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Wiping a Hard Drive
Hi, Need advice on how to completely clean my computer before re-selling. Thanks everyone. concerned about privacy & security
Your other, less secure option is to delete everything and then do a clean install of your operating system. Assuming you use Windows, your computer probably came with disks with the OS on them. If your computer is already 2nd or 3rd hand and you don't have the license info then buy a Windows upgrade product and do a clean install. Only the pros with sophisticated technology would be able to pull any of your old data off the computer at that point.
Create a junk folder on your hard drive. Find a large file of any sort, put it there, and proceed to make multiple copies of it. Actually, just copy the entire contents of the folder each time, so you'll go from 1 file to 2 to 4 to 8 to .... (the old kernel of corn on the chessboard story). Yes, it takes some time, but not all that long depending on the size of your hard drive. You want to fill your entire drive, manually overwriting all the sectors where deleted files reside until the space is needed, so you're telling the computer to use that space. You can use the Windows Defragmenter (which I hope you've been using all along) to check the available space on your computer. You can take it all the way to 0% (although that's probably overkill). Then, delete that junk folder with one of the above programs that shreds and overwrites the same files you just used to overwrite whatever had been there before. I dare anyone to find anything useful on your computer after that.
Or, as previous poster indicated, you can reformat -- if you have all your installation CDs. Plus, if you go that way, you could actually decide what programs to reinstall. Not Snoop Dog
I would like to give away/recycle my old CPU - but I am very concerned about sensitive personal/financial information still retrievable on the hard drive (despite having ''deleted'' all files). With all the horror stories about identity theft and ripoff of financial info from old computers, does anyone know how to wipe hard drives completely clean? (Sounds like this could be a great small business venture for some enterprising techie!) A cautious recycler
Two MIT graduate students say they found personal and corporate information on used disk drives bought off the Internet and at swap meets.
Old hard drives yield data bonanza By Sandeep Junnarkar Staff Writer, CNET News.com January 15, 2003, 12:35 PM PT http://news.com.com/2100-1040-980824.html Signed: Cautious too.
Option 2 (reformatting the hard drive) is probably what you want. Norm
The Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) is free software mainly used for encrypting emails and files, but it includes a file and freespace wiping function.
Just be forewarned that it's forbidden to export the software out of the U.S.. kim
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