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clean out computer

By warrenL ·
I have a friend that has a computer that she wants to give away. I know there have been many articles on clearing out personal info before doing this. Any ideas on this will be appreciated.

tnx,

warren

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by JoseMeza In reply to clean out computer

You can do a low level format of the hard drive. But the only way to truly erase the contents of a hard drive is to drive a hole thru the hard drive.

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by Dr Dij In reply to clean out computer

for most people the low level format is enuf. the stories about personal data showing up on hard drives at swap meets is from computers sold without even doing this. (or from stupid service orgs that swap out your hard drive for repair and don't wipe it, as was found out with some large chain companies such as bestbuy.)

Unless you've got FBI agents tailing you, and/or incredibly sensitive data such as a disk drive from a bank server, etc (or criminal activities). this is all you need to do. It's beyond means of most people to recover residual magnetism after a low level formst.

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by warrenL In reply to

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by cmiller5400 In reply to clean out computer

A free program called DBAN is your solution. http://dban.sourceforge.net/

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by dmiles In reply to clean out computer

So what programs can be used to do this?! The best type of program (and often FREE) for what's called a SINGLE PASS ZERO-OUT is the same one some drive manufacturers ask you to run before allowing you to return a drive under warranty! For example, Western Digital?'s new DLG DIAG (included with their Data Lifeguard Tools packages or available separately) will easily zero-fill every byte on a WD drive; just run dlgdiag.exe and choose “Write Zeros to the drive.” We've also used a similar program ( Maxtor? ) to zero-out their drives. You must obtain this type of program from the manufacturer of your particular drive, since they're almost always limited to working only on their own drives!
http://www.hgst.com/hdd/support/download.htm . It's made for IBM? and Hitachi drives, so will zero-out bytes from its “Utilities” menu for those drives only! If you know how to make a floppy disk from just an image file (such as WinImage or by using the Linux 'dd' program), all you need is the 1440 KiB dft_v407.img image file. Otherwise, get the Windows floppy disk creator version (dft32_v407.exe) that makes its own boot/DFT floppy disk for you.

There's a nice collection of links to many Drive Manufacturing sites with some type of drive utility program here: http://tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287.

However, I've recently found a FREE program with open source code at the SourceForge site called Darik's Boot and Nuke (dban) which is a self-contained 1440 KiB boot disk that will wipe any drive! It has many options too; the simplest way to use it is to boot up with the disk, press the ENTER key at the "Boot: prompt" and then use its Interactive Menu. But you must exercise caution with this disk: It's easy to set it up to automatically wipe every drive on your computer! , since that program was never designed to DBAN also creates and saves an interesting logfile of its operations at the end of a run.

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by warrenL In reply to

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by zlitocook In reply to clean out computer

If they just want to get rid of personal data, log in as the administrator delete the profiles, open IE go to tools, options. Delete temp. files, history and clear history.
If you have a copy of Window washer use it with bleach settings and clean the computer. Look at the C drive to be sure there is nothing save there and do a search for *.logs delete them.
But if you want to clean the drive follow the other answers.

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