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Wiping hard drive of computer?

Hi Ladies - I have two older model computers that are just taking up space in my basement.  I want to get rid of them (either donate them or sell them on ebay or something) but want to make sure all of our stuff is off of them.  How do I do this? Is there a program or software to do this?

 

TIA!

Re: Wiping hard drive of computer?

  • I've never looked to see whether there is a program that does that. When I want to clean a hard drive I take the original programming disc that came with the computer (the one with the operating system such as Windows XP) and stick that in the drive. Shut the computer down. When it's starting back up I instruct the BIOS to boot from disc and format the entire hard drive before reinstalling the OS. 

    If you don't have the original disc and don't want to buy anything I'm sure that you could easily start it up and just delete any pictures, videos, documents or software that you know you added. Also doesn't hurt to use disc cleanup to get rid of any temp files that resulted from your use of the computer. And don't forget to empty the recycling bin when you're done. Wink

     

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  • From a windows-based system, deleting files doesn't really get rid of them at all. It merely breaks the pointers (directions on where the file is located). If nothing else overwrites that spot on your drive, the pictures/files/etc. can be recovered pretty easily. Even a full "out of box" system restore won't really get rid of everything.

    What you want to do is download software like Secure Erase or Boot and Nuke (both free) which will truely wipe it clean (well not really; the tried-&-true way to wipe a drive is to degauss it - but no average person will be able to recover anything from the drive if you use one of these programs).

  • Thank You - That's very helpful :-)

     

  • Take the hard drive to the garage and beat it to pieces it with a hammer? idk thats what my dad does. He claims even those programs don't actually completely wipe out your stuff and hes super paranoid.
  • There is a program I have used which is called Window Washer by Webroot. It basically writes over the empty data on your hard drive over and over again with random bytes to clean off anything that might have been on there before.
  • image laudanum1:

    From a windows-based system, deleting files doesn't really get rid of them at all. It merely breaks the pointers (directions on where the file is located). If nothing else overwrites that spot on your drive, the pictures/files/etc. can be recovered pretty easily. Even a full "out of box" system restore won't really get rid of everything.

    What you want to do is download software like Secure Erase or Boot and Nuke (both free) which will truely wipe it clean (well not really; the tried-&-true way to wipe a drive is to degauss it - but no average person will be able to recover anything from the drive if you use one of these programs).

    ditto - simply deleting the files doesn't ensure someone can't latter read your info/files that were once stored there.

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