Selling a PC...advice of clearing out HDD data!

  Mowbli 10:39 08 Jul 2006

Hi, I m thinking of having a bit of a computer clearout. My intentions are to either sell the PCs on eBay or hand them over to a relative/fried who wants it.

I know that to be absolutely certain that data on the HDD is destroyed; I would probably need to burn the hard disk, smash it into billions of pieces and split them around the world. However, I don't think I can do that nor do I want to replace a new hard disk in them.

So what I want to know is - what sort of data software can erase the personal data from the PCs in the safest possible manner?

I ll be doing a complete clean system restore on them but what other applications can you recommend?

Thanks in advance! :)

  GANDALF <|:-)> 10:41 08 Jul 2006

Using the factory restore disk is sufficient for all my needs and yours....unless you a re a spook.


  SG Atlantis® 11:02 08 Jul 2006

Don't be so paranoid.

A destructive restore of the system back to factory settings will be fine.

The HDD will be reformatted during this process anyway.

Just do a disk defrag when it's finished.

  vinnyT 11:10 08 Jul 2006

eraser, From click here, will do what you want, it's prob overkill, but then I don't know what you store on your pc.

Hope this helps.

  ArrGee 12:39 08 Jul 2006

Either use the HDD manufacturer's own formatter, or use DBAN (free formatter) which you can download if you click here

What make of HDD do you have?

  Mowbli 14:06 08 Jul 2006

It's a Dell PC and a HP laptop.

Oh right, it just that I ve read all these articles regarding indentity theft because people were able to access/see the passwords from your computer HDD even though they have been deleted etc.

I suppose I was being a little paranoid lol, well I guess the job will be a lot easier just with a full system restore! :)

  Wendy J 12:55 17 Aug 2006

We just saw a clip on TV news indicating that the only way to be sure that personal data was not recoverable from the HDD was to destroy it totally. I understood it was pretty well impossible to recover data after reformatting the HDD, is this not so?

  Confab 13:11 17 Aug 2006

Data can be recovered from a hard drive that's been reformatted and defragged. All you need is something called a “low level format program”. This will overright the whole drive with 0’s or 1’s or a combination of both. I would check the website of your HD manufacturer first as quite often they will have a suitable program for you. If not just do a google search as there are quite a few out there. Remember that you will have to reinstall your O/S and software afterwards as this will be completely erased

You don’t need to be a shady character who surfs for pages where every ones cloths fall of to want to clean your H.D. I think its better to be safe than sorry.


  LANDCRUISER 15:15 17 Aug 2006

you should get a program to clean all your personel data when you get ride of your old pc,there was a program on tv where a guy took his pc to the council tip @ it ended up in india & africa where the were selling hard drives for £20 & were tapping in on his bank detailes & other personel things.

  johndrew 15:25 17 Aug 2006

If you only want to get rid of personal details/files and leave everything else functional you could use something like CyberScrub to destroy the data click here

  Bogbrain 16:35 17 Aug 2006

Use the kill disk software for which I've lost the link off hand . Use the great god google

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