Question about Dell Dimension 3000 PC Desktop

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Wiping a hard drive

Can you completely wipe a hard drive
I'd like to wipe my hard drive and give to computer to some one
can the geek squad do though?
do I bring my computer to bestbuy?
can they come to the house?

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  • Jeffrey Pemberton
    Jeffrey Pemberton May 11, 2010

    Do you want to just reformat the drive the drive? This will remove the operating system, check for errors and make the system ready for a new operating system install. If that's what you want to do it's quite easy and can be done by you at no charge. Completely wipe means something different in the pc world. It means to actually wipe the hard drive of all information that was previously there. If you reformat a drive, before another person installs an operating system, a very good expert who knows what they're doing could possibly pull personal information from the drive. If you are not really worried about this, usually doesn't happen except in the rarest of cases, the reformat is the way to go. Let me know and maybe I can save you some money by telling you how to reformat the drive yourself. Thanks.



    Jeff

  • Pauleen Smith
    Pauleen Smith Sep 26, 2012

    Hello Jeff can you tell me how to reformat my laptop

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Use AOMEI Partition Assistant to erase the data completely on your computer before you give it to someone. http://www.extend-partition.com/help/wipe-data.html

Posted on Jan 25, 2013

If your computer is running kind of sluggish, you can fix it with an easy clean up of your registry. Here's a link to a free scan that works well:
www.your-free-info.com/RegCure
I've used this one and it sped up my computer by quite a bit. Hopefully this helps.

Posted on May 10, 2008

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Hi,

The following are the instructions to wipe out the hard drive.

Turn off the system.

Then turn on the system and immediately when you see the Dell logo, press & hold the control key & f11(function key 11).

It will initiate the pc restore option in the Dell system.

PC Restore will restore the system to the factory installed conditions(OS,Drivers & applicatiopn came with the computer).

If no pc restoe available try the softwares

http://killdisk.com/

http://www.heidi.ie/eraser/

Good Luck.

Live, Love, Laugh.

Posted on May 10, 2008

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How to Wipe, Degauss, or Destroy Data on a Hard Drive


You own a computer and then purchased a new one. After moving all of your important data to the new computer and deciding to sell or donate the old computer you are faced with the question of deleting the data or destroying the hard drive. One one hand, if you delete the data and reinstall the operating system the next owner can quickly use the computer. If you destroy the hard drive, another drive would have to be installed for the computer to be useful again. 
What if the hard drive lands into the wrong hands? Your tax return, financial records, intimate photos, and more could be used against you. 

With the 2007 NBA Playoffs on TV this month, an interesting connection has arose. It seems the San Antonio Spurs guard, Bruce Bowen, and his wife have filed a lawsuit against a local computer firm when their hard drive and data ended up on another person's computer. The recipient of the hard drive contacted Mr. Bowen and informed him of the breach of privacy. To read more about this incident visit the news article. As a computer consultant myself, I see a huge breach of computer privacy with this case and I foresee Mr. Bowen winning the lawsuit easily.  


Now what can you do to avoid a similar situation as Mr. Bowen's? First you have to decide if you want to permanently erase the data or destroy the drive. If you decide to permanently erase the data, you have several options. However let's go over what you DON'T want to do.
Don't just delete your data and empty the recycle bin
Don't just format the hard drive
Don't just format and reinstall Windows or another operating system
Why don't you want to do the above? It seems this would be enough to make sure your data isn't compromised.

Let's take a step back and understand how data is stored on a hard drive. When information is written to a drive, the location of the information is stored in a file that resembles a table of contents for a book, On computers running DOS and Windows operating systems, the File Allocation Table (FAT) or the Master File Table (MFT) holds this information. When a file is deleted, the FAT or MFT table is updated to tell the computer the space on the hard drive is available, however the actual data is not deleted until it is overwritten with new data. This is why you read about computer forensic teams, the FBI, and other law enforcement being able to recover data to solve crimes or incriminate individuals. Using software undelete tools, you can restore files that were accidentally or otherwise deleted. In more severe case, services such as Drive Savers are used to recover data that has been physically or electronically destroyed. 

Baring any of these extra efforts, you can use the procedures below to erase or destroy your data so the average individual won't be able to recover anything from your computer hard drive.

Using Wipe Utilities

In order to prevent data from being recovered, you should use data wiping software to completely erase the information to Department of Defense (DOD) standards. I recommend the following free tools to sanitize or wipe a hard drive of information:

Darik's Boot and Nuke - a program that can be booted from floppy or CD to completely erase a hard drive
Eraser by Heidi Computers Limited
Active@ KillDisk
If you plan on giving your computer away, selling it, or otherwise disposing of it, please destroy the data on it by using one of the above wiping utilities. 

Degaussing a Hard Drive

An extra step is to degauss the hard drive. Degaussing is a process whereby the magnetic media is erased using a reverse magnetic field to scramble the electronic data and make it unreadable. Unfortunately degaussing machines are rather expensive ($2000.00 or more) and are not realistic purchases for the average consumer. However, you can send your hard drive to a degaussing company like Garner Products or SEM and for a few dollars can have your hard drive completely degaussed and/or destroyed. If your data security is important enough, this is a wise step.

Physically Destroying a Hard Drive

Physically destroying a hard drive is by far the most effective method for the average person to ensure the safety of their data. However, please wear protective glasses and other gear if you decide to physically destroy a drive yourself. It can be a dangerous activity that I don't recommend to everyone. Also, as a precaution, wrap the hard drive in a towel so the parts don't fly off and do more damage.

Whether its smashing the hard drive with a sledgehammer, drilling holes into the drive, tearing the drive apart and destroying the platters, shredding the drive, or other methods your sensitive data will be safe. 

For the most security, I recommend doing as many of the above procedures (wiping the drive, degaussing it, and destroying it) as you can. If a drive is wiped, degaussed, and destroyed the chances of recovering the data is almost nil.

Conclusion

If a computer store, consultant, or other qualified computer tech tells you your hard drive is crashed and the data is unrecoverable, ask for them to return the original drive to you. This way you can physically destroy and dispose of the drive to your satisfaction and avoid situations like Mr. Bowen's where your data suddenly appears on someone else's computer screen.

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