Skip to comments.Consumer Reports: Wiping your old electronics clean
Posted on 12/24/2013 9:08:06 PM PST by Sir Napsalot
If you get new electronics for Christmas and want to pass your old ones to someone else, (snip) ..... Consumer Reports says it's important to remove your personal data before you get rid of any electronic device.
"Everything from financial documents to photos, you want to make sure to delete all that information before you give it or sell it to anyone else," said Rich Fisco, Consumer Reports.
On many tablets there are built-in ways to wipe your data.
For example, on the iPad, go to Settings and selected "General." Look for the "Reset" option.
In the next window, choose "Erase All Content" and "Settings." A box will appear. Hit "Erase," and you're done.
Many newer laptops also have built-in systems. Go to the "Settings" control panel and choose "Change PC Settings."
In the next window, click on "Recovery." Underneath the heading "Remove Everything" and "Reinstall Windows," click on "Get Started." In the box that comes up, click on "Fully Clean the Drive."
"If you don't have any ways built into the device that can securely wipe the data for you, you're going to have to use a third-party application," said Fisco.
Consumer Reports recommends D-BAN, which you can download for free at dban.org. It's easy to use and will take care erasing all your personal data.
You also want to erase all your personal information from old phones when you're done with them and even gaming systems.
(Excerpt) Read more at abclocal.go.com ...
Remove hard disk and roast on open flame bbq one hour.
For my laptops, I remove the hard drive and go target shooting with my 12 gauge...
Yeah, because destroying it and making your computer worth next to nothing makes so much more sense than just deleting the partition and re-creating it.
And whatever you do, for goodness sake, get rid of the doggy porn!
There are low level solutions / utilities that can read disk drives even after multiple over-write passes. It takes serious physical damage to subvert recovery.
d-ban is a great utility simply for resurrecting clean partitions.
BTW, as a practical matter, never give away or toss your drives.
You’re assuming the old drives have value.
New drives are very cheap. Your personal information is not.
Read the manual. Most have a simple procedure to reset everything back to the factory settings clearing out all saved data. Don't count on a dealer to do it for you.
Dr. Thinking’s Low Level Format With Extreme Prejudice: Open hard drive case, remove aluminum or glass platters (the actual disks), run through shredder.
I took it to the yard and watered it well.
In order to ensure there are no legacy bread crumbs of your data on a drive you need to Di-mil.
I use a product called “Eraser” and am constantly overwriting old files 7(DoD or Schnier. I mix em up) times and when it comes to give the thing to a needy person I take a dental pick to each bit and byte and then run Guttman(35 passes) over whatever is left.
I’ve tried to use various tools for recovery to ensure I zapped it clean and I haven’t been able to recover a thing after that.
I do the same thing on cell phones if I give one to a needy person.
I pull everything I want off, clean out any personal Ident’s, load it back up with a couple super large files, run a 7 pass to erase and finally a 35 pass on free storage.
If they can get anything off there then it’s theirs and they are better than me....never...
I have those instructions for my vehicles in the safe.
When I get rid of a vehicle I wipe it...
I suspect that both the ipod and windows methods described are NSA approved.
The idiot had deleted many files, but they truly aren't gone unless you do a wipe. I found and recovered numerous picture files of him with previous women. Apparently, the laptop had belonged to his previous girlfriend. Never told my wife's sister, but she's no angel and those two deserved each other!
Hard drives are cheap, so bust up and burn the old one when giving up a computer (or giving it to a new girlfriend).
Can a guy clean hard drives with a strong magnet?
Redhawk 44 Magnum. Nothing left worth anything. My favorite means of disposal.
Remember that when you restore the OS to factory, your files aren’t really gone and you have to do all the OS updates that have accumulated over the years all over again... Not safe and will consume a lot of time...
Hard drives are cheap. Destroy them.
I’m an oldster. I know little about the internal workings of a CPU. I have several towers from previous desktops dating back to my first one in 1997.
I’m in favor of destroying the hard drives on them all before turning them in for recycling or just setting them at the curb for others to pick up.
I have no idea what a hard drive looks like. How can I i.d. the hard drive in order to remove and destroy? A pic would be helpful. .........Thanks for any advice.
Most of the time there’s nothing worth all that hassle. Admittedly, I have a large stash of old HDD’s I’ve never gotten rid of, but it’s not out of fear/paranoia...more a knowledge that even a drive in somewhat iffy condition may save my ass eventually if the current one dies with no warning.
The older ones (PATA) will have a connector similar to one pictured here
newer drives will have a SATA connector like the red one on the right in the link above
OK, thanks. Good to know.
While everyone is worrying about what's on an old hard drive, all your personal info is already floating around in places where you have no control over it at all.
Store and restaurant records, Somali cleaning crews at bank headquarters (and losers on work-release programs), the government, credit card companies who are always being attacked by hackers, etc...
I just don't see anyone going to that much work to recover info after a drive has been re-partitioned. There are easier ways to get it if they want it that bad.
They do if you want that old PC to be worth anything at all! Especially if it's a few years old. Priced any IDE drives latley?
I buy stuff on ebay all the time, and the systems that don't have a drive and an OS don't sell for squat. No one wants them but idiots.
Remove hard disk and roast on open flame bbq one hour.
I would (1) low-level format, (2) write zeros TK00 to TKnn, (3) write ones TK00 to TKnn, (4)low-level format, (5) hit with hammer (*that* was satisfying), and (6)throw in dumpster.
Great tip! If I ever get a car with built in nav, i’ll make sure this is done. Thanks.
When I get rid of a PC , I take out the hard drive and smash it.
IMO nothing is ever really deleted.
Having said that, when I do eventually donate them to Salvation Army, Goodwill, or the like, I always yank the hard drives. I get the tax deduction for the computer whether it's got a hard drive or not, so why give away the hard drive.
As for the hard drives themselves, I would suggest that your course of action depends upon the value of the data stored on the drive. Yes, somebody can do forensics to recover data that has been deleted (there is a whole discipline on remenance security), but you have to ask the question: is somebody actually going to spend the time and effort to recover magnetic shadows on your drive?
For most anything that any of us do, just using a DOD-compliant wipe software will do the trick.
OTOH, if there is something on your hard drive that must absolutely, positively, 150% NEVER be seen by anybody (like something that would put you in jail for a long, long time if somebody was to see it), then you need to make the hard drive unrecoverable:
Somebody jokes about taking a shotgun to the hard drive...well, the magnetic images will still remain, even though the hard drive is no longer usable and those magnetic images could still be recovered.
Hammer followed by flames - the only way to have true Remanence security.
My shredder will actually shred the platters.
I ran software development for a company that processed over $100 billion in consumers loans a year. So I know all about data thieves. They hit you from every angle. Our data center had 1,300+ servers. When we replaced a server, we always took the drives out and smashed them before sending the server off to be "recycled" by some overseas company. Data thieves work all up and down the chain of data collection, storage, and disposal (even if they're "certified").
To be honest, I don’t replace my laptops until they are broken and unrepairable. Therefore, the hard drive (and all of my business and client data) is excess - because I ALWAYS back up the data!
Yeah, that'll do it. I've found ball peen hammers are useful as well, and quite satisfying in their own way, but I've got to admit, there is something about explosives.
Thank you so much for supplying the links with pics!
Your time to do so is much appreciated!
de nada. :^)