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Personal Info Remains on Old Hard Drives

Discussion in 'Bits & Bytes' started by ethics, Jan 16, 2003.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Or, as I would like to say, why you should never throw out your HD the old fashioned way.

    Full story.
  2. Paladin

    Paladin Have Gun -- Will Travel

  3. Scott

    Scott Some Assembly Required

    that's why i smash my old HDD's to pieces before i throw them out rofl

    <small>really-----i do. good to relieve tension, too ;)</small>
  4. Techie2000

    Techie2000 The crowd would sing:

    I like playing with magnets...:)
  5. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Paladin, I thought you were serious. Got my notepad ready, click on the link and was like... "Nah, can't be..." I am so stupid that I even clicked on the thumbnails.
  6. LissaKay

    LissaKay Oh ... Really???

    ::laughing and running like hell::

    [mover] :haha:[/mover]
  7. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    LOL Funny right?

    Hell, *I* was laughing at myself for taking Paladin serious there. But let me explain the roots of this issue.

    Back when I was a member at over yonder, I asked a question regarding the best way to kill your HD because DELL was coming over to swap the non-working with the working version. Well, up to the point where it worked, I had a LOT of personal stuff.

    Needless to say, the only way to kill HDD for sure is physically killing it. :)
  8. LissaKay

    LissaKay Oh ... Really???

    I like the microwave solution for securing old CD-Rs myself.
    Those turn out looking pretty cool ...
  9. Paladin

    Paladin Have Gun -- Will Travel

    I am always serious. As the article noted, even after a format the data can still be read. It can be read under an overwrite.

    For Other People's drives I will format, write a MPG over the whole drive. Repartition. Reformat. Write a different file over the whole drive. Repartition, Reformat. Write a third file over the whole drive. Format one last time and ship.

    My drives get pulled and toasted.
  10. Ravenink

    Ravenink Veteran Member

    actually it is funny you mention that. A week ago I had two hdd's die in one of my boxes (power supply was burning parts out). Maxtor sent me two replacement drives (this was before I figured out it was the ps), and when I put the first one in I was very surprised to find myself booting to windows chernobyl er..windows ME. When I got into the OS all of a guy's records and data were on there, including a desktop picture of his family. (his daughter is kinda cute...) apparently he hadn't bothered to do any formatting before the drive was sent to maxtor and sent back out as refurbished. Things on the drive included all of his passwords for banking sites, his checking acct and credit card #'s, his SSN, etc. I sent him an email explaining the situation and promptly formatted the drive since his image was doing me no good :) Hopefully he will be more cautious next time, the things a less scrupulous person could do with that kind of data...
  11. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006

    The gurus at the Compuserve hardware forum have been recommending that for years. Apparently it really is impossible to be sure info cannot be recovered no matter what else you do. So smash the things. As I recall it was old info on Oliver North's computer (or his secretary's) that got him in trouble.

    I haven't smashed any myself -- can't bring myself to do it. But I won't let old drives fall into anybody else's hands, either. I have a small but growing collection of replaced hard drives taking up space in a closet. Some day I'll have a smashing party. :happy:
  12. IamZed

    IamZed ...

    I use history kill to overwrite some parts of my drive 21 times with random data each time I shut down IE. There are tools that will do that to the entire drive. That will beat all forms of forensic science. Just one thing: it only works if the hard drive and computer work. Dispensing a bad drive or computer means its time for Mr. Sledgehammer.

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