Switching to Mac - what about my old PC?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by carrollf, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. carrollf macrumors regular


    Aug 8, 2007
    My new iMac 24" arrives tomorrow. I am planning to sell my old laptop (PC) but do not know how to securely 'clean' the drive. I have sensitive financial info on it so want to be careful.

    I know this is not really a Mac question but can anyone tell me the safest way to clean all data off the laptop drive (without having to replace it of course)?

  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Welcome to MacRumors. :)

    Usually, when people with Macs ask this question, we suggest using the system restore DVD to reformat the drive using at least one pass of random overwriting (write every bit on the hard drive with a random 1 or 0 to greatly reduce the chances that even someone with data recovery tools could find anything). OS X has options to do this just once and also to do it many times (based on or compliant with the US DOD specification for data cleansing). The system restore disc continues to then write back the original software to the computer.

    I'm not sure Windows XP has this feature built in. Here is a walkthrough regarding re-installing Windows:


    I believe that if you want to do the overwrite, you need to purchase something like this:


    I guess there might be a free way also, perhaps involving temporarily installing Linux, but it might get complicated.
  3. addz macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Darik's Boot and Nuke


    "Darik's Boot and Nuke ("DBAN") is a self-contained boot floppy that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers. DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction."

    Works very well on PCs.
  4. theheyes macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2006
    If the data is that sensitive then theres no substitute for formatting the hard drive (using one of the above tools) and then taking a sledge hammer to it.

    Replacement drives are cheap to buy. If peace of mind was number 1 priorety I wouldnt think twice about smashing it.

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