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Laptop needs to go - HDD needs taking care of first...help!

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May 9, 2007 8:42:35 AM

I need remove all the data from this drive, or just remove the drive and recover the data later. The processor on my laptop is kaput, but that also means that any extended use of the processor will force my machine to shut down. This makes using HDD 'Wiper' programs a bit difficult to solve this problem. Can someone please explain to me:-

(1) If I just unscrew the HDD and store it, then later can I simply bunk it into an enclosure and read the partitions normally? Is this a problem given there is a full install of Win XP sitting on this thing?

(2) In case I use a program to wipe the drive, what would you reccommend as freeware?

Thanks for your time.

More about : laptop hdd taking care

May 9, 2007 9:26:47 AM

Keep the drive, get an external enclosure for it (usb) and turn it into something useful.

No, as an external drive the XP won't hurt, but it does waste a lot of space. So copy off the stuff you need to keep, google for a good wipedisk program, and then re-format it.

Since the craptop is kaput, you might as well get something of value. Don't forget to save the ram as well....

After thought... what's the cost of a replacement cpu?
May 9, 2007 5:55:38 PM

1. If your laptop runs for a little while then shuts down, the processor is overheating. I've seen this many times in modern laptops. There is a heatpipe/cooling fin structure inside that's meant to take the processor heat away to the processor fan ducting. Inevitably, the cooling fins get clogged and cause the processor to overheat. Take the laptop apart and clean it out, and make sure the fan is free to spin and working. Your laptop will work fine after that.

2. Easy to hook up a 2.5" laptop drive to a desktop ... you just need a 44-pin IDE to 40-pin IDE adapter. About $8 anywhere. No problem with there being a full Windows XP installation on it.

3. Easiest way to erase the hard drive (freeware) is Darik's Boot and Nuke. This will stop recovery by anyone except perhaps the FBI or CIA. (Electron microscopes, etc. are needed to recover data once overwritten by a DoD eraser). You don't need to destroy the hard drive or anything like that.
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May 10, 2007 7:45:54 AM

Thanks for all the helpful replies guys.

@SomeJoe7777: The processor is definetely overheating but I know that all fans are clean as I had recently opened up the latptop and cleaned it out. It seems that the processor cannot take any computational load before it overheats. I don't know if the CPU cooler fan is not plugged in properly or something. As soon as I get all my important files off it, I may open it up to check again...

Another question I had was that if I can cut and paste my files from the current HDD (when the damn laptop decides to run that is) to a portable external HDD, does that make the file irrecoverable on the original HDD?
May 10, 2007 9:43:18 AM

no the file is still there and some softwares could retrieve it. after extended usage, that sector would be overwritten, hence the information lost, but as it is, when you cut it windows doesn't bother to overwrite the info (rightly so).
May 10, 2007 2:33:55 PM

No, simple file deletion or cut/paste won't erase the original file. It's still there and can be recovered. The only way to destroy the file is through the use of a hard drive erase/overwrite program (which overwrites the entire hard disk, not just the file).

Check the heatsink on the laptop and see if it's come loose. I had this happen on one laptop. Had to remove the heatsink from the processor completely, clean off all the old thermal grease, apply some Arctic Silver 5, and reattach it securely.

Another thing might be that the fan isn't running when it's supposed to be. Most laptops will cycle the processor fan only when necessary in order to conserve battery power. But if the fan won't run at all, it'll overheat. Most of the time its a bad fan, but I've also seen it where the laptop motherboard itself just wouldn't turn the fan on.
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