cleaning up hard drives

  bengo 08:43 20 Nov 03

I have just bought a new PC and before I sell the old one, I am transferring all the information from the old to the new. A couple of questions ;

1. To clean up the old PC before sale I will delete the following ;
My Documents
I.E. Favourites etc
Outlook Express Accounts/Address Book etc

Is there anything else, someone at work mentioned .PWL files as this is where passwords are kept ???

2. After deleting all this personal info, I intend to defrag and then rip some CD’s to fill the hard drive and then delete them, will this overwrite the information I deleted earlier ???

Any replies would be appreciated.

  Diodorus Siculus 08:47 20 Nov 03

Another option: fdisk and format the hdd and reinstall windows.

Formatting will not securely delete data - only make the space available when needed.

After that it depends on how valuable you think your data is / how paranoid you are about security and privacy. :-}

So you could get a free program like eraser and use it to erase the unused space on the hdd. Even use it before formatting to delete your data and then reinstall Windows.

  Diodorus Siculus 08:48 20 Nov 03

click here for Eraser.

  bengo 12:14 20 Nov 03

Diodorus Siculus
thanks for advice, don't really want to format as there are lots of useful progs on PC that new buyer wants and I dont really want to install, just want to make sure passwords etc are reasonably safe.

  pj123 13:03 20 Nov 03

You might need to clean up the Registry as well. I have a programme called Regclean that I downloaded for free but I don't know where I got it from now (it was a long time ago). But you could try this site click here

  bengo 13:44 20 Nov 03

Thanks for that, yes already have copy.
going back to the eraser prog, have now downloaded a copy, but have I got it right?
when I delete a file I know it is still on the drive, does eraser treat this as UNUSED SPACE and then overwrite it ???

  pj123 15:59 20 Nov 03

Don't know about eraser but once you have done everything you think you need do a defrag of the disk and that should overwrite any sectors for you.

  rawprawn 16:14 20 Nov 03

Eraser will delete all unused disc space securely. Just click the "on demand" button choose your drive & away you go. It will not touch prorams that you have left on your computer.A better prgram is Clean Disc Security click here it costs about £17 but it is good & multipupose.

  Diodorus Siculus 16:49 20 Nov 03

If you are not going down the format route, then uninstall anything unnecessary and then defrag. After that you can run the eraser program using hte option to clean all free space. Thus anything left on it will be made very difficult to recover. That level of security is more than enough.

  bengo 18:32 20 Nov 03

Many thanks everyone, will delete, defrag and then run eraser, that should leave it clean enough, not got any state secrets on it.

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