File shredding before giving away computer

  Pineman100 12:48 23 Aug 2008

We have an old computer (Windows 98) that I plan to give to charity, but before I do so I shall be running some sort of file shredding software. There have been several such freebie programs on PCA cover disks that I've kept.

But I want to be sure that I shred all the right files/folders. Obviously I'll shred everything in My Documents. But can anyone please tell me which folders to shred in order to get rid of everything personal in Outlook Express, please?

  €dstowe 13:12 23 Aug 2008

What I normally do is delete everything I can and then do a low level format of the drive - perhaps twice.

Of course, this is of no use if you don't have a copy of the O/S that you can re-install.

  Sea Urchin 13:51 23 Aug 2008

You can use this to delete everything except your operating system

click here

  Pineman100 16:29 23 Aug 2008

Thanks to you both for your replies.

€dstowe - if I had the Windows CD for this machine, then I would certainly do as you suggest. However, I don't. So if possible I want to shred all my data but leave the OS intact.

Sea Urchin - thanks for the link. I've read the info on Eraser, but I can't see where it says that it will delete everything except the OS. If I'm going to leave the OS intact, it looks as though I'll still have to know which folders to shred, in order to get rid of all trace of my data.

I suppose the alternative is to give the computer to charity without an OS, but that seems a shame.

  rawprawn 16:40 23 Aug 2008

Eraser will do what you want as Sea Urchin says, use "Wipe Free Space"

  rawprawn 16:43 23 Aug 2008

Sorry I should have said Wipe Free Space after using it to Delete the files you want to delete and uninstalling all applications

  Pineman100 18:08 23 Aug 2008

OK, many thanks.

I assume that "wipe free space" securely overwrites all sectors that contain nominally "deleted" data. But I'm still unclear about which folders to delete in order to get rid of all Outlook Express data - Inbox, Sent Items, Contacts, etc. Do you know what those folders are called, please?

Or is there an option in Eraser that just says "click here to shred all your email data"?

  rawprawn 08:08 24 Aug 2008
  Pineman100 18:21 24 Aug 2008

That's the info I need! I tried (and failed) searching the MS Knowledgebase for advice on deleting OE files - it didn't occur to me that advice on backing them up would obviously give me what I needed. Doh!

Thanks very much again to everyone for your thoughts on this topic.

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