Protecting Hard drive

  Legolas 19:35 30 Jan 09

I am in the early stages of buying a new laptop so I will be selling my present one. Now I know that the safest way to stop anyone retrieving data from a hard drive is to smash it but given this is a laptop and I need to sell it intact this is not an option, so what is the next best thing to make sure that my hard drive is completely clean.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:40 30 Jan 09

Wipe totally with kill disk however if you are selling the laptop with the operating system perhaps you need to do a factory rest and then wipe the "empty space" to get rid of ant details.

  Legolas 19:43 30 Jan 09

The Laptop will be sold with XP Home. I would probably format do a clean install of XP and then kill disk. Should that do the trick?

  gazzaho 19:59 30 Jan 09

I tried East-Tec Eraser 2007 to wipe a USB external hard drive doing a Department Of Defense level wipe, I give up after 6 hours to get to 12% complete. Computers would be using quantum crystal matrix dooda storage with transfer speeds of 12TB per second for storing data and USB drives would be museum pieces before the thing finished wiping the drive.

I can see why Ministry laptops are found with sensitive information on them, no one wants to endure the wipe process!

  DieSse 20:04 30 Jan 09

Killdisk FIRST - this wipes the drive totally.

Then re-install XP.

Then it's as safe as houses.

And it's not the "next best thing" - it's the best thing. There's a lot of rubbish talked about data recovery. No-one will recover data from a disk wiped clean by a proper "write to zeroes" program.

  Rahere 21:10 30 Jan 09

Wipe the disc with Killdisk or DBAN and then install XP you should be fine.

Alternatively depending on the type of disk there's a secure wipe function built in to every ATA drive since 2001. Not tried this myself but the program is here: click here

PS Disk wiping can take time so to be sure that you have wiped a drive properly you have to let the program finish!!

  Legolas 21:29 30 Jan 09

Thanks for all the suggestions I have bookmarked the relevant sites. I am thinking of this laptop click here what do you all think?

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