Delete All Data on Hard Disk

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We want to ensure all data stored in every donated computer is properly erased before installing the new operating system. Therefore learning how to properly erase the hard drive is the first step in the laptop sanitation process.

You have 2 options to completely wipe out all previously stored information in the computer (user information as well as all the previously installed softwares and operating system)

Method1: Using Lubuntu disk

  1. Boot your laptop with your Lubuntu disk (see the simple sanitation guide to learn how to create a Lubuntu disk)
  2. On the Lubuntu menu, select the option 'Try Lubuntu'. This will start Lubuntu on the laptop.
  3. Once booted, press at the same time the keys ALT+CTRL+F3. This will take you to a terminal console.
  4. In the terminal console, type the following command to ensure that the shred application is available:

    apt-get install coreutils

    (you need to have your laptop connected to the Internet for the above command to succeed)

  5. Now type the next command:

    sudo shred /dev/sda -f -v --iterations=2

    If this command does not work, you can try with 'hda' instead of 'sda', like this: sudo shred /dev/hda -f -v --iterations=2.

  6. Now wait for about an hour or so for the previous command to complete. At the end of this process, the laptop hard drive will have all of its previous data fully removed. You can now press ALT+CTRL+F7 to return back to the Lubuntu initial screen and turn off the laptop.

Method 2: Using Parted Magic disk

  1. Boot your laptop with Parted Magic disk (see Advanced Method(Without Network) to learn how to create a Parted Magic disk)
  2. Once booted, click on the bottom ROXT Terminal (xterm icon on the lower right) This will take you to a terminal console.
  3. In the terminal console, type the following command to ensure that the shred application is available:
    sudo shred /dev/sda -f -v --iterations=2

    If this command does not work, you can try with 'hda' instead of 'sda', like this: sudo shred /dev/hda -f -v --iterations=2.

  4. Now wait for about an hour or so for the previous command to complete. At the end of this process, the laptop hard drive will have all of its previous data fully removed. You can now shutdown the laptop from Parted Magic window.
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