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2,808 Tutorials

How to safely dispose of an old PC

Migrate from PC to PC in safety

3. The Secure Erase utility is quicker than DBAN, taking about half the time a block-erasing utility would to delete the same data. It uses the built-in Disk Drive Secure Erase command that's part of almost every hard drive's firmware.

Step 3: Clean up a hard drive before you dump it

4. When not losing laptops in pubs, the government grinds retired disks into tiny bits to protect data. Commercial shredders will do the same, but at a price. Instead, take a hammer to your disk. Brute force won't put your disk beyond professional data-recoverers, but will prevent most data theft.

Step 4: Clean up a hard drive before you dump it

5. Encrypt a file before you delete it and it won't be easy to decrypt the data. Destroy the encryption key and the chances are no one else will be able to decrypt them either. Again, this is one to use for day-to-day data destruction. However, you are unlikely to be specifically targeted by thieves.

Step 5: Clean up a hard drive before you dump it

6. You could buy a third-party encryption tool, but with certain Windows versions you don't have to. To use XP Pro's built-in encryption, right-click the files or folders you want to encrypt. Choose Properties, Advanced, tick the box for ‘Encrypt contents to secure data' and click ok. The same feature works in Vista.

Step 6: Clean up a hard drive before you dump it

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