If You’re Planning On Selling Or Giving Away Your Computer…

By | September 27, 2014
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If you’re getting ready to sell or give away a computer there’ are two things you need to do:

1. Get rid of everything on your hard drive by wiping it with DBAN
2. Reinstall the operating system

You can get Darik’s Boot and Nuke (DBAN) from this link. Here is Darik’s description:

“Darik’s Boot and Nuke (“DBAN”) is a self-contained boot disk that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers. DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction. DBAN is a means of ensuring due diligence in computer recycling, a way of preventing identity theft if you want to sell a computer, and a good way to totally clean a Microsoft Windows installation of viruses and spyware.”

A word of caution. DBAN will totally obliterate everything on your hard drive and overwrite it with gibberish so nothing can ever be recovered from it even using forensic software. So make sure you’ve saved whatever you want to save before you use DBAN.

If you’re selling or giving away your old computer – it would be nice if you reinstalled Windows before you give it away or sell it. It won’t be of much use to anyone without an operating system on it — unless the person you’re selling it to or giving it to knows it won’t have an operating system. If you don’t have the Windows installation disk, use the manufacturer’s recovery partition to restore the computer to its factory state. Using DBAN only erases the operating system drive, usually C:\. All manufacturers who use recovery partitions put those partitions on separate drive. The separate drive  will not be erased by DBAN.

If you’re not sure how to use your recovery partition, visit your computer manufacturer’s web site and search for “recovery partition”.  Maybe that’s something you know anyway whether you’re selling your computer, giving it away or keeping it.

6 thoughts on “If You’re Planning On Selling Or Giving Away Your Computer…

  1. pb

    Just curious…..I know this Dban is free…..but I was wondering if you removed the memory and put in all new, wouldn’t that accomplish the same thing?

    1. infoave Post author

      Maybe Jeff was referencing your comment and not the article — RAM is random access memory, it’s not data per se. Windows uses RAM in various ways, like loading programs and so forth – so speed up your computer…but not getting into that here. The hard drive (s) store personal data, not RAM (memory) removing the ram and replacing it would leave every bit of data still on your hard drive (s) including sensitive and personal data.

  2. Jeff

    Sorry! no, the memory is wiped or cleared every time you reboot your computer. It is the hard drive that stores all your data and that is what has to be wiped with a program like DBAN, including any other hard drive or partition that you wish to remove all data from.
    LOL, Jeff.

    1. infoave Post author

      I have no idea as to what article you refer to, but we are talking about wiping he C:\ drive (Windows drive) using DBAn. The C:\ drive, unless I’m really crazy or really stupid is a hard drive.

  3. Carol

    Thanks for the info. I have an old computer I want to give away. You guys think of everything!

  4. Eddie

    Tell Jeff I’m ” fiixin to”, southern expression for “getting ready” to retire a HP6700 F computer. It’s still working,
    but old, 5 years in fact. Any way , if he will pay the shipping charge, I’d consider removing the hard drive and send it to him. He then could see the unit to which the letter “C” refers. On second thought though, perhaps I should keep my opinions to myself. He’s liable to pursue me, and I can’t run fast anymore. I sensed a little consternation in your
    reply, and honestly just picked up on it. You people are special in the true sense of the word. Stay that way. State it
    as it is “always”. Warm regards, and God bless. Eddie


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