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Old 06-20-2010, 05:50 PM   #1
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Default data disposal

hi guys, i need some help, i got 2 old desktop pcs that have been laying around my spare room for years, i now need to clear the spare room but dont know what to do with these old pcs incase they have any sort of data or personal information on them, does anyone know how i can get rid of these in a safe way so no one who finds them could restore them and have al my details.
also which bit is it that stores such information, the hdd i think is one but is it also something like the ROM,
thanks for reading hope you can help
cheers
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Old 06-20-2010, 06:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: data disposal

You can always format the drive and when you stick the cd in your drive make sure it boots and then delete the drive partition and the information will be gone. thats the cheapest and easiest way to do it
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Old 06-20-2010, 06:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: data disposal

If the computers are operational, you can download a program called Active@ Kill Disk - Hard Drive Eraser. It will overwrite and destroy all data on the hard drives. You could also open up the computers, remove the hard drives, and then physically damage them beyond repair if you are truly concerned about anybody accessing the info on the drives.
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: data disposal

Lol if they are operational you could always open up a command prompt and type format c and it will wipe out every thing else and the active kill disk is also good
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Old 06-21-2010, 02:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: data disposal

HDs with the cover pulled off are great display pieces and also make cool mirrors.
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:59 AM   #6
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Default Re: data disposal

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Originally Posted by 4mattc View Post
Lol if they are operational you could always open up a command prompt and type format c and it will wipe out every thing else and the active kill disk is also good
trouble with formatting is that it only wipes the first bit of each sector so the data is usually recoverable using forensic recovery tools.

formatting to remove data is such a poor way to destroy data that you may as well not have even done it in the first place.

use a proper program to scrub disks so that data cannot be retrieved.
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:31 AM   #7
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Default Re: data disposal

Either destroy them beyond recovery or just keep the Hardrives.
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: data disposal

OP: ROM is read only memory, such as a disc or something containing info to be read (make sure you have got rid of any media like that too like CD's DVD's Flash Drives etc)

HDD's arent ROM, because they are built so that you can add and update and manipulate data on them frequently.

I have used the active kill disk - linked to by A.R above before. It write's all 0's to the Hard Drive, which is 100 times better than deleting partitions, If you can boot them up run that, or just smash em to tiny pieces for anger management!
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Old 06-21-2010, 03:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: data disposal

Quote:
trouble with formatting is that it only wipes the first bit of each sector so the data is usually recoverable using forensic recovery tools.

formatting to remove data is such a poor way to destroy data that you may as well not have even done it in the first place.

use a proper program to scrub disks so that data cannot be retrieved.
The other thing to note is even if you do completely change all the bits on the disk to 0, it's sometimes still possible using forensic recovery tools to work out what they were previously. Proper secure data wiping tools will usually set each bit to a random value several times, which makes it near physically impossible to recover the data.
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: data disposal

hi all thanks for the replies they been great, the machines are not operational (sorry forgot to mention it) so looks like my best bet is just to smash components to pieces, so my next question is which bits do i need to smash, what are the bits that store information and files etc is it just the hdd
thanks again
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