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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 Matthew Cruickshank 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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