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Considering sending damaged Dell laptop back to my bro.

by Big Steve / April 25, 2008 12:49 PM PDT

I've been using a Dell Inspiron 1300 laptop which my brother's company purchased for me to use over 2 years ago, I want to stress use and not keep although he never did tell me he would ever want it back but since I dropped it back in January 2008 and killed it's monitor at some point in time he might want it back. I've already obtained an estimate from Dell on what they would charge to fix it, Dell's estimate in my opinion was too much considering the fact that the laptop is over 2 years old. I also tried buying a used Dell Inspiron 1300 laptop off of Ebay for a possible monitor switch out but that didn't work out as planned besides it was kind of risky anyway.

So now I'm considering shipping the damaged laptop back to my bro's company but before I do what could I do or what should I do to wipe the laptop's hard drive clean of my personal data before I ship it back short of removing the hard drive from the computer altogether? I have some emails stored on the computer, some Quicken, not much else. If I went ahead and deleted that information first and then shipped it back could the IT guy who gets the computer back go into the computer and be able to retrieve all of the information which I deleted?

Or if I decided to go ahead and remove the computer's hard drive first before I shipped it back, once it got back in my bro's hands with the original hard drive now gone could he turn it over to his company's IT guy to see if he, the IT guy could restore any personal information I had stored on the computer up until the time I dropped it? Could the IT guy pop in a new hard drive and be able to bring up all of my data which is presently stored on the laptop's existing hard drive? I won't go into more details except to ask what my options are for me to protect my information on the laptop's present hard drive before I decide to ship the laptop back to the bro's company.

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We've covered this in
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 25, 2008 12:51 PM PDT

Our Computer Help forum. There are programs to wipe drives clean.

Try searching the forum for posts about DBAN.

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Re: We've covered this in
by Big Steve / April 25, 2008 1:01 PM PDT
In reply to: We've covered this in

I'll check that out but just to let you know this is the first time I have ever brought up the subject of wiping a HD clean. Would wiping the HD clean also remove all the programs that came installed on the computer before I got it as well or just my personal data that I'm concerned about? So the HD can be wiped cleaned rather than me having to remove it? If I removed the existing HD could the IT guy pop in another one once he got the computer back and be able to retrieve everything that was stored on the original HD including my personal data?

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 25, 2008 1:53 PM PDT

I noted it because others have asked before. All you may need to know is a name to search the forums and benefit from the prior discussions.

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Re: Sorry.
by Big Steve / April 25, 2008 4:40 PM PDT
In reply to: Sorry.

Well if you'd give me a name I'll do a search. To safeguard my private information would it be best for me to just physically remove the existing HD from the computer first before I pack it up and ship it to the bro? Now I'm sure you can answer this one since you have previously stated you have repaired tons of computers at your repair shop, once I open up the back of the computer exposing the HD, is it just a matter of unscrewing the HD and taking it out, does it snap out or will I have to cut it out?

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 25, 2008 8:55 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: Sorry.

You may have missed the name in my first reply. Here it is -> "Try searching the forum for posts about DBAN."

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Very simple answer to this part
by Steven Haninger / April 25, 2008 8:25 PM PDT
"If I removed the existing HD could the IT guy pop in another one once he got the computer back and be able to retrieve everything that was stored on the original HD including my personal data?"


This would be like returning an empty box to someone to replace a box they sent you with stuff in it. Nothing in the original box (it's now in your hands) ends up in the replacement. As for wiping the hard drive clean, it does remove all programs and your data. This does not mean it's impossible that someone with the right equipment cannot glean some of it off the drive if they really wanted to. It takes an understanding of the nature of residual magnetism to envision how this can be done.
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