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Wipe all personal data without formatting
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Wipe all personal data without formatting

  #1 (permalink)
Site Administrator
Manta, Ecuador
 
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Wipe all personal data without formatting

I sold my old notebook and want to wipe it clean before shipping it. I do not want to re-format it because I don't have the time to reinstall the numerous special drivers it requires for all the functionality to be working.

Can anyone recommend a good solid and working Windows app that can wipe all personal info from the machine? Otherwise I'll just have to do it by hand and really don't have time for that.

Mike

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  #2 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
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Try CCleaner.

Can wipe most things by going through the cleaner/registry/tools delete options.

Under Settings > Secure Deletion > use Very Complex to wrap it up. Hope it helps.

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  #3 (permalink)
Intermediate
Charleston, SC
 
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Mike,

Just my 2 cents....I'm an IT security systems engineer, and I can't recommend anyone try and clean their machine of personal data whether it's using software or formatting their hard drive before selling it to another person. It just doesn't work. The information will still reside on your hard drive. Anyone with any knowledge of data recovery software can restore your personal data and use it as they wish. The only true way to get rid of your personal data is by smashing it with a hammer (or otherwise physically destroying the drive) OR you can always remove the drive if you plan to use it elsewhere.

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  #4 (permalink)
Elite Member
Zurich, Switzerland
 
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I agree with the previous two posters. However, if you go down this route uninstall the applications and delete data not stored in your home folder. Then create a new user, delete the old user and it's home directory after logging off and on with the newly created user.

HTH,
-S

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  #5 (permalink)
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skrallan View Post
I agree with the previous two posters. However, if you go down this route uninstall the applications and delete data not stored in your home folder. Then create a new user, delete the old user and it's home directory after logging off and on with the newly created user.

HTH,
-S

I did this already, the notebook is shipped.

Thx

Sent from my LG Optimus G Pro

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
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  #6 (permalink)
Market Wizard
Hamburg Germany
 
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cal1152,

what about using tools like DBAN (or similar) and writing random patterns several times to the hard drive (or using Gutmann or other algorithms in there)? Would you advise against it and prefer destroying the hard drive with force (shredder or what ever)?

Thank you,
ABCTG


cal1152 View Post
Mike,

Just my 2 cents....I'm an IT security systems engineer, and I can't recommend anyone try and clean their machine of personal data whether it's using software or formatting their hard drive before selling it to another person. It just doesn't work. The information will still reside on your hard drive. Anyone with any knowledge of data recovery software can restore your personal data and use it as they wish. The only true way to get rid of your personal data is by smashing it with a hammer (or otherwise physically destroying the drive) OR you can always remove the drive if you plan to use it elsewhere.


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  #7 (permalink)
Intermediate
Charleston, SC
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, TS2
Broker/Data: FXCM
Favorite Futures: GC, CL, 6E, FX
 
cal1152's Avatar
 
Posts: 67 since Sep 2011
Thanks: 459 given, 64 received

@ABCTG ...

If a person wants a guarantee that personal data left on their machine isn't recoverable the best way is to destroy the drive by using a shredder, hammer, or degausser. Of course a lot depends on what type of personal data you have on the machine....if it's credit card info, social security number, tax returns, medical records, etc....I'd definitely destroy it. If that isn't the case then blowing away your profile and applications or using DBAN/ccleaner is always an option. Just be aware the personal data still resides on the hard drive.

Cal


ABCTG View Post
cal1152,

what about using tools like DBAN (or similar) and writing random patterns several times to the hard drive (or using Gutmann or other algorithms in there)? Would you advise against it and prefer destroying the hard drive with force (shredder or what ever)?

Thank you,
ABCTG


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