Andrew Sirianni

Are you looking to upgrade an old server; or perhaps it's time for you to get that shiny new laptop? Or are you simply upgrading older workstations? However you look at it, upgrading a computer means both getting a brand new computer and also off-loading an old computer. And no matter how much more exciting the new computer is, it's important that you "clean" your old computer before disposing of it.

Part of owning a computer is also the process of disposing of that computer. However, before disposing of a computer, it is important to ensure that your hard drive has been wiped of all your data - simply deleting/re-formating a hard drive will simply hide your data, but will not delete it. So before looking to dispose of your old computer, take these extra steps to help you ensure that all your data is truly gone.

Before continuing, I must emphasis that even when undertaking these additional steps, there is no guarantee that your data will be completely removed. Computer hardware is sophisticated, and experts who recover data for a living do have methods of retrieving data. However, using these steps will certainly provide you with added protection before disposing of your computer.

There are a number of methods to truly erase a hard drive. But if you, (or someone else), plans to re-use the hard drive, the only method available is to use software to destroy all the data on the disk.

If you are looking to remove all the data from the primary disk of a computer, you will need to use a bootable disc that can be run independent of the operating system - ensuring that all the data can be removed from the disk. A suitable option is DBAN which is easy to use and can be run from an executable CD-ROM.

Simply download the .ISO file and write it as an image to a CD ensuring that it is a bootable disk.

Once complete, start the computer with the CD in the CD-Drive and boot from the CD-Drive. You should then be able to follow the prompts to clean the disk. (An example of the screen shots are available at:

By going through the processes above, you will greatly increase the chances of protecting your personal data when disposing of a computer.


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