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How to clean Personal info from HD


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7 replies to this topic

#1 bduv

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 06:37 PM

I have upgraded two computers lately and would like to donate the old ones.

Can anyone recommend a safe way to clean up the drives before donation.

Both Desktop & laptop were running XP. Im not really sure about the other specs.

Thanks

Bryan

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#2 Guest_The weatherman_*

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 06:53 PM

This may sound a bit harsh, but if you want to be absolutely sure take out the hard drive and totally destroy it.

Edit: Bleepin typo.

Edited by The weatherman, 04 January 2010 - 02:30 PM.


#3 jhsmurray

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 07:06 PM

Assuming you've copied over all data you want to keep already.

Apart from The weatherman's suggestion, if you want to leave the OS intact, you could reinstall the OS by booting from the install disk and repartitioning/formatting the drive before the install. You would also need to reinstall any software and drivers if you chose to include those as well.

If you just want to wipe the drive and leave nothing on it, you could use GParted to destroy and recreate the drive partition(s). You can find the link to it here:
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic3616.html (under Hard Drive & System Utilites)

Also the hard drive manufacturer may provide a wiping utility on their website. This would "zero-out" all the bits individually and would be the most secure method, but also the most time consuming. Note that drives have a limited lifespan, and if you put older drives under extensive/high-stress operations, you might damage it ( as I did with my wife's laptop :thumbsup: ); in which case the previous post would ultimately have been the best choice.

Acer Aspire 5732z
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate
Processor: Intel Pentium III Xeon, 2200 MHz
RAM: 3 GB
Display: Mobile Intel GMA 4500M

#4 hamluis

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 09:05 PM

Another alternative, Darik's Boot And Nuke Hard Drive Disk Wipe and Data Clearing - http://www.dban.org/.

Louis

#5 Sneakycyber

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 04:12 PM

I second the Dban option. You can re-install your operating system or donate it without it installed.

Chad Mockensturm 

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#6 ReviverSoft

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 05:58 PM

You can also use a linux based LiveCD to erase the contents of the hard disk.
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#7 bduv

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 06:34 PM

Thanks for the response.

Are the computers worth anythng to schools...without an OS?

I dont think I have the original software for either of them so the dban option would probably be the easiest for me.

Bryan

#8 ReviverSoft

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 06:49 PM

Yeah, re-install the OS before you donate them.
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