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Selling my PC

by inhalexhale4 / October 15, 2009 11:22 AM PDT


I've read that when you sell your PC, even doing a fresh install of windows and deleting all your old files will not completely make it so someone could not access personal information. Would buying a new hard drive to install, and then sell my PC with achieve total protection of my info?


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by Jimmy Greystone / October 15, 2009 11:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Selling my PC

Yes, as long as you don't also sell the old drive.

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Even a fresh install can leave information behind.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 15, 2009 10:43 PM PDT
In reply to: Selling my PC

It's a tough thing for some to accept but how secure you must be is up to you in the end.

Let's note you should look into DBAN then that fresh install. That will do it.

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In a nutshell...
by Willy / October 16, 2009 12:22 AM PDT
In reply to: Selling my PC

Here are the best or most used methods to safeguard your data upon giving/selling your PC.

1) remove HD entirely
2) use DBAN or KILLDISK to wipe out HD: optional install OS
3) remove old HD and mount new HD(that will work)

If a HD is present when selling/giving system away and you install OS will do fine for most. Someone would have to have very good "forensic s/w" and methods to retrieve any data and that's not available to everyone. On top of all that, many a user *may* redo your work anyways to know they're starting from a clean slate as it were, so they don't have problems.

FYI- Using DBAN or KILLDISK and doing several passes(1 pass) is will within the govt.&military standard to destroying data to exclude cutting, torching, smashing or scrap heap.

tada -----Willy Happy

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by inhalexhale4 / October 16, 2009 2:15 AM PDT
In reply to: In a nutshell...

Thanks everyone. I'll see how much it would be to replace the HD, and then sell it with the new HD. If that looks really pricy, I'll use one of the programs mentioned and go that route. Thanks again!

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Getting rid of an old computer
by FiOS-Dave / October 16, 2009 11:15 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks

Above info is good, however, please remember to remove all old "notes" that may give a clue to your identity!
Some people put their phone numbers and/or Social Security numbers inside the case in order to help with recognition if the device is stolen!

Some paranoid people also suggest wiping out the BIOS and reprogramming it, as it can hold other information, as well.
I think that is carrying it a bit too far, however!

Also, check your documentation, as well, to remove any identifying information.


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DBAN is free
by mmurrayepl / October 16, 2009 2:34 PM PDT
In reply to: Selling my PC

Don't waste your money on a new hard drive for someone else. DBAN is free and very easy to use. You'll find it at

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If you're really worried
by mwooge / October 18, 2009 12:18 AM PDT
In reply to: Selling my PC

Simplest way to really destroy deleted material is to create a new folder, fill it with junk until the disk is full, then delete the folder. This will overwrite your sensitive material, essentially destroying it.

Some people say this isn't enough, as the CIA can still recover your data using special software and hardware. How worried are you about the CIA spying on you?

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