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Old 04-21-2014, 11:11 PM   #1
blueinca99
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Question can one use the SystemRescueCD 4.1.0 to wipe the HD & Windows XP....


can one use the SystemRescueCD 4.1.0 to wipe the HD & Windows XP? It's for a Windows XP PC that I want to change OS over Linux - maybe Mint, but I am having problems getting Windows to boot, can't even get it to boot in safe-mode. I don't need what's on the HD, because it's all saved to an external HD, so I am happy to just wipe the PC's HD & Windows XP completely & start again using Linux......

But can I use the System Rescue CD 4.1.0 (http://www.sysresccd.org/SystemRescueCd_Homepage) to do that?

Many thanks for your help,

Paul

Last edited by colucix; 04-22-2014 at 03:08 AM. Reason: Changed link to official developers' site.
 
Old 04-22-2014, 03:55 AM   #2
yooy
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any linux cd should be able to wipe your hdd. Better way to do it is using unetbootin application, burn your favorite linux to usb flash, select usb flash in boot menu/bios, and select use all available space on that disk. That will automatically erase your windows xp partition.

However you can do that with bootable cd aswell.
 
Old 04-22-2014, 04:58 AM   #3
dobradude45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yooy View Post
any linux cd should be able to wipe your hdd. Better way to do it is using unetbootin application, burn your favorite linux to usb flash, select usb flash in boot menu/bios, and select use all available space on that disk. That will automatically erase your windows xp partition.

However you can do that with bootable cd aswell.

Hi there
unfortunately it's not as simple as that - especially if your system is UEFI or you have GPT disks.
The easiest way is probably to download any live distro to prepare your disks.

To prepare a USB - in WINDOWS go to command mode in administrator mode

then Diskpart
List Disk
select disk nnn where nnn is the disk nr of the USB device
clean
create partition primary
set active
format fs=fat32 quick


This will make the whole usb useable again - sometimes the USB boot mechanism makes most of the USB inaccessible - apart from the boot bit.

Now you can use whatever program you like to copy your Linux distro to USB.

If you have a Windows 7 install disk then to get rid of anything on the HDD boot the windows install disk
select REPAIR SYSTEM ==>tools & utilities-->command mode

now type bootrec/fixmbr
bootrec/fixboot

(works for UEFI and GPT disks too).

A good tool also is the bootable versions of GPARTED.

Cheers
 
Old 04-22-2014, 06:30 PM   #4
blueinca99
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thanks for you responses, unfortunately I cannot get Windows XP (the only OS on the PC at the moment) so downloading programs onto USB & using them etc is not going to work.
I have ordered from OSdisc a couple of Linux OS on disc (among them Mint) & the SystemRescue CD, I plan to simply wipe the Hard Drive & Windows XP & then start again by installing whatever Linux OS.

As I say my problem with getting Windows XP to boot co-incides right when XP aren't supporting the OS- this, I think is just co-incidence. Suffice to say I have tried to boot from the CD drive using the XP install disc but it won't re-install nor will it 'r' repair - after waiting for the drivers etc to install which appears to run successfully, I then get an error message saying something along the lines of the system is unable to complete re-install / repair your Windows XP - contact administrator .......... hopefully it's not a hardware issue, but - back to my original question- given I can't even load XP even in safe mode will I be able to just wipe the Hard-Drive & Windows XP with the SystemRescue CD or either with a Linux OS disc? (Hopefully the discs will arrive later this week)

Thanks again for any reply
 
Old 04-22-2014, 11:22 PM   #5
haertig
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You don't HAVE to wipe the hard drive to replace Windows with Linux. Wiping a drive is more a security thing to make it more difficult for somebody to recover information from the hard disk. If you don't need that extra security, just install Linux right over the top of the existing (albeit nonfunctional) Windows. Normally, the only time I wipe an entire hard disk is when I'm retiring it. When simply changing OS'es, I wipe just track0 (I don't have any GPT systems). Even wiping track0 is optional, but only takes a few milliseconds to complete and gives you a nice clean place to start from.
 
Old 04-23-2014, 06:30 PM   #6
blueinca99
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I was also thinking, given that there is the ability to go 'dual boot' (have the ability to runs a windows os or a linux os), then conversely there must an option during installation using the live linux distro cd- to choose to have only one (the linux one) os installed, thereby wiping or writing over the Windows OS?
 
Old 04-23-2014, 07:33 PM   #7
yancek
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Quote:
then conversely there must an option during installation using the live linux distro cd- to choose to have only one (the linux one) os installed, thereby wiping or writing over the Windows OS?
Erase and Use entire disk should be an option and do the job.
 
Old 04-27-2014, 08:59 PM   #8
blueinca99
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so over the weekend I managed to get to the point where I could get the Windows XP install disc to actually run, but the first time it failed while formatting the partition. I tried again -did 'quick format' - got through that, then it got 22 minutes away from completing the installation, when it stopped- saying there was an error on the hard drive or associated hardware. So I really will need to wipe the Hard-drive completely before trying to install the new Linux distro, and hope that maybe I just need a new $60 hard-drive maybe.......
 
Old 04-28-2014, 10:06 AM   #9
Beryllos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueinca99 View Post
... the first time it failed while formatting the partition. I tried again ... it stopped- saying there was an error on the hard drive or associated hardware. So I really will need to wipe the Hard-drive completely before trying to install the new Linux distro, and hope that maybe I just need a new $60 hard-drive maybe.......
The new $60 hard-drive might be a good idea. What you wrote sounds like my experience with a failing hard drive. At first, Windows complained occasionally about missing files. This happened a few times over a few weeks. When I tried to reinstall Windows, it could not make it through the process without missing files or fatal errors. I bought a new hard drive and that solved the problem.
 
