Wiping my files from my Computer

Hi everyone,

My lease is up on my laptop at work and we will be issued with another one tomorrow. My current laptop will be returned to the leasing company.

I have been furiously backing up my files. Just wanting to know whether I should bother deleting all my files before I give the laptop back?

What is the fastest way to delete, and can files be dug up again if people go searching?

Would appreciate any ideas.

Regards Jason.
 
you should at least delete your files from hard drive
if there is no sensitive data there - you can probably leave it at that - otherwise i'd suggest going through hard drive with special programs that overwrite any info there with random zeros and ones. that will wipeout the OS though.
 
Hi everyone,

My lease is up on my laptop at work and we will be issued with another one tomorrow. My current laptop will be returned to the leasing company.

I have been furiously backing up my files. Just wanting to know whether I should bother deleting all my files before I give the laptop back?

What is the fastest way to delete, and can files be dug up again if people go searching?

Would appreciate any ideas.

Regards Jason.

"Every" file can be dug up again if someone wants.
Your emails settings should be deleted also with all your emails.
Do not forget sent and deleted emails:rolleyes:

At the very least format the hardrive,

System restore also is a problem,you can delete all you want and all someone has to do is restore and continue on with your life behind your back.

Stored passwords also are a problem.

Scan the internet for some information on this subject.

My suggestion is try and try to buy the computer off them or get another hardrive fitted at a computer shop.

This is more important than you can imagine.
I use this simple program as an everyday delete program.
This takes a long time to clean a hardrive as will any program,however good for those single files

http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file/fid,22393-order,4-c,harddisk/description.html
 
Here's another freebie - http://eraser.heidi.ie/

From the site -
"Eraser is an advanced security tool for Windows which allows you to completely remove sensitive data from your hard drive by overwriting it several times with carefully selected patterns. Works with Windows 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP, Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Server 2008.

Eraser is Free software and its source code is released under GNU General Public License."
 
We have leased equipment at work, all the pc's get wiped before going back. In a nutshell, you boot the computer from a cd/dvd with an operating system on it and format the harddrive then write a bunch of 01010 all over it a few times.

The amount of times and the complexity vary depending on how paranoid you are. Some sensitive organisations (police, military, some bits of gov) used to remove the hdd and cut them will angle grinder on physically destroy them with sledge hammer.

I tried data recovery a few years ago, you can easily read old information from a formated disk (even easier to read if just deleted), but once you over write the disk with something else, only once, it become very very difficult, expensive equipment and clean rooms.

Scrub the disk on the laptop!

cheers
Graeme
 
I tried data recovery a few years ago

Hi Graeme,

How much did this cost and can you recommend a company? I've never thrown out any of my (many) dead hard disks because I figure one day I'll get them recovered just for fun and see what files I had a decade ago. Probably mostly 90's porn.

-Ian
 
Hi Graeme,

How much did this cost and can you recommend a company? I've never thrown out any of my (many) dead hard disks because I figure one day I'll get them recovered just for fun and see what files I had a decade ago. Probably mostly 90's porn.

-Ian

I was playing with working drives, I checked pricing for dead/faulty drives about 10years ago, it just wasn't worth it.

The best suggestion I found was buy another drive on ebay, using your bathroom, steam it up to get the dust on the ground, then using your "clean" bathroom pull the platters out of your dead drive and put them into your 2nd hand identical drive, screw it all back together and see if it works.

PS Haven't tried it. I did find a similar process for moding your hard drive to put a perspecs window in it so you can watch in spin.

Cheers
Graeme
 
I was playing with working drives, I checked pricing for dead/faulty drives about 10years ago, it just wasn't worth it.

Yeah, last time I checked it wasn't worth it (around $2000 per drive), but I keep them because one day it will be. For me at least.
 
At the moment they can recover data back from 7 layers below current usage.
But that requires an electron microscope and unless you have something that the govt really wants and is prepared to do anything to get don't worry about it.

Currently the current rule is for highly classified data is to shred the hard drive in a commercial metal shredder.

If you want to really want to make the data non recoverable but not buy a new hard drive use use something like PGP or truecrypt to fully encrypt the hard drive using a large 50+ random character passphrase. then using disk erasure deleting the files and over writing all of the data on the disk using the military settings and clean up the slack space after. but on a modern large disk you more than likely won't have the disk ready for tomorrow or the next day.

If you want to just format the hard drive and you are using windows make sure you do a long format otherwise the short one just marks the disk as formated but doesn't actually format the disk.

Personally if your that worried I would buy a new disk and put it into the laptop then take the original disk apart and remove the disk platters get out the angle grinder and go over the platters with the grinder then drill holes in the platters.
 
Thanks everyone for your replies,

Quoll, I checked with work, and they do erase everything for us. I am not sure how thoroughly. My work files are non sensitive. The ones I was most worried about were my investment files which I have deleted, and someone being able to access passwords for my banking etc.

As an added precaution I will change my banking internet passwords. Do people think this will help??

Thanks everyone,

Most helpful. I now have my new lap top which is running windows 7. Interesting program. Anyone else using this?

Regards Jason.
 
As an added precaution I will change my banking internet passwords. Do people think this will help??
I dunno, but it's better to think it wasn't neccessary after you did it,
than find out is was neccessary after you didn't do it

for system restore, after all your account settings and passwords are gone
create a new restore point, then use system restore to delete all but the latest restore point
 
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