Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic
Is the store going to take it back with an empty hard drive if you bought it with stuff on the hard drive? Maybe not.
Doesn't Active Kill Disk require operation from a boot disk of some type? That might be over this user's head.
If you REALLY DO want to erase the ENTIRE hard drive, it might be easier to identify your hard drive manufacturer, go to their web site, download their free drive utilities package and run it. They nearly always can write zeros to a drive to eliminate all data.
If you DON"T want to erase the entire drive, I'd guess you will have to restore it to factory retails specs, which would probably be done by a recovery disk or through a recovery partition on the drive.
If by "my data" you mean letters to grandma as opposed to something that might result in identity theft or doing 2 to 14 years in the electric chair, then just navigate to it and delete it.
Retailers have to delete and re-install the OS on returns anyway just to avoid the legal exposure that could arise by handing machines out with other people's data on it. Of course, shifty outfits like BB get into hot water for not doing this all the time, so it's best to cover your keister and wipe the drive yourself. Besides, another thing retailers like to do is charge customers for the OS install... so everyone wins... except of course the guy who's going to be buying this next.
Sorry I didn't clarify, I thought the link said it all. KillDisk is a free program that zero's the hard drive. In other words, it removes your data... all data. When you're done running the program the machine will have no data, no OS, no partitions, no nothing. It will be a clean drive.
It can be run off of a cd/dvd, usb or floppy drive. There are instructions for how to use each on the site. You just have to pick one which suits you, dl the corresponding program and then run it to create your media of choice disc/usb stick.
Once that's done, you just reboot with the media in place and follow the onscreen directions. Depending on the size of your drive, it could take 20 minutes to an hour or so?
This is a free version, so it will only write one pass. Meaning, if the CIA gets ahold of your machine... or any savvy computer user, they will still be able to retrieve your data... but... that's going down paranoid road... the geeks at your store not only won't care, but won't have the time to care as their only job is to get the unit back out onto the floor.