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IF I FORMAT MY HARD DRIVE DO I LOSE ALL MY INFORMATION

Last response: in Storage
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March 9, 2010 5:42:30 AM

Hello, I PLAN TO DONATE MY OLD PC. IF I FORMAT H/D WILL ANY OF MY PERSONAL INFO BE ACCESSIBLE TO ONE GETTING MY PC? CAN THEY RECOVER ANY DATA?
THANK YOU
a b G Storage
March 9, 2010 10:44:04 AM

Format don't clean the drives entirely. You need to use 3rd party tools to WIPE clean all the sectors of the drive.
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a c 342 G Storage
March 9, 2010 1:14:23 PM

Some of the free diagnostic tool software packages you can download from HDD makers' website contain a tool for "Zero Fill". This will write all zeroes to every part of a drive. HOWEVER, many of these tools only work on that maker's units. So, for example, if you have a Seagate or Maxtor drive, get the Seatools package from Seagate.

A zero-fill will over-write every part of the drive. Be aware that a sophisticated user with the right tools still could recover a bunch of data from a zero-filled drive. But for >99% of users, this will make all old data impossible to recover. For high data erasure security you need military-quality disk wiping software, and lots of third-party packages have that available. I used to use Norton Utilities years ago that had this.
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