Sunday, March 13, 2005

Tech Support -- Looking for Mr. Clean

We need to donate an old computer and I was wondering if anyone could suggest how to 'wipe' or 'sanitize' or otherwise delete personal information from the hard drive so that we don't become victims of identity theft. I have enough problems with my identity as it is -- I can't even decide on a profile picture, I think I've changed it three times in the last week or so.

One suggestion was a Norton Utility but that is no longer free, I'd really like to use something free, but there are so many choices and I don't what to do anything that will infect my computer (I'll have to download onto my new computer, save to disk and then use the disk to run the program on the old one. Unless, of course, I'm told I can't do that, at which point I guess I'd have to load MSN onto the old machine, if it can even run the program....)

So, I want a free, safe way to 'wipe' my computer. Just what a full-time mom needs, another thing to wipe....

I tried reading this, and I guess its trustworthy, but I was wondering if anyone out there had any suggestions.



david said...

If you are running Windows 98 or earlier (I'm not sure of ME) you could restart in DOS mode and reformat your harddrive. Then reinstall Windows.

There's likely an equivalent procedure in XP its just that DOS in XP ain't a real DOS so I don't think it will accept the commands.

david said...

Did I mention you will need a windows xd to reinstall windows?

dan-o-pinionated said...

I would agree with that kwak. (hehe couldn't resist).

You can create a Windows98 startup disk from the control panel.

Boot the computer with that disk in the floppy drive. When it boots to an a:\ just type in: format c: then hit enter.

The rest is self explanatory. Good luck

clanlally said...

Hi. OK...I am going to out myself. I am a computer geek. Friends of unclimber, format c: does not a clean hard drive make. I have recovered TONS of data off of hard drives that have been reformated. M is right, she needs something strong. Low-level format is what she needs. I have a few questions before you donate? Can you send me an email with details on the machine? Are you sure the people you wish to donate it to actually want it? (Ive had that problem as well.) Dont just do a format c: and give it away. :) Im sure I have opened a can of worms.