Personal Data - I want TOTAL erasure

  Bargee 19:59 12 Jan 04

Hi all,
I am planning on donating an old PC to a charity auction, but it still has personal data on its HDD. My idea was to reformat the HDD & load the OS so that the new recipient could start with a clean machine. Now I know that deleting the data on the HDD will not erase it permanently, nor will reformatting the drive.

I have heard that the only way to ensure that this data couldn't be recovered is by overwriting it. So is there some software out there that will do this or is there some other way to permanently erase data without damaging the drive?


  Gemma 20:11 12 Jan 04
  dave-jens 20:13 12 Jan 04

Er, I thought a format would erase it for most, unless your some IT expert "looking" to find out what was on a HD, like the forensic cops do investigating baddies!
I dont suppose your average person buying from a charity shop would be interested in such data!

  R4 20:16 12 Jan 04

Go to the HDD manifacturers site and download the Disk utilities; use the one that returnes that 'low level' formats the disk: then reformat and load OS

Or use Norton WIPE DISK utility in Norton utilities if yo have it.

find out the make of the drive and most have a utility to format the drive to a state when it left the factory

I think its called "Low level format"

pipped at the post again.

  Legolas 20:21 12 Jan 04

click here Autoclave is free and easy to use and totally deletes all data.

  Clint2 01:12 13 Jan 04

click here another freebie

  Bargee 14:32 13 Jan 04

Thanks all, extremely useful.

I will say to dave-jens that it doesn't take a genius or sophisticated tequniques to recover data from a re-formatted HDD. Nor does it require a certain type of nosey parker. All you need is the right recovery software (& most seem to be able to recover from a re-formatted HDD) along with an innocent data loss recovery operation to recover data that is not known to be there.

I simply don't want to take the risk or put the new owner into a potential embarassing situation for them (& NO! I don't have any filth on the HDD, at least none that I'm aware of. Hmm.. where's my Lost & Found...).

Cheers all.

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