Wiping a PC clean

Discussion in 'Computers & Website Forum' started by TomVols, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. TomVols

    TomVols
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    I just bought a new Dell laptop and the old one I have is going on the market. I want to wipe it clean first. What's the best way to do that for a prospective new owner?
     
  2. rdwhite

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    More than likely for your purposes, just re-install the Operating System. That will be the easiest, it will clean off all your stuff and give them a clean system to start with.
     
  3. rbell

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    if you have any friends with access to the program Window Washer...there's a "boot erase disk" utility on there that wipes clean all previous data, and I've heard it's the most thorough erase and 'bleach' out there.

    Window Washer was on a computer we "inherited" where I serve. I used the boot disk and cleaned a couple of machines. I asked one of our resource guys (IT types, much smarter than me) if it was 'clean;" he said it was "quite clean."
     
  4. Revmitchell

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    You cannot get any cleaner than that and there is no chance of passing on personal info.
     
  5. TomVols

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    It's that simple? Reinstall the operating system? That will erase all my data?
     
  6. Revmitchell

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    yep........................
     
  7. rdwhite

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    Yes, but make sure you are doing a full re-install that reformats the hard drive and not just a system restore.
     
  8. Trotter

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    If you want to be completely sure, use either Boot and Nuke or Killdisk.

    DBAN (Boot and Nuke) is used by Canadian government to wipe their stuff, while Killdisk conforms to the US DoD standards for data removal.

    Boot and Nuke

    Killdisk

    Both are free for home use. I have used Killdisk several times myself.
     
  9. Kevin M

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    Just reinstalling your operating system won't work.
    I have heard there are many hackers out there that
    can use programs to retrieve data.

    I believe you must get something that will overwrite your
    hard drive several times. I think the DoD use to overwrite
    theirs 7 or 9 times.
     
  10. rdwhite

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    If you are that concerned, just buy a new hard drive and install the OS. Keep your existing hard drive and convert it to an external.

    We were given several desktops from the local SSA and they used a government wipe program. Two of the machines were wiped so clean I think it corrupted the Bios or something. I am not able to boot the machines at all, I might need to flash the Bios, but that is something I have never done before. The other machine was able to boot and took an OS install. But ever other time I turn the machine on, it won't boot up, I have to hard shut down and turn it back on.

    So anyway, if you wipe the thing too clean, it may not be worth selling.
     
  11. Revmitchell

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    What makes one want to use this. What kind of problems arise that requires this?
     
  12. rbell

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    A man from my hometown bought used computers and got personal information off the old ones, and stole the identities of several people.

    Granted, that's not an everyday case, but it happens.

    HERE"S an example.

    And hey...if you can get a free utility that makes that scenario impossible...why not use it?
     
    #12 rbell, Aug 24, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2009
  13. Trotter

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    rbell is right. I have a friend who is into computer forensics and have heard how he can pull stuff up from previous installations. Unless it is a new drive I will always use one of these to wipe it before I sell or give it away.
     
  14. Magnetic Poles

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    Exactly right. Boot & Nuke is one I have used.
     

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