Re: HELP! Selling computer...how to erase personal info???

Re: HELP! Selling computer...how to erase personal info???


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Posted by Henry on October 10, 2001 at 23:36:38:

In Reply to: HELP! Selling computer...how to erase personal info??? posted by Christal on October 08, 2001 at 17:51:23:

: Selling personal computer, how do I erase any personal information that I don't want anyone to know?


Depends on how securely you want to destroy your information. Simplest is to delete partitions then build new partition(s) and format the drive. All of your data remain on the disk but are not accessible by standard means ("experts" can reconstruct your files).

A much higher level of security can be accomplished with a pseudo low level format program from your HDD maker's web site. It will write zeroes to every user accessible spot on the HDD, then partition and format the drive. Data recovery experts can recover your files but it takes a lot of time (and expense) to do it. You can run the LLF program several times - each "pass" reduces the residual magnetism, making file recovery still more difficult.

If you need higher security there are commercial programs such as "Disk Wipe" that write bit patterns to the user accessible parts of the platters (some shareware programs too). Some folks claim the files can be recovered but the tools required are exotic (something more than the hammer and tongs most of us use).

You can install a used HDD in yuour PC and keep your HDD (pretty secure there - if it doesn't get stolen).

For most secure file destruction disassemble your HDD, degauss the platters several times then INCINERATE them.

Hope this helps,
Henry




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