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Advice Needed: Selling Laptop is Format Needed for Security?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hey guys I have no experience selling a laptop. The OS was preinstalled at Best Buy and all I got with the laptop was a Recovery Disk. Will the Recovery Disk reinstall everything if I Format the HDD? Obviously I am concerned about the next owner running across any personal or sensitive data. But I also don't want the new owner to have a royal PITA getting the laptop back online etc.

Is it enough to just delete my stuff and account? Or will I need to Format the HDD?

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 9
Hi CD i personally run a DOD short wipe of DBAN before selling any HDD, the recovery disc will have all relevent drivers and software to get the lappy back to store bought condition
post #3 of 9
I reformat anything that contained data before selling it. You never know how much of a "techspert" the next guy is either, so I use a few different tools to write "junk" data over the entire drive. This prevents people from using file recovery tools on your drive.
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post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
So a full wipe and then run the Recovery disk and it's back to square one (minus the ten million Windows Updates of course)? Sounds like a plan. Thanks
Shop Dog
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post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by CyberDruid View Post
Hey guys I have no experience selling a laptop. The OS was preinstalled at Best Buy and all I got with the laptop was a Recovery Disk. Will the Recovery Disk reinstall everything if I Format the HDD? Obviously I am concerned about the next owner running across any personal or sensitive data. But I also don't want the new owner to have a royal PITA getting the laptop back online etc.

Is it enough to just delete my stuff and account? Or will I need to Format the HDD?

Thanks in advance.


I personally would shred all data on the drive using a live cd of linux and the following command:

shred -nzf 25 /dev/sda

Shred will shred all data
n is the number of times to do so
z is to overwrite verything with zeros
f is to do it forcefully

/dev/sda is your first hard drive.


This will erase everything and return the drive as if it were just bought from the store.

And the way it is erased is this:

erase and overwrite with zeros
erase, overwrite with zeros

it just continues to designated number of times.

No data will exist either.

The only downside:

I did 25 runs on my T43 40GB drive and it took 27 hours to do.


But to answer your question, yes whipping the drive is needed.
 
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Gsvlip Dudyrm
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post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Mmmmm fun.
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post #7 of 9
Ah, I was thinking about wiping the drive as well just to sell my laptop. Good advice though.
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post #8 of 9
If you format your drive, all that happens is the data is still there just scattered. You use a program and it can restore your drive back to its previous state....
 
Gsvlip Dudyrm
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Gsvlip Dudyrm
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post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by CyberDruid View Post
Hey guys I have no experience selling a laptop. The OS was preinstalled at Best Buy and all I got with the laptop was a Recovery Disk. Will the Recovery Disk reinstall everything if I Format the HDD? Obviously I am concerned about the next owner running across any personal or sensitive data. But I also don't want the new owner to have a royal PITA getting the laptop back online etc.

Is it enough to just delete my stuff and account? Or will I need to Format the HDD?

Thanks in advance.
You can do a zero-write to every sector on the HDD, and then do a OS restore to factory-state.

The most secure option, in my personal opinion, is to personally replace the hard-drive and keep the original one with data on it. Incurs cost, yes, but if you have data that absolutely cannot be exposed, then this is the way to go.
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