How to Securely Wipe Your Data from Your Old PC

February 25, 2015

Data Destruction with Hammer

In an age where identity theft is on the rise, most computer owners don’t want to make it easy for hackers to gain access to their files. Yet they regularly make the mistake of selling or discarding an old PC without effectively wiping the data off of the hard drive, and this can mean that computer techs can easily get access to that data, and read it. It may not even be necessary to use technology to read data, as any new owner of the machine could simply read the information from files which still exist on the desktop. In order to protect yourself, you need to securely wipe that data from your PC.

If you have Windows 8, then the good news is that you can wipe it easily, as there is a feature built into the ‘reset PC’ feature. You will see a message saying ‘fully clean drive’. Clicking yes allows the computer to overwrite the whole drive with junk info, and then reinstall the OS over the top of this. If any computer tech does remove the OS, all that is left will be garbage.

If you don’t have Windows 8, then you will have to wipe your data manually. Windows programs before 8 need to have a disk-wiping tool installed onto the computer, and then run prior to reinstalling your OS. The disk-wiping tool operates in the same way as the Windows 8 program, just covering your disk with junk data. This is still the best way to remove your info from an old computer.

If you have external drives that you wish to discard, then you will also need to wipe these. This can be done with a full format of the drive. You may have to do this format several times to completely remove all of your data, and instead many choose to simply open the drive and break the disk inside.

If you would prefer to have an experienced company remove your data then contact Recycling Your IT, who can do this job for you on any number of devices.