Removing Info from HD

By GeekieNick101
Sep 13, 2006
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  1. Hey everyone,

    Ok this may seem confusing but I need to remove like all my internet files, Documents and Credit Card numbers so there is no way to find it becuase I have to send by computer back to Dell so they can safety capture it because since it turns itself on which is very strange and they feel that it is a fire hazard which it is because it overheats now and then and since it turns itself on when it feels like it it could cause a house fire. Which I totaly argee. And I really dont want the Dell technician have access or even find or use any of my information. Is there any free programs so I can loose all my internet records, word documents, credit card numbers etc. Becuase if I go to Internetexplor and delete all my internet files and history and favorites and get rid of my password etc they still could somehow find them right? I really dont need identity theft or someone snooping on what I buy and do online.
    So to make this short is there any free programs to get rid of all my perosnal info so they cant find it. And they told me not to restore my O/S so I cant do that. And I dont really want to pay for software to do it because im going to be shipping back the computer.

    Thanks very much everyone any sugestions would be greatly appreciated
  2. fastco

    fastco Newcomer, in training Posts: 1,511

  3. GeekieNick101

    GeekieNick101 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 524

    Ok Thank you very much but will it easre everything or just the stuff I dont want and if I uninstall it will it restore the files because I dont ant Dell knwoing all my info also if I use this progam will the dell tech be able to go into the registery and still find stuff?
  4. kathe

    kathe Newcomer, in training

  5. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,582

    some utiltys will do both a complete wipe or just a wipe to unwritten areas
    and or delete of specific file/folder
    steganos is one ,but they have no support,it does work from my tests
    it will do DOD and gutman the more yo udo the longer it takes
    acronis can do this to
    check around for soucreforge free apps ,just do some testing first and backup
    when your not sure
  6. GeekieNick101

    GeekieNick101 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 524

    Did I delete it or is it still there but hidden?

    Ok Thank you very much, but now I have a question I use I/E 7 and I selected it to delete files, cookies, history, forms and passwords, also I download and ran CCleaner and selected every option it had to delete things, I also went into system tools and ran a diskclean up. Now my question is since I did all those will my Info be gone or is it still in the registry? Can Dell still fin everything I did online and everything?
  7. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    Your files are still recoverable, although they appear 'gone' to Windows.

    If you are THIS concerned about your privacy, you should definitely consider 'zeroing' your drive (also known as low-level formatting), which deletes everything including your operating system. Download a manfucaturer's disk utility such as IBM's DFT to truly eliminate your personal info... And everything else.

    If you take your privacy very seriously, zeroing is the only option. No one can completely remove the personal information just by deleting files and registry settings. I'm sure there's plenty of personally identifiable material on your computer that you don't know about or don't know how to access.

    But all in all, as long as your credit card and SSN are deleted, there really shouldn't be anything to fret. Dell couldn't care less about your data, although an employee who is an identify thief could be taking advantage of his position and make your life a little more complicated. :)
  8. GeekieNick101

    GeekieNick101 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 524

    Thank you very much, I am concered so much is becuase of credit card numbers and bank records but I doubt they will commit identify thief but you never know. Well thank you very much.
  9. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    CCleaner should take care of your identity worries fairly well. For additional security, you can 'wipe' your free space once you've run CCleaner.
  10. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    there are many good wipe programs out there. Norton systemworks used to have a wipe program built in. However, I am aware of many free ones out there also.
  11. JMHar

    JMHar Newcomer, in training Posts: 38

    Here is my suggestion:
    1. clone an image of your laptop's HD to another drive. This way, when you get it back, you can either swap drives or copy the image to your laptop. This is a lot faster and easier than doing a complete reinstall of everything.
    2. Next, completely erase the laptop's HD using "Autoclave" For usage instructions click here. Select either options 3, 4, or 5 when asked, "With what level of confidence would you like to erase this disk?"
    3. Pack up the laptop and send it to Dell.

    That's what I would do.
     
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