Removing Windows AND installing Mint

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Removing Windows AND installing Mint

Post by plexor »

First: I'm old and crochety - worse, stroke affected memory retention...... :?
Have accumulated over years a number of Laptops and two desktops all running Windoze and containing things like passwords and files to erase.
Simultaneously, would like to install Mint on them as they are being donated to a Seniors charity support group.
Would be nice if I could securely erase the machines while installing a suitable Mint with say, OpenOffice on them and a couple of Browsers at the same time.

All suggestions gratefully accepted.
E.G. Include a Virtual Disk, mebbe?
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Re: Removing Windows AND installing Mint

Post by Moem »

Hello and welcome!
Installing Mint on them will, for pretty much all intents and purposes, erase/remove Windows (unless you explicitly tell the installer to retain Windows, which you won't). It will also install LibreOffice (which is like OpenOffice but more up to date) and Firefox.
I'd say that brings you pretty close to your goals already.

I don't grasp what you meant to ask about a virtual disk. Can you elaborate?

If your issue is solved, kindly indicate that by editing the first post in the topic, and adding [SOLVED] to the title. Thanks!
Mark Phelps
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Re: Removing Windows AND installing Mint

Post by Mark Phelps »

You specifically mentioned doing a "secure erase" and an install of any OS is certainly NOT going to do that!

Anyone with any of a number of bootable file recovery apps will be able to get back anything that was not completely overwritten.

If you really want to WIPE the drives, then read up on using DBan.
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Re: Removing Windows AND installing Mint

Post by phd21 »

Hi plexor,

You can boot to a Live installation version of Linux Mint on DVD or USB stick, install the "secure delete", "wipe", * "nwipe" packages from the Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager (SPM) and use those or "bleachbit", etc... to securely delete a drive and its partitions.

From all I have read, it is best to securely delete a disk and its partitions before installing a new operating system especially for business users and may be legally required. But, I have also read that installing a new operating system and then using a "wipe free space" or "zeroing out the free space" (sfill) would work too for typical home users.

*** +1 for Mark Phelps suggestion DBAN
How to Erase a Hard Drive Using DBAN [Walkthrough] ... an-2619148

** nwipe - secure disk eraser (see bottom of my reply for download and other info) in Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager (SPM)
- "nwipe is a command that will securely erase disks using a variety of recognized methods.
- It is a fork of the dwipe command used by Darik's Boot and Nuke (dban). "

Tip Note: If you have a USB to SATA adapter for SATA drives (2.5in & 3.5in 5 volt drives) and or a USB to IDE/PATA/SATA adapter with power supply for older drives (2.5in & 3.5in 12 volt drives), then you can remove the drives from the other computers, connect them to your Linux Mint system using USB port, and securely delete them, install Linux Mint on to that drive, then put them back into their original computers. Or after securely deleting the drive put it back into the computer it came from and install Linux Mint on that computer.

I think the bootable CD/DVD disc or USB STick of MiniTool Partition Wizard also has a secure delete, secure erase, wipe, for disks and or partitions.

3 Ways To Securely Erase A Hard Drive On Linux ... -on-linux/

Securely wipe disk - ArchWiki

Solid state drive/Memory cell clearing - ArchWiki ... l_clearing

How To Securely Destroy/Wipe Data On Hard Drives With shred ... with-shred

* for SSDrives
Solid state drive/Memory cell clearing - ArchWiki ... l_clearing

* Secure Erase - free download archive from link extract burn iso to CD or USB Stick

*** HDDErase 4.0 Free Data Wipe Software Program
*** supposedly works on both HDD and SSD

SSD Data Wiping: Sanitize or Secure Erase SSDs? ... leid/29539

How to Securely Erase Your SSD Drive? (March 2019 Guide) ... ssd-drive/
How to: Delete your Data Securely on Linux | Surveillance Self-Defense ... rely-linux

New version BleachBit 2.2 | BleachBit 2019

How to Securely Clean Hard Drives, Smartphones and SSDs | Security | Techworld ... s-3627310/

Wipe Hard Drives with BCWipe Total WipeOut | Jetico $30us ... al-wipeout

How to securely erase hard drives (HDDs) and solid state drives (SSDs) | ZDNet ... ives-ssds/

Hope this helps ...
I think "nwipe" is in the Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager (SPM)

But, I have compiled the current "nwipe" from their source code in Linux KDE Neon based on Ubuntu 18.04 like Linux Mint 19.x for anyone who wants it. The archive file is called "nwipe.7z" and linked below, save the file, right-click it and select extract here, then get into the "nwipe" folder and double click the deb file to install it.

"nwipe" is run from the console terminal prompt. Automatically uses dodshort / dod3pass - 3 pass DOD "Dept. of Defense" method. When the nwipe screen menu comes up, hit spacebar to select the drive, hit shift=m (uppercase M) to change method, then hit shift+s (uppercase S) to start deleting. Make sure you select the correct drive to delete. This can take a long time to run.

I put in a USB Stick 32gb which became drive "/dev/sdd" on my system and its screen shows 3 hours to complete using the default "dodshort" method.

Code: Select all

sudo /usr/bin/nwipe /dev/sdd
Download link to the "nwipe.7z" archive file.
(72 KiB) Downloaded 21 times
64-bit deb file in that archive folder

32-bit deb file in that archive folder

Code: Select all

/usr/bin/nwipe --help
Usage: nwipe [options] [device1] [device2] ...
-V, --version Prints the version number
-h, --help Prints this help
--autonuke If no devices have been specified on the command line, starts wiping all
devices immediately. If devices have been specified, starts wiping only
those specified devices immediately.
--sync Open devices in sync mode
--verify=TYPE Whether to perform verification of erasure (default: last)
off - Do not verify
last - Verify after the last pass
all - Verify every pass
-m, --method=METHOD The wiping method (default: dodshort). See man page for more details.
dod522022m / dod - 7 pass DOD 5220.22-M method
dodshort / dod3pass - 3 pass DOD method

gutmann - Peter Gutmann's Algorithm
random / prng / stream - PRNG Stream
zero / quick - Overwrite with zeros

-l, --logfile=FILE Filename to log to. Default is STDOUT
-p, --prng=METHOD PRNG option (mersenne|twister|isaac)
-r, --rounds=NUM Number of times to wipe the device using the selected method (default: 1)
--noblank Do not blank disk after wipe (default is to complete a final blank pass)
--nowait Do not wait for a key before exiting (default is to wait)
--nosignals Do not allow signals to interrupt a wipe (default is to allow)
--nogui Do not show the GUI interface. Automatically invokes the nowait option
Must be used with --autonuke option. Send SIGUSR1 to log current stats
nwipe screenshot
nwipe screenshot
Phd21: Mint 20 and 19.2 Cinnamon & xKDE (Mint Xfce + Kubuntu KDE) & KDE Neon 64-bit (new based on Ubuntu 20.04) Awesome OS's, Dell Inspiron I5 7000 (7573) 2 in 1 touch screen, Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram, Intel 4 Graphics.
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