Permanently Deleting History/Data/Files, etc?

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

I'm considering getting a new computer since I've own this one for awhile
now. Is there anyway, or any program, to get rid of all history files,
personal data, personal files? I've heard some stories about people selling
their computer or other electronic devices, and they went through the proper
procedure of deleting personal data/history/files (i.e. with a computer, you
send your items to the recycle bin, then you must delete them again, from the
recycle bin), but somehow they're still able to be retreived?

So I'm looking for a way, or a program (preferably a free one) that will
completely wipe all of my personal data and/or files, along with any sort of
internet history, program history, data history, etc. off of my computer? I
don't know how soon I'll be getting rid of this computer, but once I delete
the files & data off of the computer, will I still be able to use certain
programs such as internet, photo editing programs, other programs that I've
downloaded from the internet that don't have any of my personal information
stored, to my knowledge?

Your help is appreciated. Thank you in advance!

Ashley
4 answers Last reply
More about permanently deleting history data files
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

    If you're truly concerned about your personal data being retrieved, the
    usual solution is a full hard disk wipe with multiple overwrites. Then,
    only very expensive methods could get it back. If you wanted to really,
    really be sure, you would need to pass the drive several times through a
    very strong magnetic field. The first of these options wipes all files.
    So you'd have to reinstall the OS. The second option, I believe, makes
    the disk unusable. Not sure about that one.

    If all you want to do is wipe certain files and currently unallocated
    space, then I would recommend SDelete from SysInternals.
    http://www.sysinternals.com/ntw2k/source/sdelete.shtml

    If you wanted to take SDelete a step farther, you could use BootIt NG to
    shrink the existing partition as much as possible (after using SDelete
    once on the entire disk.) Then create a new partition in the empty
    space, restart, then run SDelete on the empty partition. Then use BootIt
    NG, again, first deleting the now cleansed partition, then sliding the
    "real" partition to the end of the HD, and creating a new partition at
    the head, etc. If the occupied space on the disk is more than 50%, you
    might even have to do some fancier footwork with a third step--splitting
    the existing partition and creating free space in the middle. If you
    really want those instructions, post back, <s>.

    --
    Gary S. Terhune
    MS MVP Shell/User
    http://www.grystmill.com/articles/cleanboot.htm
    http://www.grystmill.com/articles/security.htm

    "ims0hardcore" <ims0hardcore@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:6862853E-E78E-4AFC-8871-24163D18A1CD@microsoft.com...
    > I'm considering getting a new computer since I've own this one for
    awhile
    > now. Is there anyway, or any program, to get rid of all history files,
    > personal data, personal files? I've heard some stories about people
    selling
    > their computer or other electronic devices, and they went through the
    proper
    > procedure of deleting personal data/history/files (i.e. with a
    computer, you
    > send your items to the recycle bin, then you must delete them again,
    from the
    > recycle bin), but somehow they're still able to be retreived?
    >
    > So I'm looking for a way, or a program (preferably a free one) that
    will
    > completely wipe all of my personal data and/or files, along with any
    sort of
    > internet history, program history, data history, etc. off of my
    computer? I
    > don't know how soon I'll be getting rid of this computer, but once I
    delete
    > the files & data off of the computer, will I still be able to use
    certain
    > programs such as internet, photo editing programs, other programs that
    I've
    > downloaded from the internet that don't have any of my personal
    information
    > stored, to my knowledge?
    >
    > Your help is appreciated. Thank you in advance!
    >
    > Ashley
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

    "Gary S. Terhune" <grystnews@mvps.org> wrote in message
    news:Oo%23q8uQIFHA.2744@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...
    > If you're truly concerned about your personal data being retrieved, the
    > usual solution is a full hard disk wipe with multiple overwrites. Then,
    > only very expensive methods could get it back. If you wanted to really,
    > really be sure, you would need to pass the drive several times through a
    > very strong magnetic field. The first of these options wipes all files.
    > So you'd have to reinstall the OS. The second option, I believe, makes
    > the disk unusable. Not sure about that one.

