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stormyk88 12-09-2006 09:24 PM

How to wipe HD clean to reinstall Winblows
So, I hope I don't offend anyone as you all have been a great help over the last year that I've been playing with Linux. But my degree is less than a year away, and I need a working Win32 box. I am speaking via a Sony Vaio that is running FC4 just fine. I need to know how to wipe my HD. The comp I'm working on is a Compaq Presario SR1010NX. Suse 10.0 is installed now and works fine. The recof (missing a v key at the moment) ery cds I got at the moment are playing games with me. HP says that since I changed the mobo, I need to flash it before I recofer my factory install. Howefer, the recofery app wants to know what mobo I hafe. It doesn't list my model. It is an MSI PM8M-V, and apparently it is a model 7104. Anyone flashed something similar? I only need one Win computer working to continue in school. I'fe used Crossover, but it's not perfect. I need to find the Linux version of format c:/no_questions_asked/

Thanks in advance.

syg00 12-09-2006 09:37 PM

You actually need more than a "format c:" equivalent - you need to zap the loader code in the MBR as well in all likelihood.
I do these sort of things from a (Linux) liveCD. Just delete the partitions and try this from a console/terminal

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda count=200
Adjust the target as necessary. 446 bytes are reserved for the loader code, but it has some flags as well - 200 should be sufficient.
Be warned
*ALL* your data will be gone - the disk will only be useful for a completely fresh install.

stormyk88 12-09-2006 10:20 PM

Any recommended live CD? Knoppix got me addicted, and that's the only live cd I've ever used. I know there are others.

syg00 12-09-2006 10:44 PM

Knoppix is good - I always keep one handy. You may need to "su" - no password needed on knoppix.

hand of fate 12-10-2006 01:05 PM

Knoppix is the only Live distro I've used, but any should do the job.

Just to add that you will need a lot of patience for thisjob. When I last wiped a 40GB hard drive using this command under Knoppix it took about eight hours, and during this time I couldn't see anything happening.

It also seemed to go quicker if I loaded Knopix with a minimalist window manager (I used TWM) rather than KDE. I don't know if it really does make any difference, but it seemed to. You're hardly going to need any of the advanced KDE features for this (all you need it a single terminal window!), so using TWM certainly won't do any harm.

rutabega man 12-12-2006 05:16 AM

I have had similar problems with reloading windows after using linux.

What I did was grab a mandriva installer disc (mandriva's installer cd was the best for doing this that I had found), boot into the installer and go through the steps until I got to the partitioning.

I then setup a fat32 partition and some ext3 partitions and hit next, the installer formatted the partitions. I then quit the installer and put in the WinXP CD and restarted.

The Windows installer came up and was able to load the necessary files, I was able to recreate the partitions the way I wanted and install the virus... Uh software.

IndyTim 12-12-2006 11:18 AM

If you want to wipe the hd and start completely over, why not just do a low-level reformat and reload windows from scratch? Another approach would be to use GParted Live and wipe your partitons from there.


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