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So I'm getting an old computer ready to sell at a garage sale... Help!

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gristy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-16-04 11:42 PM
Original message
So I'm getting an old computer ready to sell at a garage sale... Help!
I've backed up all the files I want to save onto a CD (twice, actually) and deleted all files that I can find (mydocuments, download, stuff on the desktop, etc.).

How do I "uninstall" compuserve? I don't want the next person who owns this computer logging onto my compuserve account. Should I just delete the Compuserve2000 directory on my C: drive?

Is there any way to more completely delete files other than to put them in the recycle bin and then empty the bin?

I'm running Windows 98

Thanks in advance for any help.
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BlackVelvetElvis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-16-04 11:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. I would wipe your hard drive (reformat)
a few times. Let the buyer worry about the OS.
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Avalux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-16-04 11:45 PM
Response to Original message
2. Well....
You can format your C drive, then reinstall the operation system if you have the CD. That would wipe out everything and make the hard drive "clean".
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-16-04 11:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Yes. Do that.
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gristy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-16-04 11:51 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. OK, I found the CD with the OS on it that came with the computer
Let me read the insert and see what they say. Also, I found on my control panel how to uninstall Compuserve. I'm going to guess that's where the reformat icon is... Stepping out to the garage to check...
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Rick Myers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-16-04 11:48 PM
Response to Original message
4. Yeah, reformat!
That will take care of it.
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LTR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-16-04 11:48 PM
Response to Original message
5. fdisk
Go into DOS and type this to wipe the hard drive clean.

You can reinstall Win98 fresh if you desire, to make it easier for the next person, and to double check that all the important stuff is deleted.
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gristy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-16-04 11:54 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. OK
Back out to the garage...
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gristy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-17-04 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. fdisk is asking me some questions I don't know the answers to
Edited on Sat Apr-17-04 12:09 AM by gristy
First a question about "large disk support" and then questions about partitions. Usually get 3 or 4 answers to choose from for each question. Can't seem to get fdisk to just reformat. :shrug:
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LTR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-17-04 12:10 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Try this
Fresh from Google:

http://www.fdisk.com/fdisk /

If that doesn't work, try this search:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=...
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gristy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-17-04 12:24 AM
Response to Reply #9
14. OK, the HP Recovery CD includes a choice to reformat
I'm running it now, and my disk is being reformated as I type. I'll have to think about the sledgehammer idea suggested in another post. Seems reformatting should be pretty complete as far as data destruction is concerned...
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Avalux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-17-04 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. Do this -
Edited on Sat Apr-17-04 12:24 AM by sparosnare
Click on "My Computer" (on your desktop) - Right Click on the C drive - you should see "Format" in the window. Click on that and hit "Start".
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Madrone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-17-04 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #8
13. large disk support = YES
partitions - first, choose "4" to see what partions you have. Should be only one, a primary dos.

then (don't remember the corresponding numbers) delete primary dos partition (assuming that's the only one you have)

then go back and create primary dos partition. Yes use full disk, press enter when it asks for volume label (that leaves it unamed)

after that, reboot, then format the hard drive!
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TheWizardOfMudd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-17-04 12:17 AM
Response to Original message
10. Don't sell it
Rip out the hard drive, pound it with a sledge hammer, and throw it in the nearest lake or river.

But then, I'm a privacy freak.
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TheWizardOfMudd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-17-04 12:20 AM
Response to Original message
11. By the way . . .
Every keystroke you made, every site you visited, every file you created or copied is on the hard drive, unless it ran out of space and started over.

You see, when you "delete" a file, all that happens is the name of the file which enables your computer to go to the data is erased. THE DATA ITSELF IS NOT ERASED.

Trash it.
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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-17-04 12:40 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. There is software that claims to *really* erase stuff
See http://www.sover.net/%7Ewysiwygx/Security1.html

Links to freeware programs like Autoclave (wipe a hard drive down to the zeroes), BCWipe (completely delete files), Eraser (multiply overwrite files), plus a lot of encryption and other security programs. Good stuff to know about.

(And the other freeware listings at the site are just a good.)
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TheWizardOfMudd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-17-04 12:57 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. Dats what I'm hopin' for
:)
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-17-04 01:11 AM
Response to Original message
17. I Can Send You A CD
That will re-format and rewrite the HD cleaner than DoD specs. PM me with the mailing address and I'll pass it along.
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gristy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-17-04 01:20 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. Thanks.
I ahve run the HP Recovery CD and answered YES when it asked if I wanted to reformat.

So I'm all set. Nothing earthshattering on the 'puter anyways.
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Pinko Commie Donating Member (91 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-17-04 04:57 AM
Response to Original message
19. If you're still reading this thread...
...it all depends on what all you have stored on your computer during its lifetime, and how worried you are about someone getting it.

Deleting, formatting, will not keep you safe, but are probably OK for most people.

For better protection, write zeros to the whole drive.

For even better protection, you have to write alternating bit patterns to the drive, somewhere between 10 and 50 times.

For super-whopper protection, drill holes through the surface of the drive.

For "George Bush needs to do this to get reelected" protection, pulverize the mylar surfaces of the disk, and sprinkle them in the river.

Don't forget that if you ever wrote any letters to companies with account information, they may still be recoverable with the most sophisticated techniques.
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JaySherman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-17-04 05:06 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. You're talking about nuking the hard drive. This program will do it
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