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Thread: Deleting everything on your computer

  1. #1
    Senior Member GuGu's Avatar
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    Default Deleting everything on your computer

    Okay, so I'm getting myself a new laptop and want to give away my PC. How do I delete everything off the computer? People(like Net ) have said that after you put an item in your 'recycle bin' and delete it, your files aren't really deleted. So how do I completely get rid of it?

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    Senior Member NetDriftr's Avatar
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    use a third party deletion program like File Shredder to permanent remove file traces (http://www.snapfiles.com/Freeware/security/fwerase.html)

    and/or low level format your hard drive a few times:

    - in windows explorer right click on a drive you want to format.
    - choose the format option
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    Senior Member GuGu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NetDriftr View Post
    use a third party deletion program like File Shredder to permanent remove file traces (http://www.snapfiles.com/Freeware/security/fwerase.html)

    and/or low level format your hard drive a few times:

    - in windows explorer right click on a drive you want to format.
    - choose the format option
    Thanks I'll try it when I get home.

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    Senior Member NetDriftr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuGu View Post
    Thanks I'll try it when I get home.
    wait if you intend to give the PC to someone in working order, make sure you reinstall windows if you format the system drive... otherwise just use the File Shredder program to delete the files.
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    Senior Member GuGu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NetDriftr View Post
    wait if you intend to give the PC to someone in working order, make sure you reinstall windows if you format the system drive... otherwise just use the File Shredder program to delete the files.
    And how do I r'einstall windows'? Do I sound like someone capable of that? Hopefully the person whose getting the PC knows how to do it.

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    Senior Member mind_wander's Avatar
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    Its the original boot cd or disk that came along with your computer. Yeah the one, that people don't use and put on the side too collect dust; until your comp crashes like crazy.
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    the way it works is this:

    A harddrive writes stuff and it takes up some space, when you delete something, it tells the drive that the "space" can be written over (it's written over, not delete). Formatting a couple time will not work, data can be recover, and formating at low level is just telling it "these space can be write over"....


    The safer way that i know is that they have softare that zero out the drives,
    they basically write 0 (binary 1 and 0, but just 0 in this case) to the whole drive, you do that about 10 times i don't think anyone can recover your data anymore.

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    Senior Member GuGu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warlock110 View Post
    the way it works is this:

    A harddrive writes stuff and it takes up some space, when you delete something, it tells the drive that the "space" can be written over (it's written over, not delete). Formatting a couple time will not work, data can be recover, and formating at low level is just telling it "these space can be write over"....


    The safer way that i know is that they have softare that zero out the drives,
    they basically write 0 (binary 1 and 0, but just 0 in this case) to the whole drive, you do that about 10 times i don't think anyone can recover your data anymore.
    About 10 times? So, Net's ideas won't really delete my files?

    I have a few home videos and a lot of personal information on that PC. I might as well smash the thing and throw it away just to be on the safe side. But the freaken PC is like brand new! I just got it like 2-3 years ago.

    Okay, Warlock, can you write what you just wrote in step by step instructions? Be very detailed. And what program to use exactly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuGu View Post
    About 10 times? So, Net's ideas won't really delete my files?

    I have a few home videos and a lot of personal information on that PC. I might as well smash the thing and throw it away just to be on the safe side. But the freaken PC is like brand new! I just got it like 2-3 years ago.

    Okay, Warlock, can you write what you just wrote in step by step instructions? Be very detailed. And what program to use exactly.
    Here u go: (a few links that talks/has intruction on this)
    http://www.lehigh.edu/security/gwscan/gwscan.htm
    http://www.engadget.com/2005/03/15/h...ld-hard-disks/
    http://www.usbman.com/Guides/Clean%2...%20Windows.htm

    i'm pretty sure formating won't delete data (as i've recovered data from my own formated drive)... but that should work (i've never tried it but i'm pretty sure it works, from other people that have tried it) there's a computer community on the net that tends to trade/sell used HDD, and this is what they normally do (being that all of them are geeks that has potential to recover data, it's got to be safe when they're selling their drive with their info)


    I'm not sure if you wanna go through all the trouble, i'm pretty sure the people you're giving the computer to will probably not want to screw you over by trying to get your personal stuff. It also depends on how you've been using the drive, information that can be recover at best is a few layer after being deleted, personally my media drive is being written over so many times, sometimes i can't even recover some of the stuff i accidently deleted (someone BD for example, man i sweat my *** trying to find that, would not want to do it again lol)
    Last edited by warlock110; 06-15-07 at 07:32 PM.

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    Senior Member GuGu's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for your help and for everyone's help.

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    Senior Member NetDriftr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuGu View Post
    About 10 times? So, Net's ideas won't really delete my files?
    if you read the program description, File Shredder does exactly what warlock described.. it deletes and writes 'junk data' at the disk sector where the file is deleted up to 7 times. once u delete the files, u can format the hard drive which rewrites the master boot sector of the disk.

    unless you have national security data stored on your hard drive - no one is going to try recover the data bit by bit, and reconstruct the bits into meaning data. the way the FBI dispose of old hard disks is a little more drastic.. after they wipes the disk clean, they fire bullets into the disk platter of the drive - thats the extreme data deletion method
    Last edited by NetDriftr; 06-15-07 at 10:00 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NetDriftr View Post
    if you read the program description, File Shredder does exactly what warlock described.. it deletes and writes 'junk data' at the disk sector where the file is deleted up to 7 times. once u delete the files, u can format the hard drive which rewrites the master boot sector of the disk.

    unless you have national security data stored on your hard drive - no one is going to try recover the data bit by bit, and reconstruct the bits into meaning data. the way the FBI dispose of old hard disks is a little more drastic.. after they wipes the disk clean, they fire bullets into the disk platter of the drive - thats the extreme data deletion method
    yeah, i doubt about people digging through old HDD, chances of finding a CC # or anything personal related is pretty slim, even if they do there's always chances of getting sue.

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