Old 04-28-2014, 10:28 AM   #10
aristocratic
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System Rescue does have a program called "parted" that you can use to remove partitions on a hard drive. I have been too chicken to try to remove windows partitions, but I have used it to remove Linux partions on previously installed distributions.

Once you boot up the system rescue CD, type

Quote:
parted
parted /dev/sdax print
Your partitions will come up numbered in the left hand column. Then type

Quote:
rm 3
to remove the partition on line 3, for instance.

Again, use this with extreme caution. I have never used it to remove a Windows partition. Maybe other's can chime in, who have more experience with parted.

I think the best advice has already been given. Just install a new distribution, and when it gives the option to install over the entire hard drive, wiping out Windows, select that option. I am going to do that with my own Windows XP computer.

Last edited by aristocratic; 04-28-2014 at 10:32 AM.
 
Old 04-28-2014, 02:28 PM   #11
John VV
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as to Dual boot

you do know that you will NEVER!!!! be able to update from the very OLD xp install cd
Microsoft killed off the servers when they FINALLY KILLED OFF XP
you also will not be able to register that install with Microsoft
and if it is the LAST sp3 install cd
it will think your install is a BOOTLEG install ( unregistered )
and after a few warnings not let you run the os until you register it with MS( witch you can no longer DO )

this begs the QUESTION

WHY still use XP !!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Old 04-28-2014, 03:42 PM   #12
maples
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If you just want a completely blank disk, just do
Code:
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda
This is the easiest cure for any computer infected with Windows.

I suggest you unplug all other drives, and TRIPLE-CHECK WHICH DRIVE YOU WANT TO WIPE!!
 
Old 04-28-2014, 04:13 PM   #13
haertig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maples View Post
If you just want a completely blank disk, just do
Code:
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda
That operation will be sped up massively if you add "bs=8192" to the dd command. But it's really not necessary to wipe the entire disk. That gains you nothing, except for added security should someone steal the hard disk and try to recover data from it. And if you're worried about that, you shouldn't just write zero's across the entire disk as the above command will do. You want to write random data, and go over the entire disk several times, using random data each time.

This is what I would do before reinstalling an OS on /dev/sda:
Code:
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=63
This will zero out all of track 0, which is sufficient. And the command will take less than a second to run, unlike wiping the entire disk, which could take hours and gain you nothing in return.
 
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:09 PM   #14
maples
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haertig View Post
[snip]
This will zero out all of track 0, which is sufficient. And the command will take less than a second to run, unlike wiping the entire disk, which could take hours and gain you nothing in return.
Out of curiosity, why is only track 0 all you need to do? Is that where the partition table is stored? Or is the MBR involved? Or is there something else that I'm not aware of?

I had a problem (mostly due to my ignorance) a few months ago when I had a server with 1 hdd and I wanted to add another one. I played aaround with the setup, and along the way they both became bootable. I finally decided to use one for the OS and other files that would likely be accessed and the other for my backup files. I repartitioned the backup one, but it kept booting from the data drive! I eventually used a Lubuntu live CD to run Gparted, and everything ended up fine. But my problem was that the filesystem was still there, and I re-created the new partition with the same start sector. My reasoning behind wiping the entire disk was so the OP wasn't somehow stuck with a bootable XP on the drive.

Also, how do you determine the best block size?

Last edited by maples; 04-28-2014 at 10:16 PM.
 
Old 04-28-2014, 10:40 PM   #15
onebuck
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Member Response

Hi,

Welcome to LQ!

Since the OP wants to get rid of Xp installation. Why worry about wiping the MBR or the entire disk?

Just use the SYstemRecuseCD to boot the system then use 'fdisk' to delete the partitions then do a (W)rite to the the disk. The OP can then create partitions using 'fdisk' for the new install by allocating enough space for a swap & the new Linux install. After (W)riting the new partition table he/she could create the filesystem for the Linux partition. Or then use the new distribution to install to that area after formatting is done by the new distribution. Most distributions should recognize the Linux & swap partition to be prepared for a new install, plus write a new 'MBR' for the bootloader.

Please look at the sticky Newbie alert: 50 Open Source Replacements for Windows XP to get a list of useable distributions that are recommended for Xp class hardware.
Quote:
You can use the following to help too download & verify the ISO image on a Windows/Xp machine;
M$Windows:

Windows Burn tutorial <- 'Nero' Live Video for the newbies who burn the iso instead of the image of the ISO.
Imgburn <- 'ImgBurn is a lightweight CD / DVD / HD DVD / Blu-ray burning application that everyone should have in their toolkit!' + Freeware

-- MD5SUM:
M$Windows iso md5sum checking <- LQ Post on how too
md5sum.exe <- M$Win Application to perform md5sum checking.
winMd5Sum Portable <- FREE + Good for all M$ Windows
I do suggest that you use a slow burn rate, 4 should provide a valid burn of the ISO image. Please be sure to burn the ISO image.

Just a few more links to aid you to gaining some understandingThe above links and others can be found at 'Slackware-Links'. More than just SlackwareŽ links!

BTW, OP please scroll down within your thread to see similar threads that could provide additional help.

Hope this helps.
 
  


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