Used computers 'FULL OF SECRETS', what to do with your old hard drive..

  1. .FYI......An article in my Technology News titled "Sanitized hard drives still full of information". It says most hard drives that are functional, contain "significant personal information." Such as medical and pharmacological correspondence, love letters, pornograghy, credit card numbers, banking transactions, and ATM numbers and transactions. They said many people when they "trade in " their old hard drive thinks it will be sanitized, when actually they end up in trash heaps or in overseas secondary markets.
    "The only sure way to erase a hard drive is writing over the old information with new data, all zeros, for instance--- at least once and preferablby several times. Software, one called access-data works well and there are others. (But most people do not bother.)
    It says present computer systems were not designed to erase data easily. "Many users believe hard drive data can be deleted simply by sending files to the wastebasket or erasing them." Also, they said the Supreme Court has ruled the "right to privacy" does not exist on discarded items. The article says the sure way to protect your personal information is to either take a sledge hammer to your hard drive or bury it out in the back yard.
  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   CANRN
    what about reformatting a hard drive? That wipes out EVERYTHING including the operating system. I've done it to our old hard drive many times and everything is lost.
  4. by   passing thru
    From the article: " even formatting a drive may not do it. Fifty-one of the 129 working drives the authors acquired had been formatted but 19 of them contained recoverable data. The only sure way to erase a hard drive is to write over the old information with new data----all zeros, for instance----
    Approximately 40 % of formatted drives contained recoverable data.
  5. by   SandyB
    My husband accidently formatted my old hard drive. We had a professional restore the info....
    Glad I have a big back yard! I think I will be burying mine in the future.
  6. by   passing thru
    Briefly, what is formatting and how do you do it?
  7. by   passing thru
    P.S. The article said there are people PROWLING the landfills for them and/or paying the land fill workers $5 for each one they give them. "But, mostly, people are walking around municipal dumps and picking them up."
  8. by   renerian
    Yep reformat

  9. by   Mkue
    Originally posted by passing thru
    Briefly, what is formatting and how do you do it?
    I've never done it but it sounds much better than having to download everything again !
    Originally posted by mkue
    I've never done it but it sounds much better than having to download everything again !
    Um, reformatting kinda starts you all over. We've had to do it a couple of time, and we've lost almost everything almost everytime. So then you DO have to go back and get everything again. Address books, folders, everything is gone.

    Hubby just had to reformat, and I made him buy a second hard drive to do it on. Now we have 2, both with all of our info, so if one is gone, the other is back up.

  11. by   hapeewendy
    so the little nosey devils get to see the high quality porn I peruse
    big woop
    let them have a cheap thrill

    just kiddin, there is nothing exciting on this computer... sadly
    but I always have this idea that when I get a new computer , I'm gonna toss the computer off the roof of my apartment building, why? well no reason
  12. by   passing thru
    That's the spirit !! Me too ! Maybe bounce it off of a high bridge!.............. Uh........ Any pollutants in these things?
  13. by   night owl
    Don't bury them in your yard, bury them in your worst neighbor's yard. They contain lots of lead and other toxic stuff.
  14. by   SandyB
    LOL, I got just the right neighbor's yard....but that is another thread...LOL