Clearing Computer Data
What do you do with information on your old computer when it’s time to upgrade or pass along your system to someone else? Simply deleting files will not clean your hard drive. It will simply hide it from your operating system, and they can still be retrieved.

Before beginning, be sure to backup anything you want to keep. When the wipe is complete, there will be no way to retrieve files. Check your CD/DVD drive(s) for DVDs, system restore disks, application setup disks, or other media in your machine. Ensure that no USB flash drives or other devices are attached. Also, check if multiple drives exist on a single hard drive.

To permanently delete select files only, consider using a file shredder program such as Eraser, Freeraser, or Securely File Shredder, etc.

To completely wipe your entire hard drive, consider a program such as “Darik’s Boot and Nuke”. Keep in mind this can completely empty your drive, also removing the OS and programs.

If you don’t need your hard drive anymore, physically destroying it is the best way to prevent your data from falling into the wrong hands. It is still recommended to run a data wipe program first, then pull the hard drive out of the computer case and destroy it. Popular destruction methods include hammers, power drill, belt sanders, etc.


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