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  1. Explorer Case's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
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    Middle Earth
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    My sister asked me to clean her old, forgotten pc; probably from 2000 or 2001, collecting dust at the parents house. To erase personal stuff before getting rid of it.
    It says on the sticker: Packard Bell iconnect 1700c RW / Celeron 700 Mhz / 64 MB RAM / 20 GB UDMA / Modem V.90 / CDRW / DVMT / 4 USB /Windows Millennium Edition / Ö
    No ethernet, no wi-fi. Not even sure if USB 2 or USB 1.1. Probably a sale item at the time, so unknowns will not be top spec.
    I donít think it has any CD-ROMs with it (anymore), if there ever were.
    front | sticker | back
    Can I securely erase all the personal stuff with just tools from the on-board Windows ME? Is there a recommended tool I should get?
    Is loading a new OS on the HD perhaps easier and/or more thorough? What is a recommended distro for a 2001 machine?

    Any recommendations/advice welcome.
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  2. Try running DBAN from a burned CD-R. Or physically destroy the HDD if you have too much trouble doing that. Or both. Only you know how secret/incriminating the information on the PC is.
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  3. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    666th portal
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    when a hard drive is replaced here it is beaten with a sledge hammer before being thrown out as most contain customer data. broken platters can't be reassembled and it's a good work out
    --
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
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  4. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
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    Yank in Europe
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    Originally Posted by aedipuss View Post
    when a hard drive is replaced here it is beaten with a sledge hammer before being thrown out as most contain customer data. broken platters can't be reassembled and it's a good work out
    Exactly.....or just drill a hole through the hard drive.
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  5. Member godai's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
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    United States Florida
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    some people its some way innocent i see lots of pcs through to garbage just a little fix and computer back again, and you can access to all information, critic part its emails or bank accounts.
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  6. Member
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    Mar 2008
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    Netherlands
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    Use killdisk to erase all data from the harddrive http://www.killdisk.com/

    Or better like others suggested physically destroy the disk with a hammer or drilling
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  7. Member darkknight145's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
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    Just remove the hard drive, disassemble the hard drive and remove the platters. They make great drink coasters.
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  8. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by darkknight145 View Post
    Just remove the hard drive, disassemble the hard drive and remove the platters. They make great drink coasters.
    And it's FUN too.
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  9. Member Krispy Kritter's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
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    St Louis, MO USA
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    ...and the magnets are awesome!

    But seriously, based on age, pull and destroy the HDD and then recycle the rest. Most places that accept donations won't even take hardware that old and it has no resale value.
    Google is your Friend
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  10. joollyjohn jollyjohn's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
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    Sydney Australia
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    I've been using an old Acer box for more than 20 years. I've gone through at least four MBs and CPUs, and other components. I have added HDD bays out of tomato cans. I keep updating and upgrading. It's cheaper and better than buying a new PC, as you can make it the way you want it.

    Those powerful magnets inside the HDD are very useful.

    John
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  11. Member netmask56's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
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    Sydney, Australia
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    I use the sledge hammer mode....
    BeyonWiz T3 PVR ~ Popcorn C200 and A-500 ~ Samsung ES8000 65" LED TV ~ Windows 7 ~ Yamaha RX-A1030 ~ QnapTS851-4G
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  12. Here are some instructions, with pictures, showing how to disassemble an old hard drive to recover the shiny drink coasters and really strong magnets inside:

    GEEK-TO-YOU: How to Take Apart a Hard-drive
    They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety.
    --Benjamin Franklin
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  13. Member Drowning's Avatar
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    Jun 2017
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    Well, it is easier to just break the hard drive since opening and erasing all of the stuff is not easy to do.
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  14. Explorer Case's Avatar
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    I tried to boot the pc from HD, but that didnít finish into a functional desktop.
    I tried DBAN Live CD boot, successfully, but that only offers erasing options. So maybe later.
    I tried Puppy Linux (Slacko 6.3.0) Live CD, but even that wants more than 64 MB RAM.

    I opened it up to see it the inside, cleaned the dust out (CPU heatsink with mounted fan was badly dusty). Swapped the 1◊64 MB RAM for 2◊128 MB RAM from a different computer (checked for 168 pin DIMM 3.3V PC100 (or PC133) SDR SDRAM). Still wouldnít boot into Windows.

    Tried Puppy Linux Live CD again, successfully, but copying folders (to USB flash drive) would often fail on some file. I fear the hard disk is already bad, because of the many read errors. At some point even rescuing (old, neglected) files isnít worth that much time. Nothing obvious about the hard disk, though. It looks clean, solid, and brand name (Seagate), but it gets pretty hot to the touch (no cooling fan directed there). Unexpectedly for me, the HD was mounted vertically in the case.
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  15. A box that old is not worth the time it takes to plug it in. Take the old drive out and either disassemble as mentioned, drill a hole thru the platters, use it for target practice, or put it under a very strong electromagnet.
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  16. Member
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    Originally Posted by aedipuss View Post
    when a hard drive is replaced here it is beaten with a sledge hammer before being thrown out as most contain customer data. broken platters can't be reassembled and it's a good work out
    This is my method as well...though pretty much I just give my kids the computer and a couple hammers (and maybe a hack saw) and let them at it. They have a ball.

    The only problem with the method is that they'll nag me for when I'm throwing out my next computer!
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  17. Member netmask56's Avatar
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    Invoke the power of Thor!
    BeyonWiz T3 PVR ~ Popcorn C200 and A-500 ~ Samsung ES8000 65" LED TV ~ Windows 7 ~ Yamaha RX-A1030 ~ QnapTS851-4G
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