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    Selling a laptop

    Hi I am going to sell an old laptop on Ebay but I am concened about any data left on the Hard Drive I am going to format it and reinsall the original software will this remove any personal data that could be on there ?

    2 Comments

    Deleting and formatting doesn't remove the files, it only removes the 'flags' and says to the computer 'you can overwrite this if you want'. The file is still there and recoverable with software.
    I personally think people are too paranoid about this. In my opinion, someone who is likely to snoop and try and recover your deleted files is NOT likely to BUY your 2nd hand computer.
    Even so, if you're worried there is loads of 'wiping' software. Darik's boot and nuke is really good (and free). You put it on a cd, boot up and it destroys everything on your HD. The more secure you want it the longer it takes. The recommended auto setting wipes it three times and takes about 2 1/4 hours to do 40gb.
    dban.org/dow…oad

    Well a full format will overwrite your data but only once which isn't enough to ensure that it's destroyed beyond trace so it's a good idea to use one of the utilities like DBAN to wipe it.

    (a quick format or deleting the data destroys the references but not the data)
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