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Disposal of Old Computers


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#1
Unreality

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Hey, my father and I have 2 very old computers we wish to throw out, and I was wondering what would be the best way to dispose of them. I've heard that you should remove and keep/wipe the harddrive, but other than that, is there any other hardware I should remove?

As for the computer itself, do I just dump it in the trash or is there an better way to dispose of it?

Thanks in advanced!
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#2
SpywareDr

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http://www.usedcompu...om/nonprof.html

?
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#3
Alzeimer

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If your old computers have any hardware that are compatible with your new one (ram, Video Card, Hard disk, CD/DVD-rom,any add on cards, PSU, Fans ect.) you can keep them in case you ever need replacements.

If you do not want to bother you can either send it to a computer recycling program in your area or you can give them to any program that reuses old pc and gives them to poor families with kids who cannot afford new computers.

As for your hard drives, there are many programs to delete completely any data on them (DBAN Auto Nuke, Maxblast ect) if your afraid of anybody stealing your data, or just a simple format will do the same trick.
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#4
Digerati

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Yes, wipe the hard drive. I prefer Eraser because is uses DBAN technology but with a GUI front end.

Then, call the Salvation Army (pretty sure it is them - if not, try Goodwill). They will come take your computers (wipe the drives again) and find a new home for them, or recycle the precious metals and other harmful to the environment stuff instead of dumping them into landfills.

BestBuy will also recycle almost all electronics for free - but I think there is a small fee for some monitors and big TVs.
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#5
SpywareDr

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... or just a simple format will do the same trick.

Wikipedia.org: Disk formatting > Recovery of data from a formatted disk
http://en.wikipedia...._formatted_disk

As with regular deletion, data on a disk is not fully destroyed during a high-level format. Instead, the area on the disk containing the data is merely marked as available (in whatever file system structure the format uses), and retains the old data until it is overwritten.
...
From the perspective of preventing the recovery of sensitive data through recovery tools, the data must either be completely overwritten (every sector) with random data before the format, or the format program itself must perform this overwriting, as the DOS FORMAT command did with floppy diskettes, filling every data sector with the byte value F6 in hex.


Wikipedia.org: Data erasure
http://en.wikipedia....ki/Data_erasure
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#6
Digerati

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I missed that - good catch SpywareDr. Yes a format will NOT do the trick. Formatting does not erase data anymore than deleting a file deletes the file. It does not delete anything. It only marks the space as free so it can be overwritten. The only way to fully remove data is to overwrite it, many times.
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#7
Alzeimer

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My favorite method is to format and then use Maxblast to overwrite the entire drive with 0000 and then reformat.

Only formating is good if you have only your OS install and nothing on it that is private.

ERASER is what I use to delete (7 pass) my files, I never use windows delete option. I even do a ERASE UNUSED SPACE once in a while just in case.
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#8
Digerati

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Only formating is good if you have only your OS install and nothing on it that is private.

That's not really true either - unless you just installed Windows and did not setup any user accounts or networking. The problem is, even if you tell your programs to install on a second drive or partition, portions are still installed on the boot drive. And some programs don't give you a choice, they install on the boot drive regardless. Outlook Express in Vista and earlier Windows versions installs on the boot drive. And finally, the Registry is on the boot drive.

So no, it is best to assume formatting is never good enough.

And Maxblast does not wipe anything. It is used to migrate your Windows and settings to a new Seagate or Maxtor harddrive.
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