permanent deletion

  hector710 11:17 03 Mar 04

If I reformat my hard drive, then re-install Windows 98 SE, will this permanently delete any sensitive files I might have. (I am thinking of giving my old pc away to grandchildren.) I know this is to be discussed in the next magazine edition, but thought I would like reader's comments.

  Eric10 13:16 03 Mar 04

Reformatting your hard drive will remove your data from the average user but it would still be recoverable with data recovery software. Nothing will be popping up for your grandchildren to see without them actively trying to get at it and the necessary software usually costs a few hundred pounds.

If you want to go one step further then there is software available that will wipe your hard drive and overwrite existing data with meaningless junk to make recovery more difficult or even impossible. I have done a quick search in Google and have found a free program click here but I haven't tried it so I don't know how effective it is.

  Diemmess 13:27 03 Mar 04

Software to obliterate data on your HD is cheaper than software to recover data...... I believe that ordinary formatting only removes indexing data and part of the filenames..

"Formatting" is enough for most, but I wonder if your HD manufacturer's site offers a more vigorous (low level) format which would be enough in your case.

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