During use, all computers tend to accumulate a vast number of junk files. These are log files, back up files made during software updates, Temporary internet files, files in your recycle bin and others. These junk files can be deleted and you will free up wasted disk space. Occasionally you may wish to sell or give away an old computer.
When you go to get rid of a computer or a hard drive though, you are stuck with a simple but serious problem. How do you remove your personal information before you get rid of it? Formatting a hard drive does not write over the data on the hard drive. I make a good bit of money recovering data from “accidentally” reformatted hard drives.
Many people will live in infamy forever on the internet simply because they thought they had deleted or erased a movie or picture.
This is of course not a problem if all you have on your computer is harmless files that will not matter. But if you have client information, all of your patent research information, or other personal files on the hard drive you had better erase to get rid of it. If you just delete it, it can be recovered.
This procedure is a good maintenance procedure to perform when you defrag your computer. Run Cleanup! before the defrag and run Eraser57 to wipe the unused space after the defrag.
Here is how to do it:
Download these two programs, they are both free.
(Cleanup is also available on my Recommended Software page)
Install them both.
Since this procedure is for people getting rid of a computer, if you are just cleaning out your computer, do not delete any files or remove any software, and select the removal options very carefully in Cleanup!
Then go into your computer and delete everything (for every user) in my documents, off the desktop, and any other data files you have.
Go into Control Panel and select “add and remove software”
Remove any software you do not wish to go with the computer. For instance, if you have a copy of MS Office, you can remove it from this computer and reinstall in your new computer. Delete all of your printers also.
Run the Cleanup! program, and when it opens select THOROUGH cleanup. This will clean up everything and reset all game scores, wipe out your information everywhere it is stored.
Run the eraser program, set it to DOD standards, and erase all unused disk space on all drives. Since all the stuff that was deleted is now labeled as unused space, it will all be overwritten to DOD standards
Then go to bed, wake up and check to see if it is finished, it may take a while.
I have tested this and found it to be very effective. In fact I provide this service for my customers in Houston.
You may also want to download a program called “NewOwner” With it the new owner of your computer can change the names inside their computer to their information.