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vankjeff

Help wiping Windows 98 & XP for safety before getting rid of them.

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I'm wanting to get rid of 2 old desktop home computers, a Windows 98 Gateway & a Windows XP Dell Dimension 9150.
Everyone, even The Tech Guy on the radio out here in LA, says that the only safe way to do this is to cremate the Hard Drive with a hammer. I've got to think that there's a way easier way, especially if you're somewhat technically minded, which I consider myself to be.

So, if I just go thru the steps of Deleting all of my Docs, Photos, Videos, Music and the Internet Explorer 6 Favorites & passwords after I make copies of it all on a Thumbdrive (not an easy do on the 98 machine since it didn't have a built-in USB thumb driver but I did finally get it done after getting a driver using a different browser, Off by One, that allows access to https Secure websites which IE-6 doesn't do), will a cCleaner Drive Wipe make it safe enough that nothing could be recovered by someone that was intent on doing so?

If you say it would, is there a version of cCleaner that will run on that ancient Windows 98 and one for the XP that offers the Drive Wipe feature? The version that I find on the old 98 machine that I must have gotten over a decade ago doesn't seem to have a Drive Wipe option anywhere and yet I've used that on my newer Windows 7, 8 and now 10 machines.

Same question regarding the Windows XP machine.

Thanks for your help.

 

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2 minutes ago, vankjeff said:

will a cCleaner Drive Wipe make it safe enough that nothing could be recovered by someone that was intent on doing so?

As your radio host says the only way to be 100% is physical destruction, if your adversaries have unlimited time and money they can recover data and you'll need to physically destroy it.  That said mounting the drives into a newer machine then running full disk wipe on it will thwart most data thieves.  Sadly no 98 compatible ccleaner will wipe, and while you can run ccleaner on the xp machine (assuming it's service pack 3) it won't do what you want which is full wipe; for obvious reasons you can't full wipe a drive running the windows ccleaner is hosted in.

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Thanks Nergal. I was sure hoping to hear of a solution that didn't involve me playing techie and taking those old beasts apart so I could beat stuff up. I did already know that you couldn't do an entire wipe of the HD that your operating system is on since things can't be done like that. I just thought that it might Wipe enough critical stuff that User IDs and Passwords would be gone forever.
I've done a few things inside desktops with help from a guy over at Microsoft Answers when I got a newer DELL Inspirion and he help me get the right cables and a SSD to put them in there next to the HDD and then to install the Windows and things like my 64-bit Office 2016 onto the SSD and set it up for any data to be stored on the much bigger but slower HDD.

I love the thing.
I had an ACER All-in-One desktop PC before that I grew to hate. The thing was pig slow even after I put the max RAM in it over at Fry's (after they figured out how to even get inside the thing :lol: ). I guess it must have a bad processor that's the problem. I'd never known until then that which processor you have can make all the difference in the world on how the thing works.

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You don't necessarily have to destroy the hard disks, and since they will likely both be using legacy hard disk interfaces it could be very difficult to find replacements.

You could try DBAN (open source / free) and run it on those computers, it will nuke the hard disks of all data. Read the DBAN documentation, because it will nuke any attached/installed hard disk! If it doesn't work you could even boot those old systems via a Linux Distro (probably will require being burned onto a CD for the old Win98 system) and wipe the disks using what's built into the Linux Distro.

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w98 have another file-system as xp and newer, i think you dont need destroy the hd of this :-)

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vankjeff, there is another option if the computers don't have to be functional when you get rid of them.  Wipe the HDDs or not, as you wish (I probably would), but then remove them from the computer & just keep them.  You might eventually use them in an external caddy for file storage, backup storage, whatever. Even if not, they take up very little space in the sock drawer.  :) 

Full disclosure, this suggestion is from the a digital pack rat, still running win xp & office 97.  :lol:

 

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On ‎5‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 14:01, trium said:

w98 have another file-system as xp and newer, i think you dont need destroy the hd of this :-)

Thanks but since I don't really know why that makes any difference, let me ask this. Just because something is stored using a different file system, why are you saying that would make it safe to just get rid of? Wouldn't ill-intentioned people still have access to anything on it, even stuff that I'd thought I deleted unless I either wiped the drive completely clean or destroyed the HDD?

