cleaning a hard drive

i'm seriously thinking of selling my desktop and getting a laptop. its just taking up too much space, and with a new baby and a small hallway, the pram seems to take up room in the living room along with all the other child necessities we have.

soooo....what do i need to do to the harddrive before i sell it. obviously, i dont just want to erase it as i dont want to lose the windows xp installed on it.

rep given for a hassle free solution !!

21 Comments

If you want to clean it up, Use disk defragmenter, Crap Cleaner, and do a big virus scan it to make sure its near perfect and as fast as possible.

Transfer all your files to a external HDD if you have one

Did your PC come with recovery disks?
If so you should be able to use these to format and reinstall to factory settings.

Original Poster

would that stop any files being recovered afterwards??

Original Poster

unfortunately it didnt come with recovery discs (thanks pc world) it does have inbuilt restore and recovery though

The only sure way of stopping any files being recovered is to destroy your hard drive.

The best way to be sure that you've cleaned stuff up is to use something like 'boot and nuke' ( a swift Google will point you in the right direction). For most purposes, that'll clean any personal data for you, by zero writing the drive.

Which will also get rid of your OS. Your current backup install of XP, since you mention restore/recovery - is that on a seperate partition ? You may be able to get around it if so.

check in the free software section. Ultra wipe free utility for wiping full disc or files supposed to be to defence department standards

tonyd19565

check in the free software section. Ultra wipe free utility for wiping … check in the free software section. Ultra wipe free utility for wiping full disc or files supposed to be to defence department standards



This is the sort of Software you need,Although Ultra Wipe does sound a bit like a make of bog roll !!!.I use Cyber Scrub (Which sadly is not free though) and that is excellent.Any files/free disc space removed using that are no way recoverable.Apart from the cost it takes forever to wipe the free space of a drive at maximum security level using it.

What model PC is it?

If the PC has recovery partition you may be able to create bootable recovery disks then do a full disk clean/reinstall.

You may be able to create a bootable disk that uses the recovery partition to reinstall to factory settings on the main partition

There may be a restore to factory settings that will clean up but still leave some stuff recoverable.

If you have your xp licence then you could get some xp disks and reinstall from scratch but watch out for the drivers.

Thing is is there anything that really matters and is it likely that a new owner is actualy going to bother trying?

To be really save use a new disk and get an external USB enclosure for the existing one and use as backup for the new laptop.

Original Poster

my pc is an advent t11. i have within my start menu of xp a system recovery, which also prompts a system restore.
i'll guess i will check out programs mentioned. thanks.

I am reliably informed that data cannot be guaranteed to be removed by any means.

I asked the same question to a 'pc expert' who said as earlier posts commented the only sure fire way is to remove your hard drive.

They are not overly expensive now anyway and would give you peace of mind.

I guess it depends on how valuable the data you think maybe to someone else.

Personally I'd replace the hard drive.

Usually there is an option to create recovery disks, which will wipe the recovery information from the drive and put it all to CD.

If not, you should have had a Floppy Disk with the item which you can boot from that sets the recovery partition into action and will put the PC back to factory defaults with operating system and any included software in tact.

Original Poster

ok, so if i fitted a new harddrive, what would i need to do to install xp back on it? and would it validate. i have had my pc since new, i have the sticker on back and an xp booklet that also came with it. thats all.

In all honesty, I wouldn't worry about the deletion of files.

Format it using the recovery disk and don't worry about it. If someone is purchasing a ready made PC, especially a DSG branded PC, then they're hardly going to be the type to be going so much into recovering deleted information.

Might be a sweeping statement, but once the drive is formatted, it takes a lot of know how to get that information back (and even then it isn't guarenteed not to be corrupt).

Original Poster

well, its not like theres any valuable info on it, just um......:oops: well my gf would prob rather i made a secure deletion of some files lol.

Original Poster

Browni

Usually there is an option to create recovery disks, which will wipe the … Usually there is an option to create recovery disks, which will wipe the recovery information from the drive and put it all to CD.If not, you should have had a Floppy Disk with the item which you can boot from that sets the recovery partition into action and will put the PC back to factory defaults with operating system and any included software in tact.



no disc came with the pc. lucky i suppose, that in 2 n a half years it has never failed me.

shanecr

well, its not like theres any valuable info on it, just um......:oops: … well, its not like theres any valuable info on it, just um......:oops: well my gf would prob rather i made a secure deletion of some files lol.


Wheeey!

In that case, just delete them. Empty the recycle bin, then run this program to totally delete what has been deleted...

download.com/Res…0-1

What this does is allows you to retreive files you have deleted by mistake, but, it also has an option for totally deleting the files after they have been deleted from the recycle bin - if that makes sense.

Use this, it takes a while for total deletion, and then use the recovery disk.

They'll not be able to retreive them after that.

Edit - If there is no recovery disk, either create them using the software which should be on PC, or you can even contact PC Service Call (now the Tech Guys) to arrange sending some recovery discs (may charge you a tenner).

heidi.ie/era…er/

you may wish to consider using this free software

Original Poster

i just used the nsa method on ccleaner. is that any good?

shanecr

i just used the nsa method on ccleaner. is that any good?



dunno mate cos you'd need to clean the drive then use a professional HDD recovery software suite to see if it failed to recover any data..as said previously on this thread it is hardly likely that someone who bought your PC would go to great lengths to recover data ..well not unless you are a multi millionaire or in the secret service..LOL.

Original Poster

well i just found out its not very good at all, i just used the software mentioned by browni and all the files i deleted, i can recover lol.
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