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Thread: Clear windows of personal info

  1. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    By using "External case" for harddrive you will be able always connect it to any USB port.
    You will need also look to what rights is setup for you account, if you desktop is pesonalize so it can be problem to access it if it will be used from other computer.

    But also you can use this tool
    for removing rights for locked files.

    Here is one link to one "External case" that I am also using by myself for backup
    // too far away outside of limit

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    I agree with Tiger Shark, I would sooner replace the drive with a new one, or run a few low level formats on it. Then reload windows. There are a couple programs out there that meet NSA specs for deleting data (if you REALLY are paranoid about anyone recovering files).
    Used to use one called Gov Wipe when working for the DoD. Takes awhile to run. Has the option to make 7+ format passes. Takes all day. There is also a freeware version that is pretty good called KillDisk:
    Not sure this is what you want to hear though considering you don't want to blow out the existing install.

  3. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    you may want to put in a DOS boot disk, load to command prompt and format the drive with the /u tag, this will take a while but will do a good job of getting rid of everything on the disk

    also download the MaxBlast 4 software from maxitor and use the Zero Fill drive utility *full one* to completley empty the drive

  4. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Pacific Northwest
    Originally posted here by Eyecre8
    ... or run a few low level formats on it...
    High-Level Formatting: This is the “format” or meaning that flows off the tongues of most. It creates the logical structures on the HDD and makes the disk ready to place the OS near the first sector. Completed after creating volumes (partitioning) on the HDD.

    Low-Level Formatting: Creates the actual physical structures on the HDD. Done only once at the manufacturer because of the complex nature of the structures on the modern drives. The older drives had the same number of sectors on the outer tracks as they did on the inner tracks. With the advance in technology we now have more sectors on the outer tracks than the inner ones. Google “Zoned Bit Recording” for an explanation. I would question any utility that claims it can complete a low-level format of a HDD while it’s on your computer. The drive controllers will laugh at the futile effort because they are designed not to allow it. Additionally, if it could be done, it would erase the “servos” on the tracks and the poor HDD Head would take a vacation because it wouldn’t know where to go to find the tracks. So read the documentation carefully before using. It may well be just a remapper.

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  5. #15
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Relyt is spot on, there is no "low level formatting" on modern drives.

    It all depends on how "personal" these data are.................after all a "new" HDD is not that expensive?

    You will have to reformat and reinstall for any semblance of security. I would then use a program that wipes "freespace" and then defragment.

    Please remember that there is all sorts of interesting stuff stored in your Windows swap file (page file)

  6. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    It is true that is there is no level formatting, because the FORMAT TRACK command was removed from the ATA specs. What is available today as some one else mentioned is writing zero's to hard drive. This will essentially write 0 to all the sectors of the disk. Do not use the format command in DOS, it essentailly formats only 0.01% of the hard disk. The best possible thing is to backup all the data and just use the zeroing utility from the manufacturer.


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