 

 

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2 hours ago, login123 said:

vankjeff, there is another option if the computers don't have to be functional when you get rid of them.  Wipe the HDDs or not, as you wish (I probably would), but then remove them from the computer & just keep them.  You might eventually use them in an external caddy for file storage, backup storage, whatever. Even if not, they take up very little space in the sock drawer.  :) 

Full disclosure, this suggestion is from the a digital pack rat, still running win xp & office 97.  :lol:

 

I’d been given that same tip by someone else somewhere, maybe here or over in one of my Questions at Microsoft Answers. But 3 things on what you’ve suggested:

  1. I'm told that the drive in the old Windows 98 machine would have a port that only a cable in a Windows XP machine would fit & anything newer has a different end on the HDD cable.
  2. With today’s tiny USB Thumbdrives and even littler SD cards & Micro SD cards, why mess with an HDD that has moving parts in it that's like an old music record player & is as slow as a rock? Those days us done. Gotta get out of the ice age. 😉
  3. My sock drawer already shares its extra space with my underwear. But the Trash Man comes on the same day every week at about the same time, so there's always plenty of storage space out there. 😉

 

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On ‎5‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 10:56, Andavari said:

You don't necessarily have to destroy the hard disks, and since they will likely both be using legacy hard disk interfaces it could be very difficult to find replacements.

You could try DBAN (open source / free) and run it on those computers, it will nuke the hard disks of all data. Read the DBAN documentation, because it will nuke any attached/installed hard disk! If it doesn't work you could even boot those old systems via a Linux Distro (probably will require being burned onto a CD for the old Win98 system) and wipe the disks using what's built into the Linux Distro.

This has got my interest. I know almost nothing about doing this type stuff but I was able, with some help over at Microsoft Answers at my https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/can-i-have-help-moving-data-from-an-old-windows-98/d8d27f17-ca43-419d-b084-a69f109de670 to install a USB Thumb driver  onto the old Windows 98 machine and to then use a thumbdrive to go grab all my old data off of it. That was a challenge since the old browsers that were for Windows 98 didn't allow secure https sites so I needed to use some weird browser that they dug up called OffByOne.
So, if I want to do what you're suggesting might work which I think I do, could I just go get something using my newer PC, Save it onto a thumbdrive, start up each of the old machines and run something on the thumbdrive that would then wipe the entire HDD clean off everything, including Windows 98 or XP? If I've got any of that wrong, please tell me.

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The XP machine "might be able to boot off the USB stick" if you enable booting off USB in the BIOS. The Win98 machine I'm not sure if it can boot from USB (I don't remember Win98 having that option), but even if it can't if it has a CD-ROM drive you could go that route with it making a bootable CD to nuke it, or even bootable floppy disks. Maybe even take the hard disks out of the Win98 machine if it poses difficulty and use the XP machine to nuke all of the hard disks.

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Quite right, vankjeff, about your 3 points above.
The booting business is more complicated but not your primary objective anyway.

As for the Ice Age, I rather like it here, but to each his own.  :lol: 
To be serious, it's kind of a hobby, puttering around and checking out what will work with what.

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@vankjeff

 

with fullformat on windows 7 and newer you dont need another software... on actuall os like w7, w8.1, w10 there are an updated "format" ;-)

 

there are adapter for ide and sata-hdds over usb with external power supply (i mean 20 euros or less)

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12 hours ago, trium said:

 

there are adapter for ide and sata-hdds over usb with external power supply (i mean 20 euros or less)

That would probably be the easiest option at a minimal cost. Assuming a more modern OS doesn't format and create a GPT partition which old versions of Windows can't use.

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