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  1. #1

    Exclamation Delete Everything

    Hi there.

    I received an old (read: ancient) IBM Thinkpad as a gift a few years back and it's running a version of Debian. Now, I haven't used it in a while, but since recently I've had sparked interest in getting it up and running again.

    What I'd like to do is completely remove everything and install either Windows XP or a lightweight OS, like Puppy Linux.

    Now, being I've used Windows for 99.5% of my lifetime, I have no clue where to begin. How do I go about formatting and deleting everything?

    I assume once all is gone, I start up the laptop with a disc containing the new OS (Puppy Linux for example) and its a simple install right?

    Help really appreciated.

    PS - For added fun, I don't have access to the root account being that I have no clue what the root password is. I'm not sure, but I'm guessing I might need that to do this, could be wrong though.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    arch linux
    Welcome to the forums!

    You can wipe the drive and get a fresh start quickly and easily by using a Linux liveCD such as Parted Magic.

    After downloading the Parted Magic ISO file and burning it to disk, you can wipe the drive of all content by booting with the liveCD, going to a terminal, and issuing the following command:

    dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1
    You'll need to replace /dev/sda with your actual device name such as /dev/hda.

    Using the dd command above will write zeros to the entire drive giving you a totally fresh start.

    If needed, you can use the fdisk -l command to determine your device name:

    fdisk -l
    On the other hand, if your Windows installation CD will boot, you might be able to boot with it and then delete all the current partitions from there.

  3. #3


    Hey ozar, you rock. Worked like a charm. Now to install Puppy Linux, hopefully I can do it on my own, if not, I'll brb

    EDIT: Eh, I almost did it all on my own. New problem, lol -

  4. $spacer_open

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