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Old 04-29-2005, 09:23 PM   #1
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Wiping Out the Hard Drive

Wondering if anyone can help?

Bought a new puter & don't know if I should erase/wipe out the old puter's hard drive. i.e. If I were to donate, sell it, or give it away, won't it still have all my personal info on the hard drive?

Not being paranoid here, just concerned about identity theft & personal info.

If I should, is there an easy way to do this? Thanks in advance.

P.S. I'm also a little bummed, cause I've got all my recipes I've collected for years on the old puter. Not sure how or if I can transfer them from a desktop to laptop -- they were on zip discs. New puter - no zip drive.


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Old 04-29-2005, 09:39 PM   #2
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Yes I would definitely wipe the hard drive. As a matter of fact I would never donate my own computer with the hard drive. I always take a hammer to my old hard drives to ensure I completely destroy any info on them. I do not want my personal info falling into the wrong hands. If you donate your computer then chances are you know who it is going to, but after they are done with it where is it going. There are people who go through the dumps looking for hard drives specifically (schools, detectives, and others) so they can practice retrieving information. I do not want my ssn#, bank info, or any other info falling into the wrong hands.

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Old 04-29-2005, 10:06 PM   #3
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Use the DOS-Prompt and type in the command - format c:

Another option you can use is to slave your old hard-drive to the one in your new computer. It should be plug and play. You just connect the extra power-cord and ribbon cable to your old hard drive and mount it in the appropriate brackets. Oh, wait. I just remembered, you have a new laptop. Scratch what I just said. In any case, your old computer shoud have a CD-ROM burner. And if not, it probably has high-speed USB ports. You can pick up an external hard drive and plug it in, or use a USB memory stick to copy your recipes and favorite files from your old hard drive onto. Then you can upload them into your new laptop.

You should have some tech. freinds around who can help you. Just be careful. And remember to format the old hard drive when you're done copying files.

Oh, one more idea; if you have a network card in your old machine, you can connect to your new machine with a network cable and copy files directly from one computer to the other. Again, find a techie-type freind to assist.

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Old 04-29-2005, 10:40 PM   #4
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the only way to completely wipe out a drive, short of destroying it with a hamer like gb suggested (just one more thing to like about the guy) is to do what's called a low level format of the drive. i don't think most operating systems have the software that is capable of low level, and i've never used a commercial software package, tho i've seen them advertised. i have a special drive evaluator/tester at work that can do it, but i still think it's best to remove and destroy the drive to be sure. it makes the donated system somewhat unuseable (until they find a suitable legacy drive), but why take a chance. leaving it in your system is just about the same as leaving the keys in your car with the windows down on the cross bronx expressway at 3am.
as far as transferring your files, there are lots of ways to connect 2 computers, from using the serial ports to setting up a mini network, if there's a nic card.
pm me mish, i might be able to help you out.
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Old 04-29-2005, 11:45 PM   #5
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computer genious Brother says WIPE IT OUT! i concur.
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Old 04-30-2005, 10:04 AM   #6
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If you use the format option, that computer will be dead from then on. You won't even be able to start it up again as even the operating system will be gone. so be sure you're done with it.

As far as your recipes go, you can take the Zips to a computer shop and have them put the files onto a CD for you.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 04-30-2005, 11:26 AM   #7
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Dh took our old Dell to CompUSA to have the hard drive erased before we donated it to the school system. There was a minimal charge.
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Old 04-30-2005, 11:45 AM   #8
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Thank you all for the great advice!

GB, a hammer? really? sounds good to me.

BT, hey, hey, hey - I lived in the Bronx (for 5 minutes). Maybe I could leave it on the Grand Concourse & let the cars drive over it Saw some transfer cables I'm considering buying, (thanks to all the ideas here). Then I can send it to Letterman for the "Will it Float segment..." OR tossing it into my pool might work.

Luvs, very thoughtful of you to ask someone for me.

Goodweed, great suggestions. Started reading up on the net, & read something to the effect formatting won't erase everything?

Andy, cool, I could transfer my zips...never occurred to me.

Let's start a topic - Top Ten Best Ways to Crash Your Hard Drive. But seriously, thank you all for your input.
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Old 04-30-2005, 12:40 PM   #9
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My husband will spend $80.00 to have his hard drive completely wiped clean - it's definately worth the price for what could happen. But GB's way works too And actually is probably the BEST way.

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Old 04-30-2005, 01:01 PM   #10
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No matter how well it is wiped the info is still there. It would take an absolute serious expert to recover the info in most cases so unless the feds are trying to get info on you then you are probably safe with a good wipe, but I like to take things to extremes
The CIA actually has a shredding machine that they use to destroy their old hard drives, but their info is a bit more sensitive than our bank account info LOL.

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