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How can I wipe a hard drive and reinstall a new OS?

Asked by Mr_Saturn512 (558points) November 15th, 2018

Helping out a friend. I’ve wiped one of his hard drives once before using CCleaner. However, this time, he lent me a bunch of laptops for me to wipe AND reinstall a brand new OS.

Most of these laptops are really old – like XP era old. I can’t just hook the hard drive to my dekstop PC because the hard drive ports aren’t compatible. I’m blanking out on how to clear the hard drive entirely otherwise. Even my flash drives are too new for the laptops to recognize. I could burn CCleaner on a disc and do it that way. But now my question is: I can’t really be on the same computer whose hard drive I intend to wipe, right? I need to do it through a connection to another PC.

Second question. One of his laptops IS recent enough to hook to my desktop. I was going to wipe the hard drive but whenever I plug it in, File Explorer is veerrrrrrrryyyyyyyyy slow. Incredibly slow. It’s so slow at loading the hard drive. The funny thing is – there’s hardly anything on it to begin with. When I tried turning on that laptop – absolutely nothing happened. It would power on but the screen remained black. I tried getting CCleaner to wipe that hard drive but even CCleaner freezes when it tries to read that laptop’s hard drive. What’s up with it?
(My friend obviously doesn’t know. He has had these lying around for a while and just shrugged when I asked him.)

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