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Gifting an old laptop; what do I need to look out for??

by Call_Me / October 23, 2007 4:17 AM PDT

I've had great and wonderful advise from this forum so I'm hoping that I'll receive the answers to my question.

I asked HERE, earlier, if I should hang onto a 5 year old Compaq Presario laptop or not and the consensus was to NOT repair it but give it awasy. I've already bought a new Gateway to replace it.

My roommate needs a laptop and I offered her my old one. I've warned her that the laptop needs a new hard-drive (her dad can do it) and the O.S. disk from Compaq.

I thought that I'd be totally safe from Identity Theft because the hard drive crashed but when I picked up the computer from BEST BUY and mentioned this fact to them, the service tech said that "...all my sensitive information is still on the computer."

Now, I'm confused. Sad I thought that the BIG DEAL about a hard-drive crashing was that you lost all your stuff: photos, music files, and other things linked to you. But, if my roommie's dad puts a new hard drive into the laptop and suddenly they have acces to my password on amazon and ebay, I'll freak.

Can anyone enlighten me as to WHAT I should be worried about AND, more importantly, WHAT we can do to take the information off of the computer??? I trust my roomie, (she's lived with me for 2 years) but if she doesn't want to buy a hard drive, I'm worried about just donating the thing to an organization and having sensitive information in front of strangers.

Any and all help will be appreciated, so thank you in advance for time put into your answer.

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Remove the hard disk and take a hammer to it.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 23, 2007 4:19 AM PDT

All fixed.


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by Call_Me / October 23, 2007 4:23 AM PDT it THAT simple? Do I just have my roomie's dad provide me with the OLD hard-drive (like mechanics save parts) and that's that??

If so, your answer is amazingly brief yet enlightening! Happy

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Consider what's at stake.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 23, 2007 5:12 AM PDT
In reply to: Really?

If you can't access the media think over what's at risk. If nothing then such an final solution is not needed. Others may note putting the drive into some USB enclosure and recycling it (if it's functional?) but I read it was dead. So why not finalize the data destruction?


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Thank you
by Call_Me / October 24, 2007 12:09 AM PDT

Bob: thanks so much for your time with this answer. It might be frustrating to many posters when novices ask what they think is silly or obvious questions but we each have our area that we shine and this is not mine.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

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Stupid Questions
by mwooge / October 28, 2007 12:01 AM PDT
In reply to: Thank you

Never be afraid to ask a stupid question.

The rest of could use a good laugh at your expense. (snicker)

But seriously, that's how you learn. And if you need to ask, it's not a stupid question. We've all asked questions with "obvious" answers.

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ON CNET TV check how to definitly erase drive
by callme2 / October 26, 2007 11:05 AM PDT

On CNET TV clip on the right side it's all explained how to do the definite wipe off.
Or take the drive out ourselve...or have it taken out.

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gifting a laptop
by callme2 / October 26, 2007 11:11 AM PDT
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Only stupid question is an unasked one...
by Vinkun007 / October 26, 2007 8:40 PM PDT

If a novice or an expert were to scoff at you for asking for help, they need not reply. An honest question needs not be ridiculed.

As for your hard-drive(HD) issue, a "crash" does not necessarily mean that the HD is dead. It usually just means that the OS took a ****. The best advice I can offer is the "dBan boot n nuke" which was previously offered as a solution. It will completely scrub your drive of ALL data making it impossible to recover anything, especially if you tell it to do a seven (7) times or more run. Please note that such a data scrub can take several hours. Three (3) times is usually sufficient.

If the drive will still spin up, you may be able to use a program such as Power Data Recovery(works) installed on another system (the USB external isn't a bad idea) to recover any data you still want or need.

If the drive will NOT spin up [this can be determined by note of a blue screen error when you turn on the laptop(notebook) or you may get a series of beeps] then your HD is completely fried, and I suggest taking it out and destroying it. This can simply be done with the curiosity that all experts should have done at least once (or how can they be called experts?) by taking a screwdriver to it and literally see what it's made of. Please note that once you do this, if it is a working drive, it will no longer work. <<WARNING: very strong magnet inside; keep away from children and anything that can be damaged by a magnet>>

However, if you fear this kind of knowledge, then I might suggest a simple sledge-hammer smash-up session to take out your techno-induced frustration! I don't recommend a bat, as it will get damaged in the process. Go get 'em slugger!

Make sure to wear safety glasses if you choose that last option.

Hopefully I wasn't too confusing with that answer. If you have any further questions concerning this that I did not cover or perhaps even created, I'll be monitoring this thread.

Share the wealth: Einstein did.

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