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Old 05-05-09, 02:14 PM
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If you need to completely blank the computer, I'd recommend a utility called DBAN ( Download it, burn it to a CD, and make sure you mark the thing clearly and keep it separate from any other media. I'd DBAN the hard disk, zeroing out all data (assuming you want to completely wipe the machine and reinstall), then stick the system recovery CD and go from there. You just need a single zero pass to do this.

What I personally do when reinstalling and don't want to keep any data on a machine is boot a Knoppix CD, zero out the first gig on the hard disk (which zaps the MBR, partition table, and boot tracks), then go from there. However, DBAN is an easy to use way of scrubbing all data from a machine.
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