how to permanently erase your files before selling your laptop

Home  ›  Smart Hacks  ›  How to Permanently Erase Your Files Before Selling Your Laptop

How to Permanently Erase Your Files Before Selling Your Laptop

Most people keep some of their most personal information on their computers. They have passwords, bank information, and even their social security information. Many of which no one will ever see due to the fact not a lot of people have access to your computer. What happens when you sell your computer?  The information you have is some you do not want anybody else to have access to. So how do you get rid of these files so when you sell your laptop you do not have to worry about anyone having access to your life?

Deleting a file does not remove it from the hard drive. It marks the file as “available” to be overwritten and does not actually delete any data. The information is still available until it is overwritten. Even then, the original data can be recovered, if someone was determined to do so.

The only way to permanently delete files is to do a “secure erase,” which overwrites the data a minimum of 15 times with random patters of data. This will ensure that your information cannot be recovered, even by a computer forensics expert.

These are the three options to do a secure erase:

Step 1: Use the Cipher command (in Windows). Here is how you can access your Cipher program.

1. Close all programs.

2. Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then press ENTER.

3. Type cipher /w:driveletter:foldername, and then press ENTER.

Specify the drive and the folder that identifies the volume that contains the deleted data that you want to overwrite. Data that is not allocated to files or folders will be overwritten. This permanently removes the data. For example, if you have deleted files in folder c:SECRET, you would enter cipher /W:C:SECRET.  This process may take some time.

Step 2: Download and use a free program such as Eraser or Boot and Nuke. Alternatively, you can use a professional secure erase program such as Autoclave, Active@KillDisk, or Stellar Wipe Safe Data Eraser

These are all very effective ways of clearing the information off of your computer. These options are the only way to clear any and all information off of your hard drive permanently. You can be assured that no one will be able to gain access into your personal info once you have completed one of these options.

Image credited to

Other Posts