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Unsuccessul in permanently deleting old hard drive data

 
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Chas



Joined: 30 May 2011
Posts: 2
Location: Surrey

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 8:20 pm    Post subject: Unsuccessul in permanently deleting old hard drive data Reply with quote

I am donating a 5 year old laptop to a friend's daughter. it runs XP updated with SP3.
Over the years it has been used for some sensitive stuff including bank & credit carrd, etc. card accounts. Naturally I want to comlpetely erase this data. But I want to leave the operating system and the already paid for software on it.
I thought I was being clever using File Shredder for the remaining files and also its shred free space option to remove all the files that long ago got pushed out of the recycle bin (or that deliberately bypassed it). So I just ran UndeletePLus and was amazed to find hundreds of perfectly recoverable files, some just old spill-over from the recycle bin, others, what would normally be in hidden system folders leaving tracks to old software, websites, etc.
I recovered a few at random and was aghast at what personal information I found!
What am I doing wrong? I assumed all that would be left is the existing software and current operating system files. I assumed that shredding the free space would have removed all trace of old files and unused system files. How do I get down to just the basics a new user would need while ensuring my legacy data really is unrecoverable.
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JonS



Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 813
Location: Morecambe

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

use DBAN

http://www.dban.org/
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JonS



Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 813
Location: Morecambe

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

just a PS to this - I speed read your post and didn't realise you wanted to keep the operating system
Well the simple answer is - if you want to sanitise the drive you have to wipe everything. Theres no halfway house. DBAN will wipe it for you securely, but you'll have to reinstall windows etc afterwards
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Chas



Joined: 30 May 2011
Posts: 2
Location: Surrey

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. Yes DBAN would be the tool of choice, but the laptop wouldn't be a worthwhile second hand gift if the substantial array of existing software had to be replaced.
I have since tried CCleaner instead and it seems to have worked where File Shredder didn't. The identifiable and easily readable files are all gone, just a bunch of .Z files remain, whatever they are. I think for my purposes this is probably good enough.
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