Can I safely give my old computer away?

Can I safely give my old computer away?

How can I make my computer SAFE to give away?

So, you have just bought yourself a nice new computer, and now you want to do something nice for someone, and give... away your old machine. It still works fine right? and would be ideal for a student or that kid down the block who doesnt have one.

BUT, what's the best way to make sure that none of my DATA is left on the old machine?...

I just read an article in Wikihow, and that's what's prompted me to write this post. A section of the article went as follows ..

"This means that, usually, rendering your computer completely free of personal information requires formatting its hard drive. •Formatting a hard drive is irreversible and will essential make your computer a "blank slate" - free of not just your personal data but of basically all data - so make absolutely sure you're done with your computer before doing this"....

ARE THEY SERIOUS!!!!.. Formatting a HDD will NOT make your old data safe, and as a matter of fact, we recover data and personal files from formatted HDD's all the time here at Precision. There are even a few free tools out there that will allow you to do this.

The ONLY way to make sure a computer you give away has NONE of your old data on it is to keep the HDD.
Alternatively you can use "digital Shredding" software (google it)...but even this is not always completey secure, particularly the free versions. Simply formatting the drive, using the "reset to factory" options, or reloading the OS will NOT remove your data. It will simply overwrite it...and any smart 10 yr old will be able to retrieve it if they are half clever.

So, REMEMBER, remove the HDD from any machine you give away, and if you intend to dispose of the drive, give it a good old fashioned whack with a hammer first...

See you next time...
Pete

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