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Erase your old hard drives

July 18, 2005

Information Week reports that Seven out of ten used hard drives have recoverable data on them.  This is no joke if you are selling or discarding an old computer.

I always grab used computers from trash piles.  Not only is it a good source of usable parts, but I’ve built quite a few working computers for friends that way.  I always use a disk wiping utility to clean out the hard drive, though. 

The most recent example had a bad power supply – easily fixed – and when it booted up it plainly showed their kids’ Disney software, their Quicken financial data, and quite a bit of porn.  Glad to wipe that disk out!

Take care of your data, folks.  If necessary, pay to have it erased.

Categories: Stupidity
  1. Les
    August 4, 2005 at 10:57 | #1

    Depending on how paranoid you are folks might want to go even further than simply erasing their hard drive. If they intend to sell it they should make use of any of the number of programs that are designed to wipe a hard drive clean by writing random data to every single sector 7 times. This is enough to stop software data recovery programs that can handle corrupted file systems, but not enough to guarantee the data is irretrievable by some of the more advance manual methods the government has available.

    The best way to ensure that’s unlikely is to do the software wipe and then take your hard drive and drive a number of nails through the platters with a hammer. Of course, you can’t sell it then, but it pretty much guarantees that no one will be getting much of anything off of that hard drive.

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