Wipe your hard drive before selling or giving your computer to someone

By | November 19, 2011
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Cloudeight InfoAve
Mark is going to give his old computer to a needy family and wonders how to wipe the hard drive
I’ve just purchased a new Windows 7 computer and I am going to give my old Windows Vista computer to a needy family in my neighborhood. I have a lot of sensitive information on my hard drive, and I know that just deleting the files is not the same as erasing them (thanks to your newsletters). Is there a way I can completely remove all data from my hard drive so that nothing can be recovered from it. It’s not that I don’t trust the family I’m giving it to, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. I for one, appreciate your newsletters and your honesty, and I will continue to donate to you as I can. Thanks again, Mark.

Our Answer
Thanks so much, Mark. It’s a very nice thing you’re doing by giving your computer to a family in need.

We’ve done a lot of research on this topic. We’ve found a free software program that many experts recommend as the only program that will completely remove every bit of data from your hard drive so that no forensics recovery software can recover any data from it.

If you’re going to sell your computer or give it away, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Make sure you’ve completely wiped the hard drive with a program called DBAN (Derek’s Boot and Nuke). It’s the only one that most experts agree completely erases all data so nothing can be recovered from your hard drive(s). If you’re selling your computer or giving it away, use DBAN to wipe the drive, then reinstall Windows. No one is going buy a computer without an operating system. If you’re giving it away, you’ll want to reinstall the operating system before you give it to them.

Here is some important information about the freeware program DBAN:

Derik’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. DBAN prevents or thoroughly hinders all known techniques of hard disk forensic analysis.

DBAN is a free software product that can be used at home or in a business at zero cost. The only official place to obtain DBAN is by download at this web site. We do not sell DBAN media.

You can download DBAN from here.

Warning! Do not use this program on your computer if you intend to keep using it! It will wipe everything off your hard drive! Use it before you sell or give your computer away – and AFTER you’ve saved everything you want to save from it. After you use this program, nothing will be retrievable from it.

After you’ve wiped your hard drive with DBAN, you can go ahead and reinstall Windows Vista on it so that the family you’re giving it to can use it right away.

We hope this helps! Thanks again, Mark.
Cloudeight InfoAve

One thought on “Wipe your hard drive before selling or giving your computer to someone

  1. Ron Warn

    Wow! I was thinking of doing the same thing as Mark plans to do. I’ll have to look into this free software and proceed from there, I guess. Thanks for the tip!!! You guys are definitely great at helping we neophytes – YES!!!

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