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I'm thinking of selling my laptop and it will have Ubuntu on it, and I'm wondering if reinstalling the OS will delete EVERYTHING on the hard drive. I'm hoping this ...
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    Post Does re installing Ubuntu delete history on hard drive?


    I'm thinking of selling my laptop and it will have Ubuntu on it, and I'm wondering if reinstalling the OS will delete EVERYTHING on the hard drive. I'm hoping this is the easiest and free way to do this. Thanks

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    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
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    As long as you make a point to format the partitions during installation, everything should be gone.
    Jay

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    Quote Originally Posted by jayd512 View Post
    As long as you make a point to format the partitions during installation, everything should be gone.
    Doesn't it do that automatically?

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    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpghost6 View Post
    Doesn't it do that automatically?
    I haven't installed Ubuntu recently, so I can't say for sure what the default is in newer versions.
    Typically, when I switch distros or reinstall, I choose not to format the /home partition, which preserves the data.
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    Linux User Steven_G's Avatar
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    Well it all depends on what's on it, how paranoid you are and how bad you want to make sure that it's really all gone.

    When you "erase" something from disk it's not really gone. All that happens is the first byte association is changed. All of the info is still there, but the computer can't "see" it anymore. Then that space is available to be used at some point in the future to write more information. But, even when new information is written over old it is still possible to recover much (and sometimes all) of the old info.

    I'd suggest that you download the ultimate boot cd

    It's got tons of tools on it.

    If you're just regular, everday, good idea paranoid then use GParted to delete all partitions on the drive. Then make a new partion and format it. Then install Ubuntu, use the whole partition and format again during the install. Two formats and an over write will stop 98+% of people in the world from recovering whatever usable info is still on the disk.

    But, not everyone. I could pull off whatever was left that was still readable. It's not hard to do and sometimes you can get some really good info. When I buy old systems just for poops and giggles I check to see what I can recover. All I can say is there are some folks out there that ought to be really glad I'm an ethical guy.

    So, if you want to be super paraniod (in case you sell it to someone who is spiffy but not ethical) then run a Boot and Nuke with the Gutterman option enabled. Now, depending on the size of your disk you may have to wait a day or two or a week or so for it to finish.

    But, once it's done you can't even recover the data with a scanning tunneling electron microscope because it actually over writes the disk so many times that it magnetically resurfaces the disk.
    Last edited by Steven_G; 07-23-2012 at 04:01 PM. Reason: typos

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    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpghost6 View Post
    I'm thinking of selling my laptop and it will have Ubuntu on it, and I'm wondering if reinstalling the OS will delete EVERYTHING on the hard drive.
    When I want to make certain something gets deleted, I generally use one of the "secure deletion" options found on the Parted Magic LiveCD.
    oz

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    You obviously know what you're doing. I'd say I'm the paranoid guy and I heard about using Parted Magic to delete everything. Should Ubuntu just work/install without any operating system on the disk?

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    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpghost6 View Post
    Should Ubuntu just work/install without any operating system on the disk?
    If you boot and run the Parted Magic LiveCD, you don't need an OS on your computer hard disk because the OS is already on the liveCD and your machine will run from that alone.
    oz

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    Thanks everyone!

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    Linux Newbie reginaldperrin's Avatar
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    I agree with steven_g (mostly) and oz, in that it's a good idea to run a bootable deletion program from cd. Just make sure that the computer is set to boot from cd/dvd drive (settings in the BIOS), and then run the deletion program.
    A very easy to use one is Darik's Boot And Nuke (DBAN for short).
    Just download the .iso, burn it to cd, just as you would a Linux Live cd install disk, put it in the drive and reboot.
    Even multiple reformatting of a drive doesn't delete the data in the drive, it just resets the indexing at the front (more or less). And even if old data is overwritten by the OS during normal operation, the new data isn't likely to be exactly the same size as the old. Therefore, there will be parts of the old data at the ends of some sectors which is not overwritten. This is definitely recoverable, and the data can be read or examined, even though it is not complete. This is partly how forensic investigators determine what was on a drive.


    Hope this helps
    Last edited by reginaldperrin; 07-24-2012 at 12:16 AM. Reason: typos

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