Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

File Cleanup On Windows Xp


  • Please log in to reply
3 replies to this topic

#1 jcatsguru

jcatsguru

  • Members
  • 2 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:25 PM

Posted 25 July 2008 - 08:04 AM

Hi I'm new so this is a New Guy post. Please direct me to the correct forum for this question:

I bought a used laptop and the hard drive is loaded with files from the previous owner. I deleted the ones I could find but my concern is that there may be other files on this laptop that I cannot see. How do I get in there and clean these out and how do I know that all the files and logs and any archive has been deleted?

For instance, a friend of mine got a hard drive that had been previously used by a bank. When he had it investigated there were files of accounts with SSN, account numbers, and all kinds of personal information on them. This drive had been wiped but the files on it were recovered somehow.

Can the files on a hard drive ever be completely destroyed? If so how? I would like to feel at ease that no files from someone elses use is resident on my computer.

Thanks for any responses,
jcatsguru

[Moderator edit: post moved to more appropriate forum. jgweed]

Edited by jgweed, 25 July 2008 - 08:17 AM.


BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 dc3

dc3

    Bleeping Treehugger


  • Members
  • 30,685 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sierra Foothills of Northern Ca.
  • Local time:06:25 PM

Posted 25 July 2008 - 08:39 AM

Unfortunately short of physically destroying the drive you can't delete the information. There are ways to read the hdd even if the drive has been wiped, the data can still be retrieved with a microscope and someone trained in forensic retrieval techniques. This is a very expensive process, and I doubt that your average person will be have information worth that amount of money to retrieve.

Personally...I'd wipe it with something like Wipe Drive or Active Killdisk and not worry about it.

Edit: I didn't provide a link to Drive Wipe as it is a commercial application.

Edited by dc3, 25 July 2008 - 08:40 AM.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#3 jcatsguru

jcatsguru
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 2 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:25 PM

Posted 25 July 2008 - 08:57 AM

That's what I thought. Thanks dc3. I guess I will go out and buy a new HDD. Some of the files were not so good and this is going to be my sons laptop for school.

#4 dc3

dc3

    Bleeping Treehugger


  • Members
  • 30,685 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sierra Foothills of Northern Ca.
  • Local time:06:25 PM

Posted 25 July 2008 - 09:15 AM

Unless there is a problem with the drive itself, I would just wipe it and use it. Wiping the drive will completely over write the contents of the hdd, infections and all. If you are doing this to increase the size of the hdd, that would be a different matter.

Edited by dc3, 25 July 2008 - 09:16 AM.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users