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Author Topic: Erase Selected Files Securely  (Read 494 times)
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KC
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« on: May 14, 2011, 12:35:59 PM »

I bought my wife a budget laptop from Costco and after two weeks, she decided that it was too slow.  I can easily return it under the Costco return policy, but how do I erase the personal information (name, address, email, credit card numbers) that she input through the web browser?  Is there a way to safely delete only certain files before I return the laptop?

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Caine
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2011, 03:52:14 PM »

There is usually a restore disc that comes with a new computer which should format and reset the system back to factory defaults.  I would check there if you want to go the full route. 
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KC
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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2011, 05:02:16 PM »

i just figured out that you can use ccleaner to securely wipe the empty space on your HD.
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TiLT
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2011, 06:09:28 AM »

Quote from: Caine on May 14, 2011, 03:52:14 PM

There is usually a restore disc that comes with a new computer which should format and reset the system back to factory defaults.  I would check there if you want to go the full route. 

That's not good enough, as it won't really erase anything, except parts of the files that are overwritten by new one.

Eraser is a good, free tool for this purpose.
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Vidiot
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« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2011, 04:44:28 PM »

HDDErase works as well.  It will issue a secure erase command to the drive telling it to wipe itself by overwritting the entire span.  You will need to restore the OS afterwards.. and it would erase all partitions.. so make sure you have a restore CD.
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TiLT
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« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2011, 09:28:47 AM »

Quote from: Vidiot on May 20, 2011, 04:44:28 PM

HDDErase works as well.  It will issue a secure erase command to the drive telling it to wipe itself by overwritting the entire span.  You will need to restore the OS afterwards.. and it would erase all partitions.. so make sure you have a restore CD.

That's a bit overkill for the OP, I think. It's easier to just make sure everything you need to delete is deleted through the normal Windows interface, and then use Eraser to securely wipe all empty space on the drive. That doesn't mess with anything but files that are already deleted.
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Vidiot
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« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2011, 09:31:17 PM »

True, but sometimes you have to nuke them from orbit.
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