I want to sell an old laptop.

Discussion in 'Backup and Security' started by cashmoney69, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. I have this laptop I want to sell, but I want to wipe it clean of ALL personal items.

    Is there a way to return Windows to default settings?.. or is it possible to just erase the OS off the computer completely?
  2. cash - if you still have the discs you got when you purchased the laptop, there should be a quick and easy way to take it back to the way you got it when you bought it. That should wipe the harddrive.

    There's also programs out there that will do the same.
  3. free?...do you happen to know the names?..

    I'll check bestbuy later today.
  4. depends on how you define 'free'. I'm sure there are torrents out there with this stuff. I can't recall any specific programs now, perhaps someone here can suggest a couple.
  5. To clean the drive you need to use a program like eraser first.
  6. dcvtss


    The only way to be really sure personal data can not be recovered is to physically destroy the drive.
  7. sprstpd


    You want dban:

  8. hopback


    You don't need to destroy the HD.

    Run a low level format.
    It wites zeros across the entire disk.
    A 20 gig HD takes 3 to 4 hours.

    Go to the HD maker's website. Almost all have free HD tools you can download including a low level format.
  9. If you are concerned about identity theft, account numbers, etc. .....

    Due to the recent MIT study concerning data recovery from old hard drives, we decided that the only fool proof means of data removal was complete destruction of the disk platters.

    scanning tunneling microscope recovery techniques
    For this reason it is effectively impossible to sanitise storage locations by simple overwriting them, no matter how many overwrite passes are made or what data patterns are written. However by using the relatively simple methods presented in this paper the task of an attacker can be made significantly more difficult, if not prohibitively expensive.

    In the time since this paper was published, some people have treated the 35-pass overwrite technique described in it more as a kind of voodoo incantation ...


    with the ever-increasing data density on disk platters and a corresponding reduction in feature size and use of exotic techniques to record data on the medium, it's unlikely that anything can be recovered from any recent drive except perhaps one or two levels via basic error-cancelling techniques. In particular the the drives in use at the time that this paper was originally written have mostly fallen out of use, so the methods that applied specifically to the older, lower-density technology don't apply any more. Conversely, with modern high-density drives, even if you've got 10KB of sensitive data on a drive and can't erase it with 100% certainty, the chances of an adversary being able to find the erased traces of that 10KB in 80GB of other erased traces are close to zero.
    #10     Feb 23, 2007