    Yes, it makes it unusable for the PC. What it does is wipe the factory hard
    drive's low-level formatting. Would only recommend this if the hard drive
    was headed for the dump and the user truly had something to hide, along with
    a physical mangling of the hard disk platter(s) with a sledge hammer.

    Usually, a defense-level wipe is adequate alternating 1's and 0's, then
    wiping again using 0's and 1's if the new user is using traditional software
    to locate former files.

    True hard drive forensics ("very expensive methods") does not rely on
    partition boot records or the file allocation table for file locating and
    decoding. So rewriting the MBR and moving and/or splitting partitions
    around does nothing in this regard.

    >
    > If all you want to do is wipe certain files and currently unallocated
    > space, then I would recommend SDelete from SysInternals.
    > http://www.sysinternals.com/ntw2k/source/sdelete.shtml
    >
    > If you wanted to take SDelete a step farther, you could use BootIt NG to
    > shrink the existing partition as much as possible (after using SDelete
    > once on the entire disk.) Then create a new partition in the empty
    > space, restart, then run SDelete on the empty partition. Then use BootIt
    > NG, again, first deleting the now cleansed partition, then sliding the
    > "real" partition to the end of the HD, and creating a new partition at
    > the head, etc. If the occupied space on the disk is more than 50%, you
    > might even have to do some fancier footwork with a third step--splitting
    > the existing partition and creating free space in the middle. If you
    > really want those instructions, post back, <s>.
    >
    > --
    > Gary S. Terhune
    > MS MVP Shell/User
    > http://www.grystmill.com/articles/cleanboot.htm
    > http://www.grystmill.com/articles/security.htm
    >
    > "ims0hardcore" <ims0hardcore@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    > news:6862853E-E78E-4AFC-8871-24163D18A1CD@microsoft.com...
    > > I'm considering getting a new computer since I've own this one for
    > awhile
    > > now. Is there anyway, or any program, to get rid of all history files,
    > > personal data, personal files? I've heard some stories about people
    > selling
    > > their computer or other electronic devices, and they went through the
    > proper
    > > procedure of deleting personal data/history/files (i.e. with a
    > computer, you
    > > send your items to the recycle bin, then you must delete them again,
    > from the
    > > recycle bin), but somehow they're still able to be retreived?
    > >
    > > So I'm looking for a way, or a program (preferably a free one) that
    > will
    > > completely wipe all of my personal data and/or files, along with any
    > sort of
    > > internet history, program history, data history, etc. off of my
    > computer? I
    > > don't know how soon I'll be getting rid of this computer, but once I
    > delete
    > > the files & data off of the computer, will I still be able to use
    > certain
    > > programs such as internet, photo editing programs, other programs that
    > I've
    > > downloaded from the internet that don't have any of my personal
    > information
    > > stored, to my knowledge?
    > >
    > > Your help is appreciated. Thank you in advance!
    > >
    > > Ashley
    >
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

    That "moving and/or splitting partitions" I'm suggesting is simply to
    allow an overwrite-based app access to all of the disk space.

    --
    Gary S. Terhune
    MS MVP Shell/User
    http://www.grystmill.com/articles/cleanboot.htm
    http://www.grystmill.com/articles/security.htm

    "Lil' Dave" <spamyourself@virus.net> wrote in message
    news:%23uEL%23QYIFHA.904@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...

    > True hard drive forensics ("very expensive methods") does not rely on
    > partition boot records or the file allocation table for file locating
    and
    > decoding. So rewriting the MBR and moving and/or splitting partitions
    > around does nothing in this regard.
    >
  4. Hi,
    My company has created a product that could solve this problem. Our software, ControlHistory allows you to selectively or completely delete your history. You can download it from www.controlhistory.com. It supports
    IE (ver. 6+)
    Firefox (ver. 3+)
    Chrome (ver. 1+)
    Google Desktop Search
    Many programs like MS Word, Excel, Acrobat Reader, WinRAR, 7-Zip, etc. that save their history in the Registry.

    You can use the software for free to view your history but to be able to delete it you need a license. The cost of a license is USD 0.99 (99 cents).
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