To format and then install a computers Operating System, typically due to being hacked.

From a technical perspective this involves formatting at least one partition.

The "Flatten" comes from a hurricane analogy; flattening the landscape and having to rebuild from nothing.
You've been hacked and they got root? Flatten and Reinstall.

You listened to a Sony CD? Flatten and Reinstall.
by holloway June 29, 2006
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Your only option after your computer broadcasts your IP address.
scott@localhost:~$ netstat -r
Active Internet connections (w/o servers)
Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address Foreign Address State
scott@localhost:~$ su
root@localhost:~# flatten
Flatten and Reinstall v1.0
Volume to Flatten: /dev/hda
Please select your only option (flatten/flatten_reinstall): flatten_reinstall

Previous flatten detected. Resuming from backup point...
Flattening /dev/hda... done!
Volume flattened, begin reinstall?: yes
Volume reinstalling... done!
Flatten and Reinstall again? It's the only way to be sure: no
by covox November 19, 2003
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You are broadcasting an IP address.

You must flatten and reinstall. It's your only option.
oh no, my computer is broadcasting an IP address! better flatten and reinstall
by covox November 19, 2003
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