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Giving Away A LapTop - Need Advice

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by LaraCroft, Nov 19, 2004.

  1. LaraCroft

    LaraCroft Tomb Raider

    Jul 23, 2003
    I have a fairly new Toshiba laptop that I no longer need and am going to give away.Before I do so I want to scrub the harddrive clean. Does anyone have any experience with programs such as Drive Scrubber from Iolo?
    Or can you recommend one?


    Iolo Drive Scrubber
  2. nam02G

    nam02G First throwing ax bullseye.

    Feb 4, 2002
    Vancouver USA
    From the DOS prompt type "format c:"

    ought to take care of it. :)

  3. LaraCroft

    LaraCroft Tomb Raider

    Jul 23, 2003
    Formatting does not eliminate all the data on your harddrive.
  4. potatoho


    Jul 26, 2002
    Port Orange, FL
    Does that Drive Scrubber leave the OS on there? I looked at the site and still can't tell. Not much of a product if you're left with a brick. To do nearly the same thing you could just run a destructive drive test on the BIOS or a seagate/wd utility floppy.

    If it leaves the OS on there and scrubs everything else, that'd be cool. A laptop without an OS would be expensive and troublesome to deal with.
  5. mrvmax


    Nov 5, 2003
    I've used the Norton "Wipe Info" from the Norton utilities and chose the governement wipe when I gave my old pc away. I wiped the whole hard drive. It is supposed to make it impossible to read what was written. I'm no computer guru though, maybe ask in the computer forum.
  6. jbutenhoff


    Mar 12, 2002
    Do you have any data that you would not want the new owner to have on the PC? 99.99999999999999% of people would not know how to restore data even after a plain jane shift delete, let alone after a format. I would first see if there was ever that confidential of information on the system.

    If there was just have the new owner buy a new laptop HD for ~50 to 100 bucks from and dispose of the old drive yourself.

  7. RWBlue


    Jan 24, 2004
    Option 1
    Use the install CD to do a reinstall
    Defrag the hard drive
    Give to friend,
    This will keep the average person from restoring your data.

    Option 2
    Take drive out,
    Smash drive, toss parts in the ocean
    buy new drive
    This keeps the NSA from restoring your data
  8. LaraCroft

    LaraCroft Tomb Raider

    Jul 23, 2003
    Yes I have confidential information on the laptop, hence the need to scrub it.

    I have done many system reinstalls, so they're no big deal.

    The computer I am giving away is a 4 month old Toshiba that I paid around $2400.00 for, so I think it's probably worth salvaging!

    Thanks though!!
  9. Heard a data-recovery specialist on an open line show state with 100% certainty that with enough time and the tools in his electronics lab, he could gather the data on an HD that was "wiped" by commercial methods. He said the governments have programs to erase data, but not available to the common man.

    His advice was to buy a replacement HD and swap them out.

    The bottom line is: if someone wants it badly enough, they can do it if you give it to them. Swap the drive out, destroy (by fire) the one with the sensitive data and you're in the clear.
  10. ColoradoPacker

    ColoradoPacker What's a Glock?

    Feb 9, 2004
    Colorado Rockies
    You can give it away to me without a hard drive, I don't mind :)
  11. Flex


    Nov 11, 2002

    NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! Unless you have to original install disk for the OS and software. There are two area's of concern. Data such as your files you've created ( you probably removed these already ) and deleted data which can be recovered. Commercial data-recovery and data-wiping programs are very weak. If you are not computer savvy, talk first to someone who is. I recovery data every week for people that didn't think it could be obtained, passwords, deleted files etc... But these are high-end forsensic tools not available to the general public. How much computer knowledge do you have?

    Flex ;f
  12. MrsKitty


    Mar 23, 2003
    I guess repartitioning won't help either?
  13. actionpup

    actionpup Psycho Pup!

    Dec 2, 2001
    You are more thoughtful than I. I took my last two notebooks out back and used them for target practice. It was hella-fun! A buddy of mine asked two days later though if I knew of anyone with a notebook for sale as he needed one for his new business. Felt guilty for not having them cleaned and giving them away. They had patient info on them however and I was nervous about the info surfacing.
  14. sgtlmj

    sgtlmj NRA Life Member Millennium Member

    Feb 23, 1999
    Second vote for dban. It wipes the drive then gives you the option of writing null data over the entire drive. You can chose from several algorithms which write random characters to the entire surface for multiple passes, depending on the standard you choose. Depending on the size of the drive this can take a couple of hours, so let it run and grab a frosty adult beverage or something.

    This checklist applies to DBAN version 1.

    Fast. Rapid deployment in emergency situations.
    Easy. Start the computer with DBAN and press the ENTER key.
    Safe. Irrecoverable data destruction. Prevents most forensic data recovery techniques.

    Wipe Methods

    Quick Erase
    Canadian RCMP TSSIT OPS-II Standard Wipe
    American DoD 5220-22.M Standard Wipe
    Gutmann Wipe
    PRNG Stream Wipe

    DBAN supports all Microsoft platforms and securely destroys FAT, VFAT, and NTFS filesytems.

    MS-DOS, Windows 3.1
    Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME
    Windows NT 3.0, Windows NT 3.1, Windows NT 3.5, Windows NT 4.0
    Windows 2000, Windows XP

    DBAN supports all unix platforms and securely destroys ReiserFS, EXT, and UFS filesystems.
    FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD
  15. Trebor


    Jun 22, 2002
    It is nice of you to give it away. I hope you can resolve your security issues.

    If ANYONE has a notebook they don't need, I could really use one for my free-lance writing biz. I just don't have the cash for one right now and it's keeping me from doing some assignments for my local paper. (The pay on the assignments isn't enough to justify buying a laptop on credit). I can get an OS if neccessary.

    Seriously, if anyone has an unneeded laptop, I'd give it a good home. The only thing I can promise is to "pay it forward" in the future.
  16. Give it me. Give it me.
  17. Liberty_MI

    Liberty_MI Was CWard

    Jan 30, 2003
  18. Cooper


    Jan 19, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    i haven't heard aefdisk mentioned. anybody have experience with that? it's what i've always used. i don't know how secure it is.

    if the info on there is so important that you're worried about somebody using a high end data retrieval program to get it back, you should physically destroy the drive. i don't know anybody that has ever used a program like that, and i'm pretty darn computer savvy. i think the only people you'd have to worry about would be the NSA, etc.
  19. Rare earth magnets should do the trick.