How do I delete P.C info

  KBEARS 10:53 09 Mar 2005

Just bought a new PC to replace old one.
Is it possible and if so how do I remove all vital personal details like credit card info, address etc that maybe hidden deep inside computer? Have never kept any of this stuff on it but I read that even internet buying details can be somewhere inside.
It`s an old Del p3 with windows ME.
It`s perfectly good and would hate to just break it up.
Nothing to hide but am very wary of people gaining vital info from people who sell on computers. Wont mind if I have to erase everything, as I think I can replace it all or start afresh.

  SANTOS7 11:04 09 Mar 2005

click here apart from actually replacing your HDD with another one try this it may help,good luck...........

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:38 09 Mar 2005

A plain old fromat of the drive should be good enough.

if paranoid then File erasers :-
Eraser click here
Ultrawipe click here
SuperShredder click here
killdisk click here

  Stuartli 13:40 09 Mar 2005

I've seen it suggested that despite the various ways of erasing data, because it still may be possible to revive it, the best method is still to saw the hard drive in half...:-)

Somewhat paranoid - I suppose it depends on the type of personal data which is stored as to how far an individual would go.

  byfordr 13:50 09 Mar 2005

Even then it still may be possible...justs costs time and money! Supposidly drives that have been fired damaged are also possible to recover from.

Beyond the scope of anyone but the most determined snooper, criminal or the police.


  SurfMonkey _#:@}™ 14:50 09 Mar 2005

the only way to completely erase a hard drive so that no one will ever be able to retreve any personol data on is USE A HAMMER AVAILBE AT ANY HARDWARE SHOP (SMAAAASSSSHHH)

  Completealias 15:05 09 Mar 2005

True that you need to completely destroy the drive to stop the most determined of people but I worked at a place where we sold on refurbished computers and we used killdisk click here to wipe the drives.

It is a bootable floppy and if you are really worried you can run it through a few times to write over everything the more times it is written over the harder it is to recover anything.

Once you have done that boot with a boot disk and remake the partion using fdisk and then format. About the most secure you will get

  Stuartli 13:14 10 Mar 2005

"People with real secrecy requirements might already know that files aren't really deleted from your disk every time you 'delete' a file. That would take too much time; instead, the operating system chooses to just forget the files were there to begin with and writes over that portion of disk when it needs some more space. The result is that undelete utilities can be used to retrieve files from portions of the disk that haven't been written over.

"Skilled technicians can retrieve files from the disk even after they have been written over many times, by detecting the magnetic signatures left on the disk.

"To make sure that sensitive data is unrecoverable, a secure delete utility is required. These write random data over and over the same portion of disk, turning that background magnetic field that could give away secrets into nothing but noise. Secure deletion programs are often found bundled with other utility programs (Norton Utilities includes one) or can be downloaded for free from the internet."

  KBEARS 14:25 10 Mar 2005

Thanks for all the help guys!
Makes for very interesting but scary reading, to say the very least!!!

  john-232317 16:22 10 Mar 2005

Put the hard drive in the microwave for ten minutes, then try and read it ;-)

Do not attempt this at home, all our stunts are carried out in controlled situations by complete nutters.

  realist 23:05 10 Mar 2005

east-tec are the leaders in file deletion technology, you can get their software for zapping hard discs from here click here

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