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

Is it safe to sell your old PC?


  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#1 MickinPlymouthUK

MickinPlymouthUK

  • Members
  • 669 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:03:31 AM

Posted 07 May 2014 - 02:21 AM

Hi, I'm thinking of selling my spare PC cheap to a family acquaintance but I'm worried about the security aspect.

I've deleted my docs and pics folders, games and stuff, and deleted my AOL software, will that be enough?

 

Or will he (or his friends) be able to re-install AOL off the net and log into my account?

I'm with AOL on my other computer, so is my AOL account linked ONLY to one computer at a time, in which case I'm secure aren't I?

Sorry but I don't know about how the IP address thing works.

 

What are the steps other Bleeping members take before selling off their old PC's?


Edited by MickinPlymouthUK, 07 May 2014 - 02:25 AM.


BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 NickAu

NickAu

    Bleepin' Fish Doctor


  • Moderator
  • 13,075 posts
  • ONLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:127.0.0.1 Australia
  • Local time:12:31 PM

Posted 07 May 2014 - 02:46 AM

 

What are the steps other Bleeping members take before selling off their old PC's?

If you have a Windows install disk the best way is to delete everything on the HDD and reinstall the Operating system.

 

There's a command-line utility in Ubuntu called shred, which overwrites data in a file or on a device with random bits and bytes, making it nearly impossible to recover.

 

Use an Ubuntu Live CD to Securely Wipe Your PC’s Hard Drive

 

 

Also.

http://www.microsoft.com/security/online-privacy/safely-dispose-computers-and-devices.aspx

 

I do the same when I buy a new ( second hand) pc Format and start again.


Edited by NickAu1, 07 May 2014 - 02:56 AM.

Arch Linux .
 
 Come join the fun, chat to Bleeping computer members and staff in real time on Discord.
 
The BleepingComputer Official Discord Chat Server!


#3 quietman7

quietman7

    Bleepin' Janitor


  • Global Moderator
  • 51,390 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia, USA
  • Local time:10:31 PM

Posted 07 May 2014 - 06:36 AM

There are various data recovery programs available which could possibly recover whatever you delete. If you don't want to chance anyone recovering that information, then the safest action is to reformat (or replace the hard drive) and reinstall the OS as NickAu1 noted. If that is not an option, then the following resources also may be helpful.

How to Permanently Delete Data from Your Hard Drive
5 Tools To Permanently Delete Sensitive Data From Your Hard Drive
4 File Shredders to Make Deleted Data Unrecoverable
.
.
Windows Insider MVP 2017-2018
Microsoft MVP Reconnect 2016
Microsoft MVP Consumer Security 2007-2015 kO7xOZh.gif
Member of UNITE, Unified Network of Instructors and Trusted Eliminators

If I have been helpful & you'd like to consider a donation, click 38WxTfO.gif

#4 installer

installer

  • Members
  • 28 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:London
  • Local time:03:31 AM

Posted 09 May 2014 - 07:07 AM

Unless you encrypt the data hard-core the next man can easily recover every single file you ever had! Just deleting the entire hard drive is not doing enough and you only want to delete your AOL?

 

A windows clean install can be very good as well.



#5 quietman7

quietman7

    Bleepin' Janitor


  • Global Moderator
  • 51,390 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia, USA
  • Local time:10:31 PM

Posted 09 May 2014 - 03:38 PM

The average user does not know much about data recovery but why take the chance.
.
.
Windows Insider MVP 2017-2018
Microsoft MVP Reconnect 2016
Microsoft MVP Consumer Security 2007-2015 kO7xOZh.gif
Member of UNITE, Unified Network of Instructors and Trusted Eliminators

If I have been helpful & you'd like to consider a donation, click 38WxTfO.gif

#6 MickinPlymouthUK

MickinPlymouthUK
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 669 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:03:31 AM

Posted 12 May 2014 - 02:24 PM

Thanks guys. Another thing- the shop's mechanic stupidly plastered my surname all over the system when the PC was in for maintenance a couple of years ago, so now I'm seeing "Mr X's documents", "Mr X's pictures", "Mr X's this", "Mr X's that", etc etc everywhere as I navigate around my PC.

 

Is there an easy way to get rid of my surname from everything or is it too deeply ingrained in the system to be rooted out?



#7 quietman7

quietman7

    Bleepin' Janitor


  • Global Moderator
  • 51,390 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia, USA
  • Local time:10:31 PM

Posted 13 May 2014 - 05:19 AM

Another reason to just reformat and reinstall the OS.
.
.
Windows Insider MVP 2017-2018
Microsoft MVP Reconnect 2016
Microsoft MVP Consumer Security 2007-2015 kO7xOZh.gif
Member of UNITE, Unified Network of Instructors and Trusted Eliminators

If I have been helpful & you'd like to consider a donation, click 38WxTfO.gif

#8 installer

installer

  • Members
  • 28 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:London
  • Local time:03:31 AM

Posted 13 May 2014 - 08:19 AM

Create another administrator username, then delete your username!   I am scared for you :(



#9 Platypus

Platypus

  • Moderator
  • 14,414 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Australia
  • Local time:12:31 PM

Posted 13 May 2014 - 08:59 AM

Unless you encrypt the data hard-core the next man can easily recover every single file you ever had!

That's rather overstating the situation.

 

The ability to recover every single file a user ever had would only be true of a very specific subset of systems, where the deleted files had chanced to never have their locations overwritten with subsequent data.

 

That's why anyone who wants to recover accidentally deleted files is urged to immediately stop using the drive. Short of expensive forensic techniques, you cannot "easily" recover the content of a file that has been overwritten, even if only once.

 

The likelihood of every single file that had been deleted from a system in the past still having its location unused with the original data in it, would be massively improbable.

 

For practical purposes, a zero-fill of the drive or use of a scrubbing utility, and a clean installation of the OS is probably the simplest procedure to make the previous data unrecoverable by the "next man".


Top 5 things that never get done:

1.


#10 RedRay

RedRay

  • Members
  • 41 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:10:31 AM

Posted 13 May 2014 - 09:06 AM

As long as absolutely nothing remains that is personal on the computer, everything should be fine i think.



#11 Kilroy

Kilroy

  • BC Advisor
  • 3,362 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Launderdale, MN
  • Local time:09:31 PM

Posted 13 May 2014 - 09:28 AM

"I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure." - Ripley

 

The only way to be sure is to wipe the drive and then reload the system.  I recommend Darik's Boot and Nuke for mechanical drives and the manufacturer's wipe utility for SSDs.



#12 MickinPlymouthUK

MickinPlymouthUK
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 669 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:03:31 AM

Posted 14 May 2014 - 03:16 PM

Do I just hit a magic button to wipe my drive?

And is re-installing my Win 7 easy?

(I'm just a grunt wargamer/flight simmer)



#13 quietman7

quietman7

    Bleepin' Janitor


  • Global Moderator
  • 51,390 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia, USA
  • Local time:10:31 PM

Posted 14 May 2014 - 03:48 PM


.
.
Windows Insider MVP 2017-2018
Microsoft MVP Reconnect 2016
Microsoft MVP Consumer Security 2007-2015 kO7xOZh.gif
Member of UNITE, Unified Network of Instructors and Trusted Eliminators

If I have been helpful & you'd like to consider a donation, click 38WxTfO.gif

#14 installer

installer

  • Members
  • 28 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:London
  • Local time:03:31 AM

Posted 15 May 2014 - 03:14 AM

For 5 years I was doing data recovery for customers.

 

When we ran our software on (supposedly dead HDDs) I always got at least 5gb of images, pictures, pdfs, .doc ...

 

Mick, If you have never done it before, it will be a bit of a pain. Make sure you have your product CD keys before your start.



#15 quietman7

quietman7

    Bleepin' Janitor


  • Global Moderator
  • 51,390 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia, USA
  • Local time:10:31 PM

Posted 15 May 2014 - 01:54 PM

You can also start a new topic in the appropriate forum for your OS if you need individual help with reinstalling.
.
.
Windows Insider MVP 2017-2018
Microsoft MVP Reconnect 2016
Microsoft MVP Consumer Security 2007-2015 kO7xOZh.gif
Member of UNITE, Unified Network of Instructors and Trusted Eliminators

If I have been helpful & you'd like to consider a donation, click 38WxTfO.gif




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users