I have a Presario 1250NX Desktop with Windows 7 Ultimate installed. It did
not come with a disc. I bought it used and at this writing, it has about 900,000
items on it. I was hoping to wipe the hard drive clean and start over. I bought
a Windows 7 Ultimate, 32-bit, full version DVD from Discount Mountain for $160.
The DVD does say promotional disc, not for resale, whatever that’s for. I was
under the impression that the disc would clean install, but it didn’t. So I
burned a DBan disc and when I tried to run it, it finished within maybe 30
seconds and read, “DBan finished with no fatal errors” and did nothing. In
Windows 7, I can’t find how to boot from CD or even to be sure if I burned the
CD properly, but the Window did say CD burned successfully. Am I doing something
wrong or could I have a virus that’s blocking me from wiping the drive?
In this excerpt from
Answercast #56, I look at some problems in reformatting and installing an
operating system on an old computer.
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Virus blocking install
It’s unlikely that you’ve got a virus that would block anything like that
because wiping the drive involves booting from a new CD, which would imply
there’s no virus.
You’re running software from the CD, not from your hard disk.
Boot from CD
So, to begin with, booting from a CD isn’t something that Windows controls.
That’s a BIOS setting in your computer.
I have an article on that, “How do I boot from
CD/DVD?” It will display (or go over the concepts, at least) about what it
means to boot from CD and any changes you might have to make to your computer
in order to enable booting from CD.
The important thing is it has nothing at all to do with Windows.
These are changes that are made to your BIOS, which is the software that is
in your machine instantly when you turn it on. It’s the software that
determines whether to load Windows from the hard disk or load something from
DBan finding the drive
Now, the good news here is that (based on your description) my suspicion is
you’re booting from the CD just fine.
If you’re saying that DBan completed successfully with no fatal errors, it’s
very possible that DBan simply doesn’t recognize the drive or isn’t cleaning
the drive you think it is.
I realize that DBan can be a little bit obtuse, a little bit difficult to
understand at times, but that’s my guess. My guess is that DBan probably didn’t clean
the drive because it didn’t see it.
Now, ultimately, the real question I want to get back to is your Windows 7
Ultimate CD that you got.
The DVD that you purchased… absolutely, it should be able to reformat the
hard disk, which is really what you’re looking for here.
So what I would suggest you do… I have an article on, “How do I
reformat and reinstall Windows?” When you boot from that Windows 7 setup CD
or DVD, you should be able to make a couple of choices that are not usually the
default choices, which is probably what happened to you.
There are definitely choices that you can make along the path that will tell
Windows not just to install Windows on this hard drive, but actually format the
entire hard disk first and do so in a way that erases the data on it.
Reformat and reinstall
So that’s my suggestion. Go out and have a look at “How do I
reformat and reinstall Windows?“.
That article currently happens to show Windows Vista as an example, but the
Windows Vista setup is very similar to the Windows 7 setup program that you’ll
be running. The options should be, if not identical, at least very similar.
Follow that and you should actually be able to reformat and install Windows
Next from Answercast 56 – Is
Thunderbird more secure than Outlook 2010?