Remove all Data so I can sell my Computers

Goldenram 256mb for dell precision works...
July 27, 2009 at 05:52:17
Specs: Windows Vista

Remove all Data so I can sell my Computers

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July 27, 2009 at 06:05:31
Even after formating a harddrive, data can still be recovered.

Best to overwrite data with other data over the entire HDD.
For example, the HDD maker Western Digital has a free utility called "Data Lifeguard Tools" that can, amoung other things, write zeros over a entire HDD.

This is somewhat funny Post ---
How not to recover data from a harddrive

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July 27, 2009 at 06:15:17
1. Nuke the HDD.
2. Reinstall Windows.
3. Sell it along with the original Windows Installation CD. No body will buy used PCs without discs.


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July 27, 2009 at 11:40:15
Chuck's suggestion of "write zeros over a entire HDD" Is the best way. It's sometimes (erroneously) called a 'Low Level Format' utility.

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Related Solutions

July 27, 2009 at 13:12:29
I remember the old thread Chuck linked to.

Good advice above; follow it. In addition, clear any BIOS passwords if they exist.


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July 27, 2009 at 18:06:20

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July 27, 2009 at 23:55:36
If you really wish to feel safe/secure etc. re' anything on the dirve being resurrected/recovered etc by whomever... Install a new HD; install the OS afresh; and sell on the system - with OS CDs etc...

Then either physically destroy the drive; or keep it to hand and use with any other system as a usb-connected device?

If someone is "really" determined to - and does happen... - they can recover data from a drive that has been "overwritten with zeros etc..." (erroneously called a low level format...); a drive that has been reformatted even many times - last I heard was around 24 overwrites/reformats etc... And remember that is with what is available on the open markt for pros and amateurs accordingly... What security and forensic types can do as well (using techniques not "out there for all and sundry) you don't want to know about...

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July 28, 2009 at 04:26:50
In addition to all the above sound advice you might think about what sort of information you write to your main hard drive on your new computer.

If nothing of a sensitive nature is written to start, you don't need to worry about removing it when disposing of the computer.

That said, as XP User pointed out used computers are not worth much without an operating system and hopefully, some additional software.

I recently came across something about recycling centers selling hardware overseas. Hard drives were then scanned for information like credit card numbers that could be sold or used by the finder.

Many users don't even give a thought to the data on their computer.

There are multiple methods to keep sensitive data off the main drive.

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July 30, 2009 at 18:10:25
I once found a computer in the trash with a bad power supply. I'm still using the 80 gig HD I removed but, before I formated and install an OS, I was able to view the previous owner tax return, her mother's, father's, uncle Joe's and aunt Betty's Tax returns.
Fortunately for them, I had no interest in this info and just wiped the drive.


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July 30, 2009 at 20:51:57
Dban is your best bet for nuking your drive

I disagree with response 2 >>
3. Sell it along with the original Windows Installation CD. No
body will buy used PCs without discs.<<

That is not all true, I've sold many used PC's without discs

Some HELP in posting on plus free progs and instructions Cheers

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July 31, 2009 at 06:47:25

The age and quality can have an impact on the value of a used computer. OEM computers appeal to folks on a tight budget. They want the OS and software that came with it originally. So, while there may still be a market I think the value falls by half or more. Then you have to consider the cost of a new hard drive.

As I pointed out above, a little pre-planning goes a long way down the road.

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