Wiping hard drive fdisk/mbr?

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by UnderDog, Aug 16, 2003.

  1. UnderDog

    UnderDog Guest

    I was asked by a friend, how to wipe the hard drive on a Dell computer
    running Windows XP. I'm still running Win98se, so I'm a little behind the
    times. I advised to use his XP recovery disk, do a new install, and choose
    format from there. He said it didn't work. He then told me something I
    couldn't believe. He attempted to format using fdisk. Keep in mind, I'm
    not expert when it comes to computers, but he's a lot worse. He pretty much
    rendered his computer useless. Also, I thought fdisk was a dos command, I
    had no idea it was available on XP. This is pretty much all the info I
    have. I did go over to try to help. I used his recovery disk, set the bios
    to boot from cd, and installed windows again. I was able to format, so I
    don't know why he couldn't.

    Here's the problem. XP is back on his machine, but when the computer boots,
    he has two choices for XP and is told the highlighted choice will start in
    20 sec. If you let it start, it starts fine. If you hit enter prior to the
    20 sec it starts fine. But if you scroll down to the second XP and hit
    enter, it starts with the same errors he had after he foolishly used fdisk.
    He said he created and deleted partitions, and who knows what else. He also
    said he tried to format the c: drive, but it only formatted about 8meg and
    said it was complete. I'm assuming he just formatted some partition he

    My question is this. Can I use fdisk/mbr to fix what he did, and then
    format all over again? Will that get rid of the 2 choices? I've also come
    across a program, called Wipeout,
    http://www.lurkhere.com/~nicefiles/index.html which is supposed to do this
    automatically if you boot with a Win 9x boot disk. It supposed to wipe
    everything, overwrite the MBR, and make sure there are no partitions. Has
    anyone tried it? Either way, if anyone can lend their expertise, it would
    be greatly appreciated. I apologize for the length of this post.
    UnderDog, Aug 16, 2003
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  2. The default option is a complete installation of XP (probably the one you
    did). The other option is an incomplete installation (probably your friends

    This link should solve your problem: http://tinyurl.com/k76l

    Sentient Fluid, Aug 16, 2003
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  3. UnderDog

    UnderDog Guest

    Thanks. That sounds like it will do the trick. The fdisk/mbr article was
    informative as well. I've only heard the dangers. One more question.
    After trying this, will any damage he may have created by using fdisk be
    wiped away? Thanks again.
    UnderDog, Aug 16, 2003
  4. UnderDog

    JabberSmith Guest

    There are a couple bits of information that may be useful to you:

    - Dell is using hidden partitions to do the "Welcome to Dell, get ready to
    launch your computer for the first time" sequence on their newer computers.
    To do a flat install of XP you may need to get rid of that partition as
    well. Especially if it is damaged.

    - Once the partitions are yacked up, it's pretty hard to get any worse. :)
    So don't worry.

    - You could try putting the hard drive in a different computer running Win2k
    or higher, then use the Disk Manger to kill the partitions with an easy
    interface. Moving a drive is relatively easy, but careful of mounting it (I
    usually dont, just let it hang out the sides of the open case like a shot
    pig. Just dont bump or touch stuff while the PC is on.)

    - XP can boot from the CD rom, and does have a utility in it to add or
    remove parititons, it's at the "where do you want to install" part. Just
    read all the instructions carefully and it is easy to use.

    - A tool called "Ranish Partition Manager" might help you. If the
    partitions are NTFS, to use the tool; put RPM on a floppy, boot the XP CD to
    the "recovery console" (I think it still has that, basically a dos prompt.)
    Go to the floppy, start Ranish. Ranish can then help you find and delete
    overlapping or otherwise damaged partitions. If the partitions are FAT32,
    then you can use a Win98 boot disk and a Ranish disk instead. (It won't
    "see" the partitions if they are not compatible with the little OS you are
    booting to.)

    - If your pal has a "recovery CD" and not a "XP cd" then just use that, most
    of the time it will simply re-create everything, including the partitions.

    Good Luck
    JabberSmith, Aug 16, 2003
  5. UnderDog

    Philo Guest

    all he has to do is boot with the XP cd and choose install

    there *is* an option for format the drive first
    he just missed it!
    Philo, Aug 16, 2003
  6. UnderDog

    Ken Guest

    Ken, Aug 26, 2003
  7. UnderDog

    Osprey Guest

    Whose saying what?
    Osprey, Aug 26, 2003
  8. UnderDog

    Patrick Guest

    What I didn't *really* tell tell you :) :)
    Alternately it's probably in front of one of these ">". lol :) lol
    Again, alternately, it's not very 'hot' :) rofl :)
    Patrick, Aug 26, 2003
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