Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
There are choices that you can make when booting from CD that will tell Windows to not just install Windows, but actually format the entire hard disk first.
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.
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.
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 the CD.
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.
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?
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