Clean up And Prepare Your Computer for Disposal
When you don't need your old computer anymore and want to dispose of it, you cannot simply give it away. Not before you make sure you have cleaned all the information you've stored there for years; not before you copy all the data that is important to you to another device. All the existing information, even that which you deleted long ago, can be accessed by a third person. If you tend to keep your social security number, PIN codes, credit card numbers and other confidential data on your computer, you should think well before you dispose of the machine.
Reasons why you should remove all the data from your PC
If you think that a simple delete makes all files disappear, your are dead wrong. Even though you clear the Recycle Bin these files are still on the hard drive, you just don't see them. So if somebody uses a data recovery program, they can recover tha data you thought you deleted and access it very easily. It is just a matter of a few hours. Now, if you didn't delete your information but you pressed the Format button, there is still a chance that your data is still on the hard drive. Modern formatting does not actually clear the hard disk, on the contrary, it makes the hard disk think the information is not there, but in fact it is. This is just a reset, not actual removal.
How to prepare your PC for disposal
Here we are going to talk about how to clear all the information from your PC at home. This concerns small users whose personal data interests crooks. If your computer has confidential information whether governmental or commercial, you ought to consult the security policies to your organisation.
Step 1: Be sure to save your data
Before you give away your computer, make sure you make a copy of all valuable information on another device. Moreover, store all serial numbers and licence keys from the software you purchased in a place you know is safe.
Use a USB drive to transfer the information form one device to another.
Step 2: Proceed to downloading a disk wiping program
Hard disks can be cleared with a piece of software specially designed to wipe all the data stored on the system. Your computer must have a CD drive.
Just find a good piece of software on the Internet, download it and you are almost there!
Step 3: Proceed to wiping the hard drive
Read the instructions on how to use the program you just downloaded. Run the program. You may have to make a bootable CD, which will make things a bit complicated though. However, this is the only way you can safely dispose of all the personal data you stored on your old computer.
If you have to create a disk, you now have to reboot your PC and then follow the instructions. You will get a blue screen. For more detailed instructions, be sure to check the instructions of the program you downloaded.
If your computer is in really bad condition and cannot even boot, you may have to destroy physically the hard disk.