Removing HD data permenantly.

  goffer23 12:43 26 Jan 2018

I wish to pass on an old Dell laptop using Windows 7 to a family member. Is it possible to remove safely all data and passwords whilst leaving the operating system and some of the programs installed in a workable state? I am a little wary because of instances where supposedly scrapped computers have had supposedly 'deleted' info reread from the HD. Any suggestions/help would be appreciated.

  beeuuem~2 15:43 26 Jan 2018

When you delete a file it only takes the name away. The file is still there, until it is overwritten, but without a name so you can't see it.

If you download and run Eraser from click here you can overwrite all the unused space so any deleted files cannot be recovered. The options tab in the programme will let you choose how many times you want to overwrite the space although, depending on what you choose, this will take a little time.

  Govan1x 17:46 26 Jan 2018

Setting it Back to factory settings maybe do the trick.

  alanrwood 18:52 26 Jan 2018

No it wont. Doing that first is sensible and then run Eraser..

  beeuuem~2 19:17 26 Jan 2018

If the OP does a factory restore he will lose any installed programmes.

Eraser is secure. I have tested a disk by recovering deleted files . After running Eraser the same programme could not find any deleted files to recover.

  goffer23 22:18 26 Jan 2018

Thanks very much for your input - I will follow the Eraser route which I think will give me the best outcome. Whilst I have the original system discs, I'm not sure of the outcome of a factory reset since the original HD has been replaced.

  john bunyan 22:27 26 Jan 2018

If you have CCleaner there Is a similar overwrite tool in that. Takes a long time for the 3 or 5 pass option.(After you have deleted the data etc you want)

  [DELETED] 00:02 27 Jan 2018

I'd buy another hard drive of same capacity and swap. Use the recovery disks to reset to factory settings. It will take some time for the updates to install but that will be your family members time, not yours. Use the original drive for your own benefit as a backup drive enclosed in a caddie.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Far Cry New Dawn preview

Adobe buys Substance Painter and Designer to bring 3D tools to Creative Cloud

How to stop your iPhone, iPad or Mac getting hacked

Comment regarder les Oscars 2019 ?