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Old 07-25-2008, 11:10 PM
 
2,766 posts, read 6,565,821 times
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Ok so I have a question for you computer experts out there. I'm going to sell a computer that I've been using for the last two years. It ran Windows XP, and so what I did was I used the Operating System Disc that came with it to wipe the drive clean and do a fresh install of XP.

So here's my question, can I safely sell this computer without anyone being able to find any old data or personal information?

I could not find anything old on there when I looked, it definitely looks to be in it's original state, but I've never done this with a hard drive before so I thought I'd ask.
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Old 07-26-2008, 02:28 AM
 
11,715 posts, read 36,341,277 times
Reputation: 7514
Reformatting and reloading Windows doesn't wipe the drive at all. It would be trivial to get lots of your data back with free tools found on the Internet.

Get this program: Darik's Boot And Nuke | Hard Drive Disk Wipe. It creates a CD that you boot your PC from and it spends a few hours overwriting your hard drive multiple times to truly erase your data.
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Old 07-26-2008, 11:16 AM
 
Location: United Kingdom
339 posts, read 1,149,538 times
Reputation: 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by EscapeCalifornia View Post
Reformatting and reloading Windows doesn't wipe the drive at all. It would be trivial to get lots of your data back with free tools found on the Internet.

Get this program: Darik's Boot And Nuke | Hard Drive Disk Wipe. It creates a CD that you boot your PC from and it spends a few hours overwriting your hard drive multiple times to truly erase your data.
Apparently the US army use this program (If my memory serves me correctly)

The best and most secure option is to remove the hard drive from the machine and buy a cheap replacement one.
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Old 07-26-2008, 05:15 PM
 
2,766 posts, read 6,565,821 times
Reputation: 1462
Quote:
Originally Posted by EscapeCalifornia View Post
Reformatting and reloading Windows doesn't wipe the drive at all. It would be trivial to get lots of your data back with free tools found on the Internet.

Get this program: Darik's Boot And Nuke | Hard Drive Disk Wipe. It creates a CD that you boot your PC from and it spends a few hours overwriting your hard drive multiple times to truly erase your data.
Thank you very much.

This is why it pays to ask if your unsure, never assume when it comes to personal information that can get into the wrong hands.
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Old 07-26-2008, 05:24 PM
 
3,219 posts, read 5,836,889 times
Reputation: 1839
Quote:
Originally Posted by collinsl View Post
Apparently the US army use this program (If my memory serves me correctly)

The best and most secure option is to remove the hard drive from the machine and buy a cheap replacement one.
US Department of Defense.
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