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Securely wipe laptop

Discussion in 'Software' started by Vicario, 15 Jan 2021.

  1. Vicario

    Vicario

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    Can anyone recommend a program that will wipe (almost) everything from my old laptop's hard drive? I usually take out the drive and chisel it into bits when I dispose of a machine and then recycle everything, but I have an Acer which is only 5 years old and I'd like to give it to a neighbour's son who is doing his A-Level work on a very old laptop because his mum needs the Win10 one to do her work from home. Ideally I'd like the program to get rid of everything except Win10 and Office, plus my remaining few months' subscription to Norton.
    I really need to make sure that the personal files really have gone for good as I have some very confidential material on there (no funny comments please!).
     
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  3. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    The usual method is to deinstall everything unnecessary, delete sensitive files, then there are various utilities which will repeatedly write random characters to the free areas of the disk - to ensure nothing is left. Simply deleting, just deletes the entry in the catalogue, the actual data remains in the sectors and can be recovered.
     
  4. Vicario

    Vicario

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    Thanks Harry. Any utilities that you recommend?
     
  5. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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  6. Wayners

    Wayners

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    Darik's Boot and Nuke worked for me. Easy to use
     
  7. chalkywhite

    chalkywhite

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    Or install a new free OS such as Linux Mint, which has far less demands over the older kit
     
  8. rossj81

    rossj81

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    Deleting or uninstalling apps isn't required as a precursor unless it's the system volume.

    As an alternative to wiping the drive, you could encrypt it which achieves your primary objective and has security benefits for the new data. MS BitLocker (paid) or VeraCrypt (free) with the option to encrypt whole drive.
     
  9. mattylad

    mattylad

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    DBAN (boot and nuke) is highly reccomended for this.
    It does however take quite some time to complete it's tasks, so not something that's going to take 5 minutes - more like leave it working overnight.

    ON 2nd thoughts, DBAN will alos remove the OS which the OP does not want.
     
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  11. Old Salt

    Old Salt

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    I am currently using CCleaner (free) to wipe a drive partition and overwrite free space, having installed a new copy of win 10, prior to donating to a charity helping kids who are home schooling. 200 GB is taking about 8 hours.
     
  12. If it's currently on windows 10 then the file system may well be already encrypted. if you press the windows key and r together, then enter diskmgmt.msc then look at the file system if will tell you whether it's encrypted or not.
     
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  13. Mottie

    Mottie

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    Does anyone know of iPads can be used for those who are home schooling or must they be laptops? I have an unused 2nd gen 3G one at work and a lady that works with Mrs Mottie has two kids arguing over the one laptop. If they can be used I was going to ask Mrs Mottie to ask her if she wants it for her kids or is it just too old and clunky for that?
     
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  14. JohnD

    JohnD

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    on a related point, I have a Windows 10 laptop, and I can't unlock windows. I want to copy photos off it. Can I read the disk if I put it as a slave drive in my PC?
     
    Last edited: 17 Jan 2021
  15. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    Try all of the listed passwords?

    I have heard there are way to bypass the password. I suspect you will still need the password, even if you slave it -
     
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  16. Short answer: No, if encrypted which I think is the default.
     
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  17. Colin Brenton

    Colin Brenton

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    Forgotten and lost Windows login passwords... This comes up a lot, the one I used was a thing called Lazesoft Recovery Suite which did the job nicely. Google should find it.
     
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