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(20 posts)

safely passing along used computers


  1. Ken.. sorry to direct this to you this way but i suspect other people might find this info useful too.

    hubby and i got new computers for christmas :)))

    but would like to pass along the old ones.. to you of course..

    hubby just used the HP destructive system recovery on my hard disk and realized that it is not destroying the data itself. the way i understand it is that is it destroying the pathway to the data...

    so.. how do we safely wipe a hard disc so that we can pass it along?

    oh.. and after you and whoever else wades in on this.. could you please contact me at joanne at brayden dot org so we can see if you want these relics?

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  2. Don't think you can safely wipe a hard drive. Most people say to destroy them if you have sensitive data on them

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  3. If you want to erase the entire drive, use a free source program called DBAN.
    http://www.dban.org/

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  4. First line of dban limitations "No guarantee that data is removed"

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  5. hubby used something called file shredder
    took an hour for each computer

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  6. There have been programs that will destroy drives since there were drives. You are correct that some erasures only destroy the file table, not the actual data, but there are plenty that wipe it all. Norton had one, open source has a few that meet a military spec for destruction, which is to write over every sector 3 times with 0's and then 1's.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  7. dban is an open source external drive wiper whereas you run it from a bootable CD, not within the operating system. It will wipe the entire drive including the operating system. Although known for its lack of documentation, it is, and has been, widely used throughout the industry. Be forewarned that depending on the size of the drive, securely wiping it can be very time consuming.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  8. Spring Chicken
    Member Profile

    Spring Chicken

    It's very easy to remove and dismantle the hard drive before donating the remaining components.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  9. the trouble with removing and dismantling the hard drive is that i pretty much renders the computer useless...
    as does using the magnet to erase the hard drive..

    hubby's video card failed but my PC was still slogging along when i replaced it...

    donating it to my local one man computer recycling program will help keep someone connected...

    and that's a good thing:)

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  10. I could ramble on this topic for hours... Pray that I do not.

    It boils down to the severity of the secret nature of the data.

    If you are concealing a crime or indiscretion or that second set of books the FBI has been looking for, then take the drive apart and fling each platter into separate bodies of seawater.

    If your just not wanting someone to find your quicken backup or tax return then the hp destructive is enough.

    Be aware that some systems cannot be restored fully to factory (OOB) status. Some vendors sell laptops and desktops that have restore disks that cannot recreate the original "restore" and diagnostics partition in the event of replacing a failed drive with a new blank one. You have to keep track of the recovery disks forever-after.

    This is important if you run Dban on a disk with a built in restore partition and do not have full reinstall image disks from your vendor, it will securely and irretrievably blank the parts you want blanked as well as the parts you still might need.

    HP always does a full restore since it sells mainly business systems and it is expected that they be regularly wiped and re-imaged with the company standard OS+apps image.

    There are several tedious to arcane methods of backing up and restoring just the recovery partition and also how to transfer or recreate an mbr or a (u)efi partition but you will need to google around a bit to find those if you're interested.

    If you really want to be destructive with the hp, you can run dban and just about any other program that calls itself a secure wipe and the hp recovery dvd is going to recreate the OOB (out of box) disk including recovery partition, efi if needed and the factory installed OS complete with bloatware, adware and (depending on the age of the system) you can get media programs that point to defunct web sites and cannot be uninstalled without hours of research, special software and a willingness to get deep in the registry.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  11. ken..

    i so hope we didn't get destructive though i can tell you that the original load including bloatware did pop back up on my PC after restore was run:(

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  12. http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/pc-decrapifier/

    I got a tool for that.

    :)

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  13. Yeah, just use Erasure or similar software to wipe the drive then put one of the free linux operating systems on it. If you're still worried, then remove the hard drive and use it as backup drive on your new computer. Give the computer to a recycling outfit or to your non-profit of choice. Used hard drives aren't hard to come by, nor free operating systems.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  14. Vstrom
    Ken is our local service for recycling used computers back into the community.
    if not for him many a WSB forum member couldn't participate :)

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  15. Vstrom: I use linux, bsd and osx as well as some old commercial Unixes when the hardware is suitable. But keeping old (and not so old) laptops out of the landfill and putting them in hands that can use them is my current focus. As long as the laptop comes with a perpetual license for an OS that is tied to the hardware, I will always try to keep that intact.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  16. Spring Chicken
    Member Profile

    Spring Chicken

    Oh sorry I thought Ken was Green Guy who recently posted about accepting scrap electronics. Good to know that people who need a computer can get one from Ken! thanks Ken

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  17. nope.. the green guy is who i would call for something Ken turned down ;->

    i am pretty sure there must be something ken would turn down:)

    i have been thinking of asking him about tablets...
    my latest upgrade have left a nook or two on the shelf.. one color with the tablet upgrade.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  18. Different strokes for different folks. Good luck, Ken, in your efforts.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  19. ok..
    now about those nook readers and tablets...
    any ideas for the same kind of recycling that Ken does for computers?

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  20. JoB possibly interested in buying your color tablet. email me at jimclarkphoto at gmail dot com

    Posted 1 year ago #         

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