New to me Pc dilema?

  Seth Haniel 14:46 25 Nov 2007

just got a factory reconditioned PC good specs from known supplier and on one of the hard drives there are folders of holiday photographs and also a few personal letters - also in the box was a repair bill for the previous owner with address and phone number.
Should i contact the previous owner and offer to copy pictures to cd and send them. contact the supplier and put them wise to their ways. Or just delete them and get on with my own computing???

  SB23 15:03 25 Nov 2007

At the very least, I would contact the supplier to let them know what has been left on the pc, and dare I say it, ask them what they would suggest you do, with regards to the intact folders etc.

  Legolas 15:12 25 Nov 2007

I would contact the supplier and let them know they have failed to completely clear the hard drive. I would also contact the last owner and ask them if they wanted the data left on the drive.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 15:15 25 Nov 2007

Its personal choice but I would

1. Burn all recoverable folders to a CD

2. Format the disk

3. Inform supplier they are not conforming to data protection Act

4. Phone the previous owner to put him wise and ask if he requires the info. If he says no then destroy the CD.

  p;3 23:02 25 Nov 2007

more to the point; if this is supposed to be a 'factory reconditioned ' pc; if THAT info is still on board,one might ask just how efficient its cleaning (or lack of)has been and what other 'guests' lurk on it, such as bugs and viruses;one might ask WHY it was sent in FOR a 'sort out'?

  DANZIG 23:20 25 Nov 2007

Thats quite scary although not unsurprising. When I eventually get a completely new system or this one gives up the ghost, what do I do with it? Do I make a few quid out of selling the hard drive or do I just take it to pieces and destroy it?

  Forum Editor 00:49 26 Nov 2007

of the data protection legislation if, as a registered data controller you published to a third party data that was sensitive, and would personally identify the owner. By mistakenly showing someone else your holiday snaps I wouldn't be in breach, unless the snaps enabled that person to know who you are.

Passing on a repair bill with a name, address and phone number might be a breach, but not a particularly serious one. Personal letters may fall into the same category - not serious unless they contain sensitive data.

There are two ways of looking at this. If you format the drive and forget about it there's no breach - the data has effectively been destroyed, unless you keep a copy of it, and you're not going to do that, are you? The other factor in this case is that someone has been decidely silly if they parted company with their computer without first deleting their data files. It isn't the seller who has breached the data protection law, because the data wasn't subject to it in the first place - it had been carelessly left lying about on the drive by its owner.

Format the drive, and get on with your computing.

  Seth Haniel 08:46 26 Nov 2007

there are two 200gb hard drives c: is 'new' with xp sp2
d: has the said files under the document and settings named user folder. along with programs files where the files are all 'blue' in colour Microsoft Office etc and even XP2 sp2 on that drive too.
In the box with the keyboard was a repair docket stating name and telephone number and in notes "3rd repair please use better hdd as this has failed 3 times"

before I put anything on I scanned pc with various SpyBot Adaware CCleaner Regseeker and it found and deleted two nasties.
Will try and contact previous owner as to what he wants done with files

the letters are i would think serious as they are dr. related
the photos folders include a wedding folder and house repair among them -

all this from a well known name in pc selling

  PalaeoBill 09:22 26 Nov 2007

Just consider that the PC could have been a repossession before you go contacting the previous owner. You could be opening a bag of worms for yourself. I would deal with the supplier and let them handle it.

  Probabilitydrive 09:33 26 Nov 2007

Very unlikely that the previous owner(s) have not made a back-up of personal data - and no more personal than wedding pics -...

It is the responsibility of the previous owner to securely erase data before selling the machine on. Indeed, you might open all sorts of cans if you decide to take ownership of this discovered data. The owner might not pleased to be reminded of his/her shortcomings and what you might perceive as a gesture of good will is indeed not welcomed.

I would follow FE's advice of reformatting and getting on with your business.

  Seth Haniel 10:10 26 Nov 2007

just inform supplier that they have left sensitive data on drive - and delete said.

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