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Race it, Don't rice it!
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8,820 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to clean my old PC of everything but the OS so I can sell it without worry of someone maliciously using person info taken from it. I don't have a operating system disk so wiping out the OS and reinstalling isn't a good option. Has anyone used those evidence eraser programs before? Are they the best choice for a old 733 HP with ME?
 

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Just one of the guys
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3,074 Posts
I'd get ahold of someone that has an operating system disk. That way you can dump all the porn and feel safe.:D j/k

What happened to the original disk? And any bud close that you know is in to 'puters should have a system that matches yours so you can load it. Other than that most computers (older) will only bring just a few hundred so if there is a multitude of stuff on there just sledgehammer it and then you won't have to worry. There was a couple of programs out there that was supposed to totally erase the hardrive but supposedly did not do it and someone with the smarts could recover what was on there.
 

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Heart Breaker and Life Taker
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174 Posts
If someone got enough smarts and that machine,could still recover whatever is left behind even after an O/S wipe and reinstall,I know,I used to do that kind of thing. If you have something on there you don't want anybody else knowin about and don't feel comfortable about the drive being sold,take it out and have fun with it,or use it again. Yes,It will depreciate the value of the machine,but you take with it peace of mind.
 

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Race it, Don't rice it!
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8,820 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I went to Office Depot today to see what they offer and they have a program called Cleansweep. It's a program designed to erase the hard drive completely and you use a boot disk to reinstall the operating system. I think I can get more money from it buy leaving it ready to use I don't have a OS CD. Only the recovery disk that came with the computer when I bought it new five years ago.(selling keyboard, monitor, mouse, computer, wires and chords and small printer). The program Cost's $40 dollars. Seems If I ask two hundred I have to to get $240 to make it worth my while. I don't think I'll get that out of it. I thought about just keeping it and using it for a back up but that's what my laptop is for. I wish I had a few friends who knew more about computers.

I'd get ahold of someone that has an operating system disk. That way you can dump all the porn and feel safe. j/k
Porn the least of my worries. I don't want password info, credit card info, racing setups and strategies and membership info to...hotrodders...ooh what if someone erased my hotrodders....:mad:

Oops, hit the submit button too soon.

Anyway, What about those programs that rewrite over stuff 7 times so it's even harder to compulate it all?
 

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One of these days...soon
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327 Posts
Reformat the drive several times, Cruiseomatic is correct it is very easy to restore data from a hard drive, but is more difficult the more times it has been reformatted then go here http://fedora.redhat.com/download/
and download Linux Fedora3 Redhat OS to load onto it for an free OS and sell it as a Linux box, their are a lot of people out there very interested in checking out Linux.

Down side of this is their are also a lot of linux people very experienced in computer technology and it would be standard practice for them to scan a used hard drive to see what they can get off of it.

My suggestion would be to reformat the hard drive install Linux (free) learn something new, network your machines together, it is not that difficult and learn some networking and the capabilities of having your machines networked, I guess I look at having an extra machine as an opportunity for you, worth more than 200 bucks.

Sorry for the rambling, just giving my .02 cents.

406chevelle
 

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Registered
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50 Posts
Do a search for a utility called SDELETE. It will delete files to DOD (Department of Defense for the civilians out there) specs. You can also find formatting utilities that will format to DOD spec as well. You'd have to be a pretty serious forensics guy to recover something after using these tools.

Linux on old boxes is an excellent idea. Makes them usefully fast again for typical internet duties.

If you can't find it let me know. I know how important it is to protect those top secret racing set ups :)


Later....

Wally
 

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Race it, Don't rice it!
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8,820 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sooo, let me get his right, if I reformat the hard drive it erases everything from the drive. OS and all. If I do this say five times, the data will be sufficiently unrecoverable cept for maybe the dead serious hackers. These might be the same people who could get that info from else where pretty easily without your hard drive anyway. Meaning it's almost impossible to completely protect yourself.

I have with the computer when I bought it new, a System Recovery Disk. Can I reinstall windows ME from this disk(s)? Will I need to make a reboot disk as well? What's the difference between the Reboot Disk and a Recovery Disk and what you get if you buy a Operating System from Staples or Office Depot or wherever?
 

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Heart Breaker and Life Taker
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174 Posts
Like 4jaw said,take the Hardrive out,they're relitivly cheap to buy a new one and even easier to install. Or like ghetto said and take a good size magnet,That ALWAYS WORKS. Because the harddrive works off magnetic properties,Like a Cassete tape does. And when a program "re-writes" over something,Its taking the
" 1's and 0's ",erasing them,rewriting anouther set of ones and zeros,erasing them,re-writing anouther set,untill its finished. DOD standard is 7 times overwrite,but if you're real worried about information leaking out,do it as many times as the program will let you,or trash the drive. And you can't re-install an O/S from a recovery disk. The recovery disk is basicly a boot disc incase you catch a virus or you can't boot or the machine cant function,the restore disk helps you fix the problem. (Depending on what manufacture created the disk.) It could do a number of different things.
 

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Registered
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258 Posts
You can get lots of software out there to wipe files or free space to DOD specs. I would even guess that probably 3 times overwriting ones and zeros would probably be enough for your purposes. I use a program called file shredder for deleting stuff and then another one called free internet eraser for a general cleaning out of caches and log files it also can do 6 pass erasing of stuff in the recycle bin.

In the past I have used a program that can do even more that 7 passes, a bit extreme and I never had it do that many passes. Usually just would run it at DOD standards.
 

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Race it, Don't rice it!
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8,820 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I just ran across an old friend who will let me use his copy of windows 98. I think I'm just gonna reformat the drive and sell it. Maybe not perfect but I should think it's enough for the masses.
 
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