Erase files from external hard drive

By lerner ยท 6 replies
Sep 11, 2009
  1. Hi,
    my computer crashed and I want to erase some data from the hard drive before giving it to the repair shop. So, I took the hard drive out, put it in an enclosure and connected it to my laptop as an external harddrive. Both computers use Vista. I downloaded Eraser 5.8.7 and proceeded to use it on use it on the files of this HD but it does not work. The program does not tell me why but I sense it has to do with administrator permission. Also, II had a password on the drive.
    Can somebody tell me what to do to erase my personal files?
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Let the repair shop install a new hard drive and keep your old drive with you. When you get the repaired computer back, you can retrive your personal data from the old drive to the new drive
  3. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,020

    You need to be the Admin on the PC to run Eraser. What version of Vista are you running (Basic/Premium/etc.). What did you use to crate the password? If it was done within Windows, you may not be able to control it unless it's on the same PC. One option might be to copy the files to your laptop, and format the drive-full format.
  4. lerner

    lerner TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It is not the hard drive that needs repairing, but they say I need to send it in with the hard drive. Also, I could copy my files to my notebook computer and thus, I will be able to transfer them back when the computer is repaired.
    But now, I want to get rid of these files before I send it in. Too much danger these days with identity theft!
  5. lerner

    lerner TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Strategic,
    thanks for your post. I am the administrator on both computers. Both computers have the same Vista; I think it's called "Home Premium". Both have the same password (windows password). I have not tried to see if the program would let me wipe clean the whole drive. But I try this as a last resort.
  6. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,020

    Have you tried/considered trying the Eraser Portable? It my not make a difference, but with computers, you never know sometimes.
  7. lerner

    lerner TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi everybody,
    I found the problem and solution by playing around: I needed to change the permissions.
    On any folder of the external drive, right click, go properties, security, advanced. You will find that your working computer is only listed as "read and execute". So you pick "edit" and change it to "full control". After that, you can erase. Once I had discovered this, it worked like a charm.
    Thanks again for all your suggestions. Hope this helps others.
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