Sell or Donate Your Computer
Make Sure Your Data Is Securely Deleted
The number one concern when selling or donating your computer is to make sure your personal data is securely and permanently deleted. That way the new owner won't be able to access passwords, social security numbers, personal journals, or other sensitive personal data.
What Do I Delete?
At a minimum you should delete all the files in your "My Documents" folder and all your application data which may be stored in a variety of places depending on your programs. You also want to delete any user accounts in your operating system.
Another option is to delete your whole hard drive, operating system and all.
The Problems with Manually Deleting Files
There are two big problems with manually deleting your files:
- Manually deleting files can be very time consuming and is prone to human error. It's hard to know where each program keeps its files. Some programs keep cached, temporary, or hidden information about you or your activities. The bottom line is, it's too easy to miss something.
- Most traditional forms of deleting files aren't permanent. Even if you delete files and empty your recycle bin, the files can still be recovered using freely-available software tools. You want to make sure your data is really gone and unrecoverable.
WipeDrive or SystemSaver allow you to securely and permanently erase your personal data.
With WipeDrive, you can wipe your entire hard drive, including your operating system. You'll have 100% assurance that your personal data is permanently gone. The one downside to wiping your entire hard drive is that the next user of your computer will have to install a new operating system and programs.
Wipe Only Personal Data, Keep the Operating System and Programs
If you're selling your computer, you can use SystemSaver to erase everything except your operating system and programs. This increases the resale value of your computer by potentially several hundred dollars depending on the value of the programs installed. It also makes your computer easier to sell because your buyer won't have to worry about installing their own operating system and programs. By using SystemSaver, you'll make more money while ensuring you're protected because your personal data is securely and permanently erased.