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Old 30-01-2013, 15:02
The 12th Doctor
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I have an Acer Aspire 5720 laptop which has eRecovery and the like - allowing me to make backup disks and a factory reset disk - and I am wondering if I could use DBAN (Darik's Boot and Nuke) to wipe the C drive before using the factory reset disk to reinstall Windows Vista, etc. As with all recent computers, it didn't come with a Windows DVD but I do have the product key on the back.

I was going to just use the factory reset on it's own but it seems the consensus of opinion online is that I should DBAN it and reinstall Windows, but I can't find out whether it is possible to do so without the Windows disk.

Sorry about the ads, BTW. They popped up on their own
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Old 30-01-2013, 15:07
anniebrion
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Sorry about the ads, BTW. They popped up on their own
What ads?
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Old 30-01-2013, 15:10
John146
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You might not be getting them Annie if you have a good adblocker, but, some of us are getting links inserted by DS into posts that are pop up ads when you pass your cursor over then, thread in GD...
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Old 30-01-2013, 15:14
anniebrion
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You might not be getting them Annie if you have a good adblocker, but, some of us are getting links inserted by DS into posts that are pop up ads when you pass your cursor over then, thread in GD...
Oh, what a underhanded sneaky trick ABP rules
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Old 30-01-2013, 15:24
John146
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Oh, what a underhanded sneaky trick ABP rules
If your interested found the thread in GD

http://forums.digitalspy.co.uk/showthread.php?t=1793037
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Old 30-01-2013, 15:40
anniebrion
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Thanks.
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Old 30-01-2013, 15:48
chrisjr
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I have an Acer Aspire 5720 laptop which has eRecovery and the like - allowing me to make backup disks and a factory reset disk - and I am wondering if I could use DBAN (Darik's Boot and Nuke) to wipe the C drive before using the factory reset disk to reinstall Windows Vista, etc. As with all recent computers, it didn't come with a Windows DVD but I do have the product key on the back.

I was going to just use the factory reset on it's own but it seems the consensus of opinion online is that I should DBAN it and reinstall Windows, but I can't find out whether it is possible to do so without the Windows disk.

Sorry about the ads, BTW. They popped up on their own
The Factory Reset disk(s) should restore everything back to how the machine left the factory, including the OS it had when purchased. So in theory you shouldn't need a Windows install disk.

Or there could be a recovery partition on the hard drive that does the job - the disk you make could also access such a partition to actually restore the machine to factory condition.

If there is nothing on the laptop anyway why not just try the factory reset disk and see what it does? If it does restore Windows then it should warn you that whatever is on the disk will be zapped which is a good indication it will put Windows back on.

Once it's done then you could use the Disk Wiper tool in CCleaner to clear the free space on the drive which should remove any last remnants of any personal data you had on the machine previously.

http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner
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Old 30-01-2013, 21:15
Loobster
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I was going to just use the factory reset on it's own but it seems the consensus of opinion online is that I should DBAN it and reinstall Windows
If you really want to make sure everything has gone, you could use DBAN or if you can take out the hard drive and connect it to another Windows 7 computer you could just format it (full normat, not quick format) which actually writes zeros to the drive.

Then put back in the laptop and use your restore media.

Whichever method takes your fancy.
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Old 30-01-2013, 21:58
The 12th Doctor
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If you really want to make sure everything has gone, you could use DBAN or if you can take out the hard drive and connect it to another Windows 7 computer you could just format it (full normat, not quick format) which actually writes zeros to the drive.

Then put back in the laptop and use your restore media.

Whichever method takes your fancy.
To be honest I'd rather use DBAN but I'm totally in the dark about reinstalling Windows afterwards. Newer computers just aren't supplied with the Windows DVD anymore and there seems to be little in the way of consistent advice as to how and if you can DBAN your hard-drive and still reinstall Windows without access to a disk.

The whole back-up-disks situation seems all-too tenuous to me if I'm honest. I can see myself burning back-up disks and zeroing my HDD with DBAN just to find the computer doesn't recognise the disks or won't load them afterwards. CD-ROMs and DVDs you burn yourself often seem to fail in my limited experience.

I'm probably going to just use the system's own factory reset option and use CCleaner or Eraser to wipe the free space just to make sure (using Recuva to check and make sure my old data really is gone!). I take it the factory reset will literally clear everything - including my favourites, and personal data remembered by my web browsers (like usernames/passwords, etc.)?

As it happens, I've read some research recently which suggests, contrary to popular belief, that multiple passes on a HDD aren't needed to permanently erase data even from forensic-level recovery never mind ordinary consumer-level recovery (like Recuva). According to this research, a single pass of zeroes on a hard drive will so permanently eradicate data that even an electron microscope can't provide usable information as to what had been erased. There does seem to be a lot of scepticism about this though, but I just thought it worth a mention. I might post a topic about that research at some point just to see what people who know about these thing think!

So all in all, is it worth just factory-resetting the computer and wiping the free space afterwards instead of using DBAN and risking the recovery process with burned back-up CD-ROMs?
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Old 30-01-2013, 22:07
LION8TIGER
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I'm probably going to just use the system's own factory reset option and use CCleaner or Eraser to wipe the free space just to make sure (using Recuva to check and make sure my old data really is gone!).
That is what I would do.

I take it the factory reset will literally clear everything - including my favourites, and personal data remembered by my web browsers (like usernames/passwords, etc.)?
It will but then wipe the free space as you said.
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Old 30-01-2013, 22:11
The 12th Doctor
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That is what I would do.



It will but then wipe the free space as you said.
Okay. I'll do that. Factory reset and then wipe free space.

If I'm honest, I'm a bit sad to sell my laptop I'm a sentimental sort and hate parting with things. I may actually cry a bit when I set it down on the table to sell and have to walk away
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Old 31-01-2013, 15:39
Ellie666
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is there really stuff on your pc that is so valuable that it would take a specialised engineer to recover it - a rebuild using the hidden partition should be good enough tbh!
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Old 31-01-2013, 18:36
max99
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is there really stuff on your pc that is so valuable that it would take a specialised engineer to recover it - a rebuild using the hidden partition should be good enough tbh!
Specialised engineer = anyone who can download and run a simple and free recovery tool.

http://www.piriform.com/recuva
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Old 31-01-2013, 21:20
Loobster
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The whole back-up-disks situation seems all-too tenuous to me if I'm honest. I can see myself burning back-up disks and zeroing my HDD with DBAN just to find the computer doesn't recognise the disks or won't load them afterwards. CD-ROMs and DVDs you burn yourself often seem to fail in my limited experience.
Nah.

Most recovery disk creation programs will verify the disks after burning. If you are worried, after burning the disks, take an ISO of the recovery disks on another computer, in case you need to burn another one.

I'd make the recovery disks anyway since it's a nice touch to be able to pass on the laptop complete with a set of recovery disks. It may even increase the value slightly.

If it was me I'd zero-fill the drive then use the recovery disks. But wiping free space after a factory restore from the hidden partition should eliminate the chance of anyone recovering anything useful.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:31
anniebrion
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Nah.

Most recovery disk creation programs will verify the disks after burning. If you are worried, after burning the disks, take an ISO of the recovery disks on another computer, in case you need to burn another one.

I'd make the recovery disks anyway since it's a nice touch to be able to pass on the laptop complete with a set of recovery disks. It may even increase the value slightly.

If it was me I'd zero-fill the drive then use the recovery disks. But wiping free space after a factory restore from the hidden partition should eliminate the chance of anyone recovering anything useful.
Unless something is lurking in the cluster tips of protected files (Pagefile.sys, Hiberfil.sys etc...) This is the reason you should always single pass wipe first.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:36
The 12th Doctor
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I've burned a hard disk preparation application using the .iso available from Acer's own site, and am attempting to burn factory default DVDs. I'll DBAN it and reinstall I think.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:39
finbaar
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As a word of warning I got my son a cheap laptop of Ebay which had been reset to factory settings. When I had a look at the hard disc it was only showin 20gb of 160gb free. The nice man who sold it had forgot to delete the window.old folder. So I just restored that and found all the details I needed to take out loans and credit cards in his name as well as loads of other personell data. Sweet. Except I actually just deleted the folder without doing anything except email the seller (Mr F Ool) and tell him he should be more careful. I wonder how many others make the same mistake.
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