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Old 10-27-2009, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Matthews, NC
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What model/make computer do you have? In the BIOS of some PCs there is an option to wipe the hard drive.
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:55 AM
 
460 posts, read 1,758,500 times
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When I first got the computer I knew I shouldn't have used it for banking and logging into various sites UNTIL i was sure I was going to keep it. Now I want to sell it and have problems

If I was to remove the hard drive do people sell used hard drives cheap that I can install and if I did that what happens to the systems that were in place when I bought the computer like windows o/s, windows media player, Nero, a free anti-virus program, and 1 or 2other things? Will they still be there or would the new used hard drve have to have them already on it?
Is it ok to buy a used hardrive?
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Old 10-28-2009, 04:49 AM
 
15,991 posts, read 9,041,335 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tripod View Post
When I first got the computer I knew I shouldn't have used it for banking and logging into various sites UNTIL i was sure I was going to keep it. Now I want to sell it and have problems

If I was to remove the hard drive do people sell used hard drives cheap that I can install and if I did that what happens to the systems that were in place when I bought the computer like windows o/s, windows media player, Nero, a free anti-virus program, and 1 or 2other things? Will they still be there or would the new used hard drve have to have them already on it?
Is it ok to buy a used hardrive?
Any software on your computer is installed on and runs from your hard disk, so as soon as you remove the hard disk, there will be no software left available anymore on that computer, no virus scanner, no Windows, no media players, nothing.

New hard disks are also empty, and I doubt anyone will sell you a used hard disk without deleting all its contents before - just the way you are trying to get rid of the contents on your drive before selling it.

In other words, you will have to reinstall Windows, be it after formatting your own drive, be it in case you buy a new or used drive from somebody else.

Don't you have any friends who could do that for you? From what you write I assume you know little of computers

After you ran dban before - even if somewhat unsuccessfully - does your computer still work normally in the first place? That would be kind of a miracle, frankly. If so, you might simply delete your personal stuff manually (i.e. the files and directories including passwords, documents, etc.) and sell your computer to an older woman or man, not to a young kid. This way you can be pretty sure he or she won't know how to undig any personal iinformation that might still lurk somewhere on your disk in a normally unaccessable way.
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:14 AM
 
460 posts, read 1,758,500 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuling View Post
Any software on your computer is installed on and runs from your hard disk, so as soon as you remove the hard disk, there will be no software left available anymore on that computer, no virus scanner, no Windows, no media players, nothing.

New hard disks are also empty, and I doubt anyone will sell you a used hard disk without deleting all its contents before - just the way you are trying to get rid of the contents on your drive before selling it.

In other words, you will have to reinstall Windows, be it after formatting your own drive, be it in case you buy a new or used drive from somebody else.

Don't you have any friends who could do that for you? From what you write I assume you know little of computers

After you ran dban before - even if somewhat unsuccessfully - does your computer still work normally in the first place? That would be kind of a miracle, frankly. If so, you might simply delete your personal stuff manually (i.e. the files and directories including passwords, documents, etc.) and sell your computer to an older woman or man, not to a young kid. This way you can be pretty sure he or she won't know how to undig any personal iinformation that might still lurk somewhere on your disk in a normally unaccessable way.

Yes I ran dban or eraser and it said everything was complete for 'local hard disk' but since everything was still there I wasn't sure if manually deleting everthing meant I was good to go. The computer looks and runs the same after twice running the 'eraser' program I downloaded from the dban site and each time it took a couple hours to run so unsure if I successfully overwritten all files on hard drive although after running 'eraser' it did say that task was completed.
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:22 AM
 
26 posts, read 61,043 times
Reputation: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by tripod View Post
When I first got the computer I knew I shouldn't have used it for banking and logging into various sites UNTIL i was sure I was going to keep it. Now I want to sell it and have problems
As has been said by several others: Buy an inexpensive hard drive!
A new one if you don't want to do the tasks you should on your own hard drive. I don't suggest a used one as, if something goes wrong, your sale might end up as a return!

If you want to bring yourself up to speed on these things then do these:

Freeware -Turbo Navigator - (Google) (V1.47 for XP, V1.46 for WinXX) allows you to erase files, directories, etc, giving you the option of wiping the files up to 99 times with, I think, random data, all zeros, all ones... You can also wipe the blank space (which usually isn't blank) with this program.

So you see, you can wipe the directories that contain important data: ie: where you keep your letters, etc. AND you can wipe your browser folders.
You can't delete your index.dat files - use CCleaner for that.

To cleanup FIRST use Freeware CCleaner (Google), it takes care of your browser files, cookies, history files, recent files, DAT files (copy of your history files) recent files, etc.

Make sure that you delete your bookmarks and their backups - export them first, of course!

There are two sub-directories that are often missed (besides temp and history) in the following:
NOTE: Substitute 'OWNER' with the name you gave as a USER.

c:\Documents and Settings\OWNER\Application Data\

c:\Documents and Settings\OWNER\Local Settings\

The Local Settings one is less troublesome thant the Application Data folders because CCleaner will take care of those (and many others), i.e.:

c:\Documents and Settings\OWNER\Local Settings\History\

c:\Documents and Settings\OWNER\Local Settings\Temp\

c:\Documents and Settings\OWNER\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\

When you think you are done you can easily test your hard drive to see which, if any, files can be retrieved: Freeware Recuva (Google)

If key files ARE able to be unerased then get a new hard drive: it's not worth the stress you seem to be going through...

By the way: I am not affiliated with any of the companies that provide the freeware I suggest. I have used these programs for YEARS and they are part of my 'Tool Kit' as I do a lot of PC fix-ups for my friends. Have been doing so for 35 years.

Freeware programs, on this topic only, that I have found very useful, after much trial and error, are:

Total Uninstall (Before and After Install)
CATHY (Google Cathy Vasicek)
CCLEANER
ERUNT
RECUVA
REGOPT (Comes with ERUNT)
SCANDIR
SysExporter
Turbo Navigator
UnLocker (Delete the un-delete-able file and more)

Just Google the file name unless I've added additional info after the name.

Also: A Google search for 'Windows really hidden files' will provide you with some interesting info if you're on a learning curve!

Good Luck!

Jimm in California

Last edited by PS Cobalt Blue; 10-29-2009 at 04:30 AM.. Reason: Clarification
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:09 AM
 
15,991 posts, read 9,041,335 times
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CCleaner can be useful, but please back up your registry (a very important part of your Windows OS) before using it. It can mess up your registry and thus computer. In that case you can simply import your old registry and hopefully restore your computer to a working order.
The problem with CCleaner is that it asks you about each issue it finds and one is tempted to say, ah, what the heck, just fix everything. But some issues are not really issues in the first place, but system-related oddities that CCleaner does not recognize.
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:34 AM
 
26 posts, read 61,043 times
Reputation: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuling View Post
CCleaner can be useful, but please back up your registry (a very important part of your Windows OS)
A very wise suggestion, Neuling!

That is exactly what ERUNT does - even backs up the critical files that are in use at the time which many utilities do not.

I use it to auto backup my registry every day. It creates a folder with the date as it's name, so, after a few weeks, I delete the other backups. I can restore my registry as it was yesterday or weeks ago! Use it ALL the time!

I also use Total Un-Install: it backs up the registry and other key files BEFORE you install a program and, if you want to un-install the program, it returns the registry to it's previous state as well as deletes any other files that the program has 'hidden' any place on your hard drive. Use it all the time, too!

Avira is an Anti-Virus Freeware program that I found works better than AVG. A few nag screens but well worth it!

Jimm in California
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Old 11-02-2009, 05:36 PM
 
460 posts, read 1,758,500 times
Reputation: 278
What about the Dban eraser program I used?? It took well over an hour and said everthing was erased but there on my screen are all my files so I'm a bit confused.

Should I put the computer up for sale without the hard drive and lower the price a few bucks to compensate?
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Old 11-02-2009, 06:01 PM
 
15,991 posts, read 9,041,335 times
Reputation: 6037
Quote:
Originally Posted by tripod View Post
What about the Dban eraser program I used?? It took well over an hour and said everthing was erased but there on my screen are all my files so I'm a bit confused.

Should I put the computer up for sale without the hard drive and lower the price a few bucks to compensate?
If you have a Windows or Linux CD for that computer, I would run dban (Boot & Nuke, not the Heidi Eraser) the way it is supposed to be run and then reinstall Windows or Linux on the clean system afterward.

If you can't or don't want to do that, you can't be sure critical stuff is gone from the disk. So yes, in that case you should probably remove the disk before selling the computer. But who will buy a computer without disk and OS?

Is that computer you are messing around with your only computer?
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Old 11-02-2009, 06:24 PM
 
460 posts, read 1,758,500 times
Reputation: 278
I'm running the eraser program again. I chose 'local disk' + 'Local hard drive' to be erased, cicked on 'Task' and clicked 'run all' and it's doing it's thing. I did that last week and when it was done all my files were still available to me so turned off computer thinking that might do it but when I turned it back on all the files and programs were still staring me in the face. Do I just simply need to erase each thing manually and I'm good to sell the computer with no concern for the hard drive? Before clicking/giving the ok to run the eraser program it did say that everthing chosen to erased would be lost forever and like mentioned I chose local disk + hard drive to be erased. Thanks for your help once again.
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