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My parents threw away the computer before I could wipe/destroy HDD. How screwed are we?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Computer was having problems. There was a factory reset. And they threw the computer away. We're not sure if someone picked it up or the garbage man did, but now its gone. What could happen?
post #2 of 7

It depends on what you had on the hard drive. If the computer was stolen for the purpose of trying to see what could be stolen off the hard drive (like personal data, credit card information, etc.), then you guys could be looking at some serious trouble. If it was stolen for the purposes of cleaning up and selling for extra cash, then you're in less trouble because the chances of someone buying the computer just to steal information off a formatted hard drive are lower. If it was picked up by the garbage man, then that still leaves open the possibility of someone digging through the landfill to find computers...

 

Am I assuming correctly that "factory reset" means the hard drive was formatted?

 

You should tell your parents that computers need to be RECYCLED and DESTROYED PROPERLY. Computers and computer-related equipment is NOT to be put in the landfill! Do they just throw away EVERYTHING? Good grief.


Edited by TwoCables - 10/21/15 at 8:46pm
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It's a computer!
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-2500K @ 4.5GHz (1.368-1.384V fixed voltage) ASUS P8P67 EVO B3 (UEFI ver. 1850) GTX 780 ASUS DirectCU II (1228 / 6300, 1.180V) G.SKILL Ripjaws X 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1866MHz, CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOptical Drive
250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (OS) 3 TB Toshiba P300 (storage) Samsung SH-S243N 24x DVD Burner Samsung SH-S203N 20X DVD Burner 
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Thermaltake Frio Win 7 Home Premium x64 SP1 Retail AOC G2460PG (24" 1920 x 1080 144Hz G-SYNC) Filco Majestouch 104-key Cherry MX Blues w/NKRO 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair HX650 (Bronze, ordered on 12-12-2009) CM 690 Intellimouse Optical (1.1A) 1000Hz polling rate Basic, but premium round 
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post #3 of 7
That depends on the knowledge of the person or people that picked it up, what you had stored on it and what kind of condition it's in.

If the PC was just slow, assume they will get everything that was on it.

If the PC had a failing hard drive, some data may not be recoverable by typical software.

If the hard drive was severely damaged a company like Gillware would charge hundreds or thousands to recover data from the drive.
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post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
This is really stressing me out. I don't think anything of value was saved on the computer BEFORE the factory wipe, since we did not have Microsoft Word. Everything was done online. I am not sure if my parents signed out of their email. I'm pretty sure they typed their credit card from time to time.

The reason I can't even say if it was a factory wipe. More like a factory reset. The computer was running slowly and my mom, for some reason, decided to do the restore. Even before, there may have been some important documents.

Who knows if there are passwords saved. Credit cards saved, Anything.

Edit: Definitely someone picked it up, not the garbage man.
Edited by Zarotu - 10/21/15 at 9:17pm
post #5 of 7

Most credit card companies are good at fraud prevention anyway.

It's a computer!
(18 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-2500K @ 4.5GHz (1.368-1.384V fixed voltage) ASUS P8P67 EVO B3 (UEFI ver. 1850) GTX 780 ASUS DirectCU II (1228 / 6300, 1.180V) G.SKILL Ripjaws X 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1866MHz, CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOptical Drive
250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (OS) 3 TB Toshiba P300 (storage) Samsung SH-S243N 24x DVD Burner Samsung SH-S203N 20X DVD Burner 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Thermaltake Frio Win 7 Home Premium x64 SP1 Retail AOC G2460PG (24" 1920 x 1080 144Hz G-SYNC) Filco Majestouch 104-key Cherry MX Blues w/NKRO 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair HX650 (Bronze, ordered on 12-12-2009) CM 690 Intellimouse Optical (1.1A) 1000Hz polling rate Basic, but premium round 
AudioAudio
X-Fi Titanium HD Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 (with 16 AWG Monster Cable... 
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It's a computer!
(18 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-2500K @ 4.5GHz (1.368-1.384V fixed voltage) ASUS P8P67 EVO B3 (UEFI ver. 1850) GTX 780 ASUS DirectCU II (1228 / 6300, 1.180V) G.SKILL Ripjaws X 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1866MHz, CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOptical Drive
250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (OS) 3 TB Toshiba P300 (storage) Samsung SH-S243N 24x DVD Burner Samsung SH-S203N 20X DVD Burner 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Thermaltake Frio Win 7 Home Premium x64 SP1 Retail AOC G2460PG (24" 1920 x 1080 144Hz G-SYNC) Filco Majestouch 104-key Cherry MX Blues w/NKRO 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair HX650 (Bronze, ordered on 12-12-2009) CM 690 Intellimouse Optical (1.1A) 1000Hz polling rate Basic, but premium round 
AudioAudio
X-Fi Titanium HD Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 (with 16 AWG Monster Cable... 
  hide details  
Reply
post #6 of 7
It's definitely a good idea to let your bank and credit companies know, change ALL of your passwords and take measures to secure anything else that might have been on the PC.
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
5820K X99-A EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SSC GSkill Ripjaw V 4x8GB 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 950 Pro 512GB Noctua NH-D15S 10 EDU 2x Dell U2715H 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
CM Storm gunmetal and browns Cooler Master V850 Cooler Master XB EVO Logitech G403 
Mouse PadAudioAudioOther
TECKNET Fluance SX6  S.M.S.L SA-60 Intel PRO/1000 PT Quad Port 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel Xeon E3-1225 V3 Gigabyte H81M-DS2V Crucial Ballistix Sport 2X2GB  Hitachi Deskstar 320GB 
CoolingOSPowerCase
Cryorig M9i pfSense Capstone 450W Rosewill RSV-L4500 
OtherOther
Intel 9301CT Intel 9301CT 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon E3-1225 V3 Asrock Rack C226 WS HD P4600 Crucial 16GB ECC  
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Crucial MX100  4 WD Red 2TB RAID 0+1 HGST Deskstar NAS 4TB Yep 
CoolingOSPowerCase
Stock Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Seasonic 450RM Rosewill RSV-L4500 
Other
Intel PRO/1000 PT Quad Port 
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Reply
So Quiet
(16 items)
 
Router
(10 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
5820K X99-A EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SSC GSkill Ripjaw V 4x8GB 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 950 Pro 512GB Noctua NH-D15S 10 EDU 2x Dell U2715H 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
CM Storm gunmetal and browns Cooler Master V850 Cooler Master XB EVO Logitech G403 
Mouse PadAudioAudioOther
TECKNET Fluance SX6  S.M.S.L SA-60 Intel PRO/1000 PT Quad Port 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel Xeon E3-1225 V3 Gigabyte H81M-DS2V Crucial Ballistix Sport 2X2GB  Hitachi Deskstar 320GB 
CoolingOSPowerCase
Cryorig M9i pfSense Capstone 450W Rosewill RSV-L4500 
OtherOther
Intel 9301CT Intel 9301CT 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon E3-1225 V3 Asrock Rack C226 WS HD P4600 Crucial 16GB ECC  
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Crucial MX100  4 WD Red 2TB RAID 0+1 HGST Deskstar NAS 4TB Yep 
CoolingOSPowerCase
Stock Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Seasonic 450RM Rosewill RSV-L4500 
Other
Intel PRO/1000 PT Quad Port 
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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trogdor View Post

It's definitely a good idea to let your bank and credit companies know, change ALL of your passwords and take measures to secure anything else that might have been on the PC.

Got it, my mom had that done. Thanks!
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