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Old 12-02-07, 11:02 AM   #1
madfiNch
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Selling my laptop

Hey. I want to sell my laptop. What do I do to ensure that all my information is off of it first?
Thanks.
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Old 12-02-07, 11:12 AM   #2
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Hey. I want to sell my laptop. What do I do to ensure that all my information is off of it first?
Thanks.
I'd probably just do a fresh install of windows unless you have government secrets on it.
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Old 12-02-07, 11:17 AM   #3
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You could always remove the HD, pass a big honking electromagnet across the HD, then microwave it. The data would be unrecoverable, but so would the HD.
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Old 12-02-07, 11:31 AM   #4
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This program works real well.

http://dban.sourceforge.net/
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Old 12-02-07, 11:38 AM   #5
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if you want to ENSURE that ALL your data is off your laptop, get a new hard drive, install windows (or your OS of choice) and then sell it. Thataway, you don't have to worry about your personal data AND you have a nice backup.
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Old 12-02-07, 11:48 AM   #6
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If you are really concerned, depending on the brand of laptop, swapping hard disks out for a new one (keeping the old one) is usually a matter of sliding a drive case out, putting the rails on the new drive from the old one, then stuffing the new one in the laptop.

IMHO, DBAN is pretty good. I use it when re-assigning hardware between people, shipping stuff between departments, and definitely when hardware is exiting the company/organization.

However, there IS a better way to erase the hard disk. Google on HDDErase. This is a program (though I've not used it) which uses the Secure Erase functionality found on every HD made since 2000 to low level erase everything that even DBAN may have missed (such as the bad sector relocation table.)

One reason I urge people to use whole disk encryption programs (PGP, Jetico) is that one doesn't need to scrub a hard disk completely when giving a machine to someone else, a quick zeroing of the drive will more than suffice.
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Old 12-02-07, 12:16 PM   #7
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http://www.jmtechsupport.com/software/os/reformat.html

http://ordway.umt.edu/sa/DCO/index.c...rmataHardDrive

http://www.cyberwalker.com/topic/36
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Old 12-02-07, 08:39 PM   #8
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Wipe the entire drive 10x, 1000x if you are paranoid, then use a factory restore CD to bring the laptop's software to "like new".

Good wipe utilities can be found all over the net.
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Old 12-02-07, 08:40 PM   #9
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Thanks, you guys. My laptop's recovery disk is the D drive. I think it's a partition. If I use any of your suggestions, will that wipe the partition off, too? I'll bet there's a way to make recovery disks before I clear the drive.
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Old 12-02-07, 08:53 PM   #10
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yes it will wipe that drive unless you make sure to only wipe the c partition (every lettered drive is a partition, and few laptops have more than one physical hard disk). Some wipe programs do whole drives only though....make sure before you use one.
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Old 12-02-07, 09:37 PM   #11
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Blow out all the secondary partitions and just leave a master partition consuming the entire drive size and then format it. They can then install the OS of their choice.
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Old 12-02-07, 09:55 PM   #12
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Thanks, you guys. My laptop's recovery disk is the D drive. I think it's a partition. If I use any of your suggestions, will that wipe the partition off, too? I'll bet there's a way to make recovery disks before I clear the drive.
All the tips stated will wipe that partition. I'd use Ghost or dd (if familar with UNIX), copy the partition off, do your wipes, then Ghost/dd it back in place, so the next user has access to it.

I personally copy off then delete the recovery partition once I get a new machine, but that's just personal taste, because I usually am using a non default OS (for example, I doubt low-end consumer machines would ship with Windows 2003 Server.)
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Old 12-02-07, 10:28 PM   #13
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I use the dban software when donating old computers from work. We also have a full blown degausser but that destroys the drive itself so it's only used for disposal of very sensitive data. It will wreck your pacemaker too according to the warning label.

For most drives the dban boot from a disk or cd-rom and run several times should be more than adequate. Someone would really want to get at your data to try and recover from there, and the standard person buying a used laptop with a 20-120gig drive off of Craig's list usually isn't that type. If you're paranoid buy a new drive or get another used drive that you don't care about data wise.
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