Computer Help forum

General discussion

wipe hard drive & keep OS without CD?

by vb734 / February 13, 2011 8:39 AM PST

I'm replacing my computer and would like to donate the old one. I need to delete my info but would like to keep the OS on if possible (so some poor nonprofit doesn't have to buy it again). Unfortunately, the CD drive is broken and so I can't use the restore CD after wiping the disk. It's a Lenovo R61e laptop with Windows Vista Home Basic.

I read on another thread that you can create a new username on Vista and delete your old one- will that do anything? Or should I just completely wipe the drive and forget about saving the OS?

Thanks for your help.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: wipe hard drive & keep OS without CD?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: wipe hard drive & keep OS without CD?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
by Jimmy Greystone / February 13, 2011 9:25 AM PST

Nope, sorry, there's no way to do what you're asking. Without wiping the drive, and even after, there's no way to guarantee that some info doesn't still remain. Wiping the drive makes it near infinitely more likely that no one will ever retrieve the data on there, but it's still no guarantee. The only real guarantee is to physically destroy the drive.

I'd wipe the drive, and just tell the place you're donating it to that they'll need to spend $20 on a new optical drive. They're still making out pretty well. A new computer for $20 and probably 10 minutes work? A bargain! And if one place complains, then just take the computer to some other charitable organization that would be glad to take it as-is.

Collapse -
Why not take advantage of the ...
by Edward ODaniel / February 13, 2011 10:28 AM PST

ability to restore to factory config. There are two ways to do that, you can make recovery disks or you can use that blue Thinkvantage button when you start the system (restart the laptop and hit the 'blue' button at the first part of the post process, which will guide the recovery to 'original' condition). After choosing to restore your system choose the second option "Restore only the Windows operating system and applications from a backup"

Here is a link that goes into detail on the process in post number 2 -

Collapse -
This program claimed it can do that;
by ahtoi / February 13, 2011 12:03 PM PST

It's called "wipedrive 6". I saw it at Fry's for $29.

Collapse -
Seems to be donating more and more money?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 13, 2011 12:08 PM PST

I think that a simple wipe with DBAN then let them deal with it.

Popular Forums
Computer Help 51,912 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,498 discussions
Laptops 20,411 discussions
Security 30,882 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 21,253 discussions
Windows 10 1,672 discussions
Phones 16,494 discussions
Windows 7 7,855 discussions
Networking & Wireless 15,504 discussions


iPhone 8: Everything we know so far

This is all the iPhone 8 reports and rumors in one place. From a 5.8-inch OLED display, reports of wireless charging and even a 3D scanner for facial recognition, it's all here.