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Windows 7: Must Return my Laptop,How to Delete Data?


20 Jan 2010   #11

Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Build 7600
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post

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.
OUCH!


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My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Jan 2010   #12

Windows 7 build 7100 x86
 
 

Remove said hard drive, wrap in thermite. Light thermite. Run for cover. Replace hard drive with new one.
Data deletion done!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2010   #13

7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
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.

Bud,

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.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Jan 2010   #14
Bud

Windows 7
 
 

Geeze, looks like I started a "fire storm". Sorry, like I said, what I know about computing, you could put it in a thimble. I just went about deleting everything by hand. Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2010   #15

7 Ultimate x64
 
 

The guys were just having a little fun with you... no harm intended I assure you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2010   #16

Windows 7 x64 (RTM via MSDN)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bud View Post
Geeze, looks like I started a "fire storm". Sorry, like I said, what I know about computing, you could put it in a thimble. I just went about deleting everything by hand. Thanks.
Bud,

Understand that simply deleting, using the delete key on the keyboard, does not really delete your data. All it does is mark the files so that they can be overwritten. All ove that data can be recovered very easily. Programs like ActiveKill actually overwrite the data so that it can't be recovered (at least not without great expense).

I have used D-Ban - do a google search - which also completely overwrites the entire hard drive. D-Ban, like ActiveKill, requires that you boot to it, so you need to run from a CD or USB boot device. This process is not difficult, but will require a bit of basic computer knowledge, like knowing how to burn an *.iso file to CD, how to set the bios to boot to the CD or USB device, etc.

I think that what you want to do is actually a great idea. Your hard disk is probably littered with little traces of visits to your banking website, on-line purchases, etc, that would be very difficult to find and manually remove. The retailer can simply load an OS image and get the lappy back to it's original configuration in less than an hour.

PhreePhly
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2010   #17

Windows 7 Ultimate Signature Edition
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by antt View Post
Remove said hard drive, wrap in thermite. Light thermite. Run for cover. Replace hard drive with new one.
Data deletion done!
thermite requires a very high temperature to ignite, a bic lighter won't do the job but a magnesium ribbon will... just a tip
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2010   #18

Vista Ultimate X64/ Windows 7 Dual-boot
 
 

You may want to check your terms of purchase 1st...wiping the drive May VOID your warranty...
But as stated above you can selectively delete folders/files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2010   #19
Bud

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fumz View Post
The guys were just having a little fun with you... no harm intended I assure you.
No offense taken. I might a little.
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 Must Return my Laptop,How to Delete Data?




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