (i.e E:/ CD Desktop)

When you have Found the Executable file you are looking for "bootdisk.bat" for example simply type bootdisk to run the file



BIOS should have the CD as "primary boot device", but I'm thinking the disk might be non-bootable?


I see you don't have the xp cd. It shouldn't be that hard to find one whether it be friend, relative or illegitimate sources. Your not trying to get a key, just the disk.
There's also the option to call up you custom pc maker or microsoft to request one.

Microsoft itself , if you can go to a friends house , you can download the windows 7 trial disk iso and burn a copy and format that way.

Depending on how old this pc it is may be a lost cause and time to get a new pc or spend some money to replace parts like your hard drive and cd.

Ok now heres what you have to do. Go to Computer/C/WIndows and find system 32 and delete, or if that fails take a BIG magent and rub it 7 times on the side of your computer in the same direction.

 what would deleting the system 32 folder do? I've seen it, but don't know what it does. Also, I'm going to use the hard drive again, so using a magnet would'nt help.


8 years ago

You could always plug the hard drive into a different computer and erase it using that computer.  If it's clogged with viruses you may want to use a different (more immune) OS like linux or Mac OS X.  Or, get a good antivirus program...

Seeing whereas you haven't used it in years, your CD drive may not be functioning correctly. You may want to try swapping out the drive with one that you are sure is functioning properly.