apologies if silly question

  tonydm 13:12 18 Dec 2008

I am planning to give my old lap top away.

But over the years it has all my bank details, account details etc on it,
plus some 'private' pics of my wife etc

my questions are

if I change the hard drive, is absolutly everything lost from the laptop, and there is no way anyone could ever retrieve anything from it again.

when i put a new hard drive in, will it already be 'ready to go' for internet etc

how easy is it to change a hard drive



  CLONNEN 13:22 18 Dec 2008

Yes if you remove the hard drive then no-one will be able to recover anything from the laptop.

So you could do what you are suggesting.

Changing the hard drive is quite easy just disconnect the old one and then attach the new one.

A new hard drive would need to be formatted (probably NTFS) and have Windows reinstalled from the original CD (if you plan to pass on the operating system with the laptop). If it's XP or Vista the Windows setup cd should format the drive for you.

  CLONNEN 13:26 18 Dec 2008

Alternatively you could just use a Disk Wiper program to securely erase the data on the existing hard drive. And then reinstall Windows.

  PO79 13:26 18 Dec 2008

Or use this click here

  CLONNEN 13:29 18 Dec 2008

Here is a link to Active Kill Disk which will be able to destroy all data beyond recovery.

click here

  canarieslover 13:29 18 Dec 2008

Depending on laptop change of hard drive can be quite difficult. If you fit a new hard drive it will still need an operating system installed and programs to enable it to use the internet. To safeguard all your information and pics then download something like killdisk(free edition)click here and run that. You would still have to re-install operating system afterwards but at least it would have saved the expense of a new hard drive and the time involved changeing it.
PS Don't forget to save any of the information and pics that you want to keep onto an external drive or dvd before you run killdisk as you will lose them completely.

  wee eddie 13:30 18 Dec 2008

There is free software available which will overwrite your Data, while leaving the OS (Windows and the Drivers) intact.

This is not a subject, upon which I am sufficiently knowledgeable to advise you, but there are several threads on the task/matter. Try the "Search" facility.

  canarieslover 13:43 18 Dec 2008

I would have suggested click here but you have to be sure that you have put every private information file through it. It is too easy to forget that you have saved log-in information in your web browser and that Windows also keeps records. Far safer to completely clear the drive and start again unless you are extremely confident that you know where every bit of information is stored. Just asking for help through the forum suggests that you aren't that sure so I would play safe.

  jolorna 13:50 18 Dec 2008

if it came with recovery discs they might not work on a new hard drive or kill disk as it is usually recovered from a hidden partition

  tonydm 14:02 18 Dec 2008

thanks for replies

the laptop, a hp compaq, came with no set up discs,
it was all ready to go after simple set up

so by changing the hard drives I guess I could be stuck ?


  sebiven 15:30 18 Dec 2008

Just a suggestion but do you know someone who has a Windows CD the same flavour as your OS i.e.XP Home etc.

If you do then you could use that CD to reinstall Windows using your own Windows key.It would make for an easy transition with no problems reactivating the OS.

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