How to restore Hard Drive to brand new state?


Is there a way to restore the hard drive to the exact state that it was in when the computer was purchased (restore the hard drive)

For example, if you sell your computer can you get it back to the state it was in when brand new, so no more info is left on the computer before selling it?

bust out the grey System Restore disks, put Disk 1 in the drive and then reboot and immediately start holding C. It will take a while to boot from the CD, but once the installer screen starts up it will walk you through step-by-step.
I have been told that doing the aforementione things may not be enough to thrwart PROFESSIONAL HACKERS. This is because most "formatters" merely erase the Directory(ies) NOT the actual disk-platter itself. Thus, either use a commercial utility like Norton to do a security format (0101010101010) and write zeros to the disk (or full format a couple of times if you don't have such an app) and/or do what I've done in the past -- take a huge generic/public domain Photoshop file (or some large QuickTime movie) and copy it a couple dozen times (if you keep throwing the resulting application into a folder and just duplicating the resulting folder each time it is faster), and then erase it. That should cover any private documents/applications bits pretty well.
Startup on your install CD -> Open Drive Setup -> In Functions select Initialize options -> Select zero all data -> reformat your HD with one partition and install system software (If you have software restore CDs for your computer use these as well to install all software that came with your computer. Zero all data sets every bit to zero so there is absolutely no data on the hard disk.