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View Full Version : Help on formatting a hard drive/personal info.?



SKing29
05-05-2006, 09:12 PM
Ok, I am preparing to sell my old computer and I want all of my personal information taken off. I have learned how to format my hard drive from websites, but my question to all of you is "Does re-formatting my hard drive and reinstalling Windows from a bootdisk get rid of my personal information?" Any help will be appreciated.

sdotbailey
05-05-2006, 09:14 PM
yes, it destroys any and everything on the drive

Celtkin
05-05-2006, 09:40 PM
Ok, I am preparing to sell my old computer and I want all of my personal information taken off. I have learned how to format my hard drive from websites, but my question to all of you is "Does re-formatting my hard drive and reinstalling Windows from a bootdisk get rid of my personal information?" Any help will be appreciated.

No it does not, at least not in a forensic sense. If you want to make sure that a normal person who buys the machine after you is not able to recover your Paypal passwords, then a simple format might work but the information is still there for someone determined enough to find it.

The only way to completely remove all data is to overwrite the entire drive 5-7 times with a random pattern. There are free utilities available to do that or you can F-Disk the hard drive with a low-level format several times.

Roman529
05-05-2006, 11:00 PM
I bought a disk drive "scrubber" for $29.....I'm not sure anything will completely erase a disk drive, but I think unless the FBI or NSA wants to read your drive you should be ok using one of these programs.

bullseyeguy
05-05-2006, 11:09 PM
Thanks for the info...*runs to erase all google searches on cyanide*

Roman529
05-05-2006, 11:38 PM
Thanks for the info...*runs to erase all google searches on cyanide*

Don't lie!!!! You want to get rid of all the porn on your hard drive huh? :lol: :wink:

bullseyeguy
05-06-2006, 12:09 AM
Don't lie!!!! You want to get rid of all the porn on your hard drive huh? :lol: :wink:Yeah right, what would I do with my free time if that was gone....

Megatron
05-06-2006, 01:19 AM
Yeah right, what would I do with my free time if that was gone....Download more porn?

bullseyeguy
05-06-2006, 01:22 AM
Download more porn?Yes, but what would I do while I was waiting for it to finish?

FIN-IN-RI
05-06-2006, 08:47 AM
I bought a disk drive "scrubber" for $29.....I'm not sure anything will completely erase a disk drive, but I think unless the FBI or NSA wants to read your drive you should be ok using one of these programs.

You didn't have to purchase that, as there are many free programs that will wipe your HDD clean using various techiniques that the DOD uses to wipe a drive.

Even still though, no matter how thoroughly you wipe a drive using the various swipe methods, if a good forensic analysis neede to be done, the only way you would be perfectly safe would be to pull the HDD apart and burn the physical layers into ashes. :2c:

Megatron
05-06-2006, 03:25 PM
Yes, but what would I do while I was waiting for it to finish?Read porno mags?

Megatron
05-06-2006, 03:30 PM
Actually every harddrive manufacturer has a program for doing just what you want. These programs will eradicate all data on the hard drive as well as the boot record. You would have to be quite an expert to get the data off, but it could be done in a data recovery lab. Not the type of thing someone getting a used computer can really perform. Oh yeah and just smashing the harddrive into splinters with a sledge is the best way to make sure no one can get your prescious data off of it, and let out some Office Space style rage at the same time.