I have a Compaq Presario laptop that I bought reconditioned back in early 2001. Windows 98 operating system.
It got infected with spyware/malware last October. My brower (IE) is permanently hijacked by about:blank and there is other junk on there that prevents me from downloading fixit software. I have tried using help sites like this (the Net Integration Forums) to fix things but have been very frustrated in this process.
In addition, the hardware holding the screen upright is shot.
The question is: presuming I should chalk the laptop up as a loss, how can I "clean" its hard drive so, if I chuck or donate it, all my old emails and files won't be accessible to future users? I have heard that the only way to ensure this is to physically damage the hard drive. Is this true?
Alternatively, if there is a way to fix the screen, add memory and install a new operating system and new browser (i.e, Mozilla/Firefox), can this laptop be saved and who can save it for me?
Thanks for any replies.