Computer Help forum

General discussion

Selling my PC

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

Hi,

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?

Thanks,
Andy

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Selling my PC
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Selling my PC
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Yes
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.

Collapse -
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.
Bob

Collapse -
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

Collapse -
Thanks
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!

Collapse -
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.

Dave

Collapse -
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 http://sourceforge.net

Collapse -
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?

Popular Forums
icon
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
icon
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
icon
Laptops 21,181 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
icon
Phones 17,137 discussions
icon
Security 31,287 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
icon
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
icon
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

The Samsung RF23M8090SG

One of the best French door fridges we've tested

A good-looking fridge with useful features like an auto-filling water pitcher and a temperature-adjustable "FlexZone" drawer. It was a near-flawless performer in our cooling tests.