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throwing away computers


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#1
mmckenna

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I need to throw away some old computers. I'm not sure of the operating systems or how old they are. I know that I do not have the recovery or boot discs for them. Is there any way to wipe the hard drive blank so I don't have to worry about information I may have left on the computer?
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#2
austin_o

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Hi and welcome to Geeks to Go. Google is your friend (or any other search engine for that matter) for stuff like this. I did a search for "wiping hard drive clean" and came up with...about 6,570,000 for wiping hard drive clean. Here is a good starting place
http://www.pcworld.c...d,110338,00.asp
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#3
Kemasa

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Check out:

http://dban.sourceforge.net/

Good program.

BTW, it is poor form to post multiple requests for the same topic:

http://www.geekstogo...showtopic=96133

Edited by Kemasa, 04 February 2006 - 04:40 PM.

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#4
Nait Dawg

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Uh....have you tried pulling the drives and plugging them into a new computer and formatting them? That whipes them without a program. And it's easy and really....really fast.
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#5
Kemasa

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Uh....have you tried pulling the drives and plugging them into a new computer and formatting them? That whipes them without a program. And it's easy and really....really fast.


Have you tried this and then looked to see what is written on the disk still? Unless you write each and every block, there is still data on the disk. Even if you overwrite the data, it can be recovered, but this is only an issue if someone like the government is after you.

When you delete a file, it is only marked as being deleted, but the data is still there. You can create a new filesystem and all the data is still there, except for what new data is written. If it is fast, it simply can not be erased as it takes quite some time to write several gigabytes of data.
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#6
Nait Dawg

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Thats only true if the information has just freshly been deleted. As time passes it becomes unrecoverable unless someone takes the drive appart and unwrites it. I do this stuff about twice a week. The longer you wait to recover deleted data the more it dissapears. What you are saying is true...but only for about three days. And unerase software is usually useless after 24 hours.
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#7
mmckenna

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I am going to try setting up one computer and attach the different hard drives into it to, erase the data. Thanks for the advise. I would have never thought of it. It is just a lot of work to get rid of these computers that I can not believe any one would really want anyway, they are all so outdated!! One of them I know has Windows 95 on it.
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#8
Kemasa

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Thats only true if the information has just freshly been deleted. As time passes it becomes unrecoverable unless someone takes the drive appart and unwrites it. I do this stuff about twice a week. The longer you wait to recover deleted data the more it dissapears. What you are saying is true...but only for about three days. And unerase software is usually useless after 24 hours.


Interesting. Deleted data goes bad after some period of time? That is a new one.

The amount of activity on the system makes a difference since if you are constantly creating files you can reuse the sectors. Even if the complete file is not able to be un-deleted, there is still data there. If there is not much activity on the machine it can be recovered for years. Time is not the factor, use is. There are a lot of factors, but the bottom line is that unless you wipe the disk there can still be data there.

I don't think that it is a good idea to give out incorrect and misleading information since if the person listens and has a problem, they might come looking to you by means of a lawsuit. Even if you win, you will lose when you consider the time, attorney fees, etc. Recreating a filesystem is quick and might stop a few people, it most certainly will not wipe out the data on the disk and therefore you should not tell people that is a way to protect their data.
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#9
Kemasa

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I am going to try setting up one computer and attach the different hard drives into it to, erase the data. Thanks for the advise. I would have never thought of it. It is just a lot of work to get rid of these computers that I can not believe any one would really want anyway, they are all so outdated!! One of them I know has Windows 95 on it.


Honestly, I think it would be easier and safer to just use the free program dban, but the main thing is to properly erase the data and you will need to use a program for that.

Unfortunately many people don't think of it and can end up with problems. You would be amazed at what information is on a machine.
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#10
JoeGuy

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if your throwing them away, just pull the HDs and throw them against a wall, no recovering after that
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#11
Kemasa

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if your throwing them away, just pull the HDs and throw them against a wall, no recovering after that


Actually, that is not correct, if you are willing to spend enough money.
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#12
macten

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I have used the above mentioned DBAN. It's easy to use and free.